Spring Commencement

March 18, 2020 @ 3:20 p.m.

Dear CU Denver students, faculty, staff, and families,

Please view this important message from Chancellor Horrell regarding spring 2020 commencement.


Video Transcript:


Hello CU Denver students, faculty, staff, and families.

The last few weeks have been like nothing I’ve seen before. I’m sure you too are feeling uncertain and a bit overwhelmed by all we’re dealing with -- here at CU Denver, in our city, ournation, and across the globe. 

Today, I want to talk just to you – my fellow Lynx community – to tell you about a very difficult decision we’ve had to make.

With the deepest regret, I share the news that our 2020 Spring Commencement will not take place as planned in person on May 16th.  I know this decision is very disappointing for our graduates and their families.  Our students work incredibly hard to reach this milestone. Those who earn a CU Denver degree deserve to be celebrated with their friends, families, professors, and other loved ones.

But the health and well-being of our community must be our highest priority. We want commencement to be safe—for our graduates, the hundreds of employees who make the ceremony happen, and the thousands who join us to celebrate.

Large gatherings aren’t safe right now, and it’s not clear when that will change.  It’s important to make this decision now -- so our students know what to expect and so family members wanting to make travel arrangements can plan. 

For me and for so many of us, commencement is our favorite time of year.  It’s what we all work toward.  It’s what our students imagine when they dream of their college experience.

While the form and location of this important event will change, our pride in our graduates and our commitment to celebrating their success remains steadfast.  This virus will not keep us from celebrating the Class of 2020. 

We’re asking our schools and colleges to get creative.  To tap into that innovative Lynx spirit to develop new plans.  They’ll be inviting our soon-to-be graduates to share your ideas.  They’ll be reaching out to you soon.

I know you’ve received a lot of written updates as we try our best to keep you informed about developments related to this pandemic.  I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for your truly remarkable response. 

Students:  You are demonstrating what we’ve always known about you.  You are resilient, determined and skilled at overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of your goals. 

Faculty:  You are doing what you do best – conveying your knowledge and helping your students learn – in a whole new way!  I’m so grateful for your commitment to ensuring our students can continue their coursework despite all odds. 

Staff:  It wouldn’t be possible to do what we’re doing without your incredible talent, commitment, and willingness to go the extra mile. 

And Campus Leaders:  I’ve never been so proud to have such dedicated, capable colleagues.  You are working around the clock to make sure we can keep the university operating and our community safe.

Many of you know that I will be retiring in June.  I could never have imagined that my final months as your chancellor would have included these challenges.  I too was excited about celebrating my final commencement with you.  But what I know for sure is that I will treasure my memories of these days.  I’m reminded that a crisis like this brings out the best in us:  our shared humanity, compassion and selflessness.  And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  

My best wishes to you and your loved ones. Stay healthy and safe.  We’ll continue to be in touch.  And I look forward to seeing you in person as soon as possible. 


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Dorothy Horrell

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