By Chris Casey | University Communications
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. - The Pfender family, recent arrivals from Germany, were among the many faculty members who enjoyed food and camaraderie at the New Faculty Welcome Monday evening.
The get-together took place at the home of Chancellor Don Elliman and his wife, Mary.
"It's great that they have us here," said Florian Pfender, a new Mathematical & Statistical Sciences Department faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Pfender brought along his wife, Martina, and 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. The kids, Samuel and Finja, enjoyed playing in the backyard.
Scenes from New Faculty Welcome Reception:
"I'd met some of the new faculty during orientation, and we're getting to re-meet them here," Pfender said. "Meeting people in a more social setting is nice."
The Ellimans hosted more than 50 new faculty members and their spouses. Deans from the schools and colleges at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus also attended, as did other members of the university leadership team.
The pleasant evening allowed the guests to visit and watch the sunset from the back patio. The chancellor as well as Lilly Marks, vice president of health affairs at the University of Colorado and executive vice chancellor of the Anschutz Medical Campus, and Provost Rod Nairn briefly addressed the faculty members in the outdoor setting.
"I think we have at the University of Colorado, both at the Downtown Campus and the Anschutz Medical Campus, the opportunity to do something really unique and very special," Elliman said. "I'm honored to see you all here as new faculty."
Marks, who has been with the university for 35 years, said that each new recruit "takes things to a new level" at the university. "I think what you'll find is that the defining characteristic of our place is the passion that people bring and an enormous sense of collaboration, and with that really spectacular things have happened."
Nairn told the faculty that he's very pleased they're now part of the university and noted that they are joining "a great group of colleagues. The faculty really are the piece that's unique (at the university) and the creative things that you do to advance knowledge and work toward creating the new future."
Elliman told the faculty members that the university has its challenges and that it can be tempting to focus on the difficulties, such as declining state funding.
"Our upside potential is so much greater than any of the downside issues that we face," he said. "If we're creative about it -- and looking at you I know we will be -- those things are going to pale in comparison to what we can make this university become."
More than 200 new faculty, at the instructor level and above, have joined the university on both campuses.
(Photo: The Pfender family enjoys the New Faculty Welcome reception at the home of Chancellor Don Elliman.)