Chancellor's Communiqué

Wrapping Up a Successful Year, 5-16-19

Dear Colleagues,

With last week’s snowy weather and this week’s above-average temperatures, we’re reminded of the unpredictability of springtime in Colorado. Yet signs of new life are around us with trees turning green and flowers beginning to bud.

Spring is a time of contrast— a time of endings and beginnings. And nothing brings this more clearly into focus than spring commencement.

On Saturday, we will be celebrating CU Denver’s largest graduating class — 2,144 students! By earning their degrees, they are taking an all-important step into the future. Their walk across the stage signifies an end to one chapter in their lives and the beginning of another, whether that future is building a career or pursuing advanced studies.

This year’s commencement will be our final one with Bruce Benson as CU President. Having participated in nearly 90 graduation ceremonies over the past 11 years, President Benson ends his time as our leader and begins a well-deserved retirement. We’ll use this occasion to honor Bruce and Marcy Benson for their many contributions to the university, and specifically to CU Denver. In addition, we’ll be awarding an Honorary Doctorate and University Medal to two distinguished recipients.

As we conclude the academic year and launch another class of graduates, it’s a fitting time to reflect on all that’s been accomplished. It has been a remarkable year for CU Denver, one of progress and achievement. Together, we have begun to build momentum in turning the CU Denver flywheel.

Some of the many highlights include:

  • Enrolling our largest, most diverse incoming class
  • Opening the Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center
  • Introducing CityCenter as a portal for the private, nonprofit and public sectors to better access and partner with us
  • Reimagining services, strategies and structures to create the “unparalleled student experience”
  • Celebrating the groundbreaking for the Jake Jabs Event Center
  • Hosting our first CU in the City celebration to honor our benefactors
  • Launching an ambitious campaign to fund a new building for the College of Engineering, Design and Computing
  • Developing the structure and strategies to support a significant expansion of online offerings
  • Planning the first-year student housing and dining facility
  • Promoting evidence-based practices in teaching and learning through faculty fellowships provided by the Center for Faculty Development and ThinqStudio
  • Outpacing our Colorado peers in closing the attainment gap for under-represented minority students
  • Presenting the first Distinguished Faculty Lecture featuring our own Dr. Stephanie Santorico
  • Implementing an incentive-based budget model that aligns our investments and resources with our strategic priorities
  • Renovating space for LynxConnect, an integrated resource center for career services, experiential learning, undergraduate research, and study abroad
  • Announcing the first class of TIAA Chancellor’s Engaged Urban Scholars
  • Laying the foundation for a comprehensive strategic plan for mental health
  • Completing renovation of the North Classroom Building
  • Debuting the inaugural Diversity Showcase
  • Kicking off the University Partnerships strategy and steering committee

The work we do and the impact we have would not be possible without the immense effort and skill put forth every day by you, our dedicated faculty and staff. I thank each of you for being part of a great 2018-19 CU Denver experience. Your endeavors, achievements, and contributions make us stronger, individually and collectively, and move us closer to our highest aspirations.

My best wishes for an enjoyable and rejuvenating summer. Whether you’ll be on campus or away, I hope this is an opportunity to hit “reset” so that we may welcome fall, with its challenges and opportunities, refreshed and ready to continue our important work.

With gratitude,

Dorothy Horrell signature

Dorothy Horrell

Chancellor’s Office

CU Denver

Lawrence Street Center

1380 Lawrence Street

Suite 1400

Denver, CO 80204


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