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University of Denver

University of Denver
Former names
Colorado Seminary
Motto "Pro Scientia et Religione" ('For Science and Religion' or 'Knowledge and Spirit')
Established 1864
Type Private
Affiliation Nonsectarian; founded by Methodists[1][2]
Endowment $467 million (Fall 2014)[3]
Chancellor Rebecca Chopp
Academic staff
1,259 (2009 Fall)[4]
Administrative staff
1,628 (2009 Fall)[4]
Students 11,809 (2014 Fall)[5]
Undergraduates 5,643 (2014 Fall)[5]
Postgraduates 6,166 (2014 Fall)[5]
Location Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Campus Urban/Residential
125 acres (0.51 km2)[6]
Colors Crimson and Gold[7]
Athletics NCAA Division IThe Summit
Sports 17 Varsity Sports Teams
Nickname Pioneers
Mascot (none at this time)
Affiliations NAICU[8]
Website .edu.duwww

The University of Denver (DU) is a coeducational, four-year university in Denver, Colorado. Founded in 1864, it is the oldest independent private university in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States.[9] DU enrolls approximately 5,600 undergraduate students and 6,100 graduate students. The 125-acre (0.51 km2) main campus is a designated arboretum and is located primarily in the University Neighborhood,[10] about seven miles (11 km) south of downtown Denver.


  • History 1
  • Campus 2
  • Academics 3
    • Demographics 3.1
    • Rankings 3.2
    • Academic programs 3.3
  • Athletics 4
  • Notable alumni and faculty 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


On March 3, 1864 the university was founded as the Colorado Seminary by John Evans, the former Governor of Colorado Territory, who had been appointed by President Abraham Lincoln. John Evans is the namesake of Evans Avenue (which bisects the DU campus and runs through the Denver metro area), Mount Evans (a 14,264 foot mountain visible from DU), and the city of Evanston, Illinois (the site of Northwestern University, founded by Evans prior to his founding of DU).

Mary Reed Hall and Harper Humanities Garden

Evans founded the school to help "civilize" the newly created (1858) city of Denver, which was little more than a mining camp at that time.

As a co-educational institution, according to College Board, under a competitive standard, the average admitted applicant is at his or her top 25% of their graduating class.[11]

The reverse initials "DU" are used as the university's shorthand moniker (rather than the more intuitive "UD") as part of a Rocky Mountain and midwestern tradition of initial reversal, similar to the University of Colorado's "CU", the University of Tulsa's "TU", the University of Oklahoma's "OU", the University of Nebraska's "NU", the University of Missouri's "MU", and the University of Kansas' "KU."

The 'Colorado Seminary' was founded as a Methodist Institution and struggled in the early years of its existence. By 1880, the Colorado Seminary had been renamed the University of Denver. Although doing business as the University of Denver, DU is still legally named Colorado Seminary. The first buildings of the university were located in downtown Denver in the 1860s and 1870s, but concerns that Denver's rough-and-tumble frontier town atmosphere was not conducive to education prompted a relocation to the current campus, built on the donated land of potato farmer Rufus Clark, some seven miles (11 km) south of the downtown core. The university grew and prospered alongside the city's growth, appealing primarily to a regional student body prior to World War II. After the war, the large surge in GI bill students pushed DU's enrollment to over 13,000 students, the largest the university has ever been, and helped to spread the university's reputation to a national audience.

On August 16, 2012 the University of Denver officially unveiled its new brand. The new brand is designed to honor the University's long history of educating creative and independent thinkers, and focuses on the University's vision to be a great private institution dedicated to the public good. Another goal is to tell DU's story in one unified voice through the collaboration of students, faculty and staff.

The new logo is designed to reflect the University's stature within a dynamic city and region. The combination of traditional and modern elements demonstrates that the University is looking ahead to the future, but builds on past experiences. The shield signifies tradition and incorporates three key elements: a portion of the University's skyline to emphasize academics; the date of the University's founding, 1864, to show the DU's longevity and strength; and a depiction of nearby Mount Evans to reference our inspiring location.

The brand positioning is designed to clearly define and differentiate the University's identity. The brand is meant to communicate the role of the University of Denver as being a catalyst for a purposeful life.

On October 3, 2012, the university hosted the first U.S. presidential debate of 2012.


The heart of the campus has a number of historic buildings. The longest-standing building is University Hall, built in the Romanesque Revival style which has served DU since 1890. The cornerstone to this building is exactly one mile above sea level. Just a few blocks off campus sits the historic Chamberlin Observatory, opened in 1894. Still a fully operational observatory, it is open to the public twice a week as well as one Saturday a month.[12]

University Hall, built in 1890
Margery Reed Hall

The central campus area also includes Evans Chapel, an 1870s-vintage small church which was once located in downtown Denver, and was relocated to the DU campus in the early 1960s. Buchtel Tower (1913) is all that remains of the former Buchtel Chapel, which burned in 1983. The administrative offices are located in the Mary Reed Building, a former library built in 1932 in the Collegiate Gothic style. Margery Reed Hall (named for the daughter of Mary Reed) was also built in the collegiate gothic style in 1929. Margery Reed Hall has recently been designated to house the Undergraduate Program for the Daniels College of Business; an $8 million overhaul and renovation was just completed early 2014. The update for the building was to include more classroom space, a larger hall to host guest speakers, as well as mechanical and technical improvements.

Under the leadership of former Chancellor Daniel Ritchie (now Chairman of the Denver Center for Performing Arts), about $500 million in capital improvements have taken place in the last decade and the learning inside these new buildings has improved in the same period, as admissions selectivity and rankings have improved dramatically.

In autumn 2003, DU opened a new $63.5 million facility for its College of Law, what was later named the "Sturm College of Law." The building includes a three-story library with personal computers accessible to students. Donald and Susan Sturm, owners of Denver-based American National Bank, had given $20 million to the University of Denver College of Law. The gift is the largest single donation in the 112-year history of the law school and among the largest gifts ever to the university.

The Daniels College of Business was completed in September 1999 at the cost of $25 million.[13] The business school has been nationally recognized by organizations such as Forbes magazine, Business Week, and the Wall Street Journal where it is ranked second in the nation for producing students with high ethical standards.[14]

F.W. Olin Hall was built in 1997 to house Biological and Natural Sciences. Olin Hall promotes an exceptional collaborative learning and study space for DU science students.

Additionally, the university also recently opened the $75 million

  • Official website
  • Official athletics website

External links

  1. ^ Separated brethren: a review of Protestant, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox & other religions in the United States.  
  2. ^ "Schools by Jurisdiction".  
  3. ^ As of June, 2013. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2013 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2012 to FY 2013" (PDF). 2014 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. January 28, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b [2]
  5. ^ a b c "STUDENT PROFILES". Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  6. ^ University of Denver (August 1, 2008). "University of Denver – The Look of Campus". Retrieved August 1, 2008. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ NAICU – Member Directory
  9. ^ University of Denver. "Facts & Figures". 
  10. ^ Denver Neighborhoods (Statistical) Map. City and County of Denver. Retrieved on August 25, 2006
  11. ^ CollegeBoard, University of Denver. 2009
  12. ^ "The University of Denver's Historic Chamberlin Observatory". Denver Astronomical Society. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Grad Profiles - University of Denver Daniels School of Business". 
  14. ^ Daniels College of Business (September 17, 2007).
  15. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Best Colleges". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  17. ^ "2015 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. n.d. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  18. ^ "2014 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. n.d. Retrieved May 26, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Business Week Undergrad Business Rankings 2008". Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  20. ^ "Bloomberg Businessweek Undergrad Business School Rankings 2011". Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  21. ^ Harden, Mark. "University of Denver's Daniels business college ranks 2nd in nation for ethics. Denver Business Journal". Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  22. ^ "Rankings & Profiles". Businessweek. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  23. ^ "U.S. News 2009 Law School Rankings". Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  24. ^ Abramson, Seth. "2012 Creative Writing Doctoral Program Rankings: The Top Fifteen | Poets and Writers". Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  25. ^ "Clinical Psychology Rankings 2012". U.S. News. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  26. ^ "University of Denver | Office of Institutional Research and Analysis | External Rankings". Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  27. ^ "TRIP Around the World: Teaching, Research, and Policy Views of International Relations Faculty in 20 Countries". Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations. College of William & Mary. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  28. ^ University of Denver. "Colorado Women's College". 
  29. ^ University College,University of Denver. "University of Denver University College - College of Professional and Continuing Studies". University of Denver, University College. 
  30. ^ "Gilbert E. Carmichael papers" (PDF). Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Study Abroad". Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  32. ^ "The University of Denver Law Students Win National Mock Trial Competition in New Orleans". Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  33. ^ "Explore: The Search for a DU Mascot". Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  34. ^ Chiaramonte, Perry (August 20, 2013). "Daniel Boone-like mascot for Denver college deemed offensive by administration". Retrieved 2013-08-21. 


See also

Notable alumni and faculty

The school has identified itself as the Pioneers since 1925.[33] Previous mascots Pioneer Pete (1920s to 1968), Denver Boone (1968 to 1998), and Ruckus the red-tailed hawk (1998 to 2007). A task force is selecting a new mascot.[34]

The Pioneers' 30 NCAA titles are in the top 12 of all NCAA schools in terms of total titles. Skiing is another strong sport at Denver, with 22 NCAA titles (more than any other school in Division 1 history). The Pioneers won in 2014 and "three-peated" with NCAA titles in 2010, 2009 and 2008, won it in 2005 and as well as three consecutive titles from 2001 to 2003.

The Pioneers captured their first Lacrosse championship in 2015 against Maryland 10-5. They are the first division 1 men's team west of the Appalachians to win an NCAA Lacrosse championship

The Pioneers' major conference affiliations changed in July 2013. Denver moved its primary affiliation from the Western Athletic Conference to The Summit League, hockey moved from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, and men's lacrosse moved from the ECAC Lacrosse League to the Big East Conference. In addition, the women's gymnastics team joined the newly formed Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference in 2013, and moved that team to the Big 12 Conference in July 2015.

DU's athletic teams are known as the Denver Pioneers and the school has been fielding varsity teams since 1867. Denver is a full NCAA Division I member, best known as a major power in winter sports. Ice hockey is DU's flagship spectator sport, with seven NCAA titles including back to back crowns in 2004 and 2005, producing 70 NHL players and regularly selling out the 6,000 seat Magness Arena on campus, the showpiece of the Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness.

Magness Arena


The Ricks Center for Gifted Children is a private school on the campus of DU that teaches preschool through eighth grade. Since April 1997, the school has been accredited by The North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCACASI). It was founded and is directed by Norma Hafenstien.

The university has recently established an Undergraduate Research Center. This center provides funding for the Partners in Scholarship program, offering students the opportunity to work directly with a faculty member over the course of a quarter or over the summer. The student may design the research project with the faculty member's approval or may work with a faculty member on an existing research project, thus affording students an opportunity for close mentorship and relationship-building that strengthens the student's overall learning experience. Annual conferences on campus highlight student research efforts

Margery Reed Hall Ivy

The Institute for Public Policy Studies (IPPS) boasts two former Colorado Governors as teaching faculty. Richard Lamm was joined in January 2007 by Bill Owens.

Recently, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law has undergone an internal renaissance. In 2003, the University of Denver Association of Trial Lawyers of America trial team won the national championship in New Orleans, taking Harvard's title from the previous year.[32]

Sturm College of Law: the first law school in the nation to earn certification by the U.S. Green Building Council

The university has establisheda Digital Media Studies program, organized as a joint venture between the departments of Mass Communications and Journalism Studies, Art, and Computer Science.

With the recent addition of more faculty members and renovation beginning on Margery Reed Hall, the Theatre Department has become a magnet for theatre students in the region. Much of the faculty have many professional connections with local theatre companies (Curious, DCPA), as well as contacts in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and many other regions, providing students with many available options for internships and quick job placement.

The art and music scene of DU is on the rise due to the recent construction of the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Performing Arts. This building houses the Lamont School of Music, the University of Denver Department of Theater, and the University's Newman Center Presents performing arts series. The Lamont School of Music is a structured conservatory setting which allows students to focus on their talents in a competitive manner. The theatre department, reestablished in 1985, is being transformed into a nationally competitive theatre school.

Offering students a learning experience abroad, the Cherrington Global Scholars program offers every undergraduate the chance to study abroad at no cost above the normal university tuition, room and board.[31] The University of Denver has almost 70 percent of its undergraduate student body study abroad before graduation, placing it first in the nation among all doctoral and research institutions in percentage of undergraduate students participating in study abroad programs .

Nelson Hall Tower

Aside from the Sturm College of Law, the university operates on a quarter system, sometimes known as trimester academic calendar, in which an academic year is divided into three academic quarters lasting 10 weeks per each quarter. This academic system allows students to take more classes each year than students in a more traditional 15-week semester system.

Daniels College of Business; the eighth oldest business school in the country

Students in the graduate programs represent over half of the total enrollment of the school.

  • Cognitive Neuroscience – (Psychology and Biology)
  • Video Game Design – (Computer Science and Digital Media Studies)

Interdisciplinary Programs:

  • Graduate Tax Program
  • DU-Iliff Joint Program
  • Graduate School of Social Work Doctoral Program
  • Josef Korbel School of International Studies-Sturm College of Law Joint Program
  • Daniels College of Business-Sturm College of Law Joint Program


Institutes and Centers:


Buchtel Tower and the Sturm College of Law Tower


  • Division of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
  • Divisions of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences


In addition to traditional undergraduate programs, the University of Denver is home to the following graduate entities:

Academic programs

The Aspen Institute's 2011–2012 edition of Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a biennial survey and alternative ranking of business schools, recently ranked the Daniels College of Business the 15th best MBA program in the world. The survey puts emphasis on how well schools are preparing their students for the environmental, social, and ethical complexities of modern-day business.

In 2006, Men's Fitness magazine ranked DU in the top-25 fittest colleges in America because the university actively promotes a healthy lifestyle for its students. The Coors Fitness Center has top-of-the-line equipment, personal trainers, nutritionists and fitness classes. Students also can play in 30 club and 22 intramural sports, and DU is located near some of the city's best recreational opportunities and the great outdoors.

F W Olin Hall for Biological and Natural Sciences

In a 2012 survey performed by the College of William and Mary and published by Foreign Policy Magazine, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies ranked 11th in the world for its graduate masters program, ahead of such schools as Syracuse, Yale, Stanford, University of California-Berkeley, Oxford and MIT.[27]

The School of Accountancy at Daniels College of Business has ranked #9 in the top programs by specialty by Bloomberg BusinessWeek in 2011.[26]

The Financial Times has ranked the Daniels College of Business Executive MBA program in the top 100 programs in the World in a 2011–2012 ranking.

The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program in the Department of Psychology was ranked 47th by U.S. News & Report in 2012.[25]

The Graduate School of Social Work is ranked 26th by U.S. News & World Report.

The Creative Writing Doctoral Program in the Department of English, one of the oldest such programs in the nation, is ranked 1st by Poets & Writers magazine.[24] The program was founded by the distinguished novelist, John Edward Williams, co-recipient of the 1973 National Book Award in Fiction, along with John Barth, for his novel Augustus.

The Sturm College of Law was ranked the 64th best Graduate Law School by U.S. News & World Report in a 2013–2014 ranking, and 12th for its part-time law program.[23]

In 2011, The University of Denver's Daniels College of Business was ranked 2nd in the nation for its ethics programs among 111 undergraduate business schools by Bloomberg Businessweek.[20][21][22]

The undergraduate business program, The Daniels College of Business, was ranked 57th best in 2012 by BusinessWeek, and it was ranked the 71st best program by U.S. News in a 2008 ranking.[19]

The University of Denver is ranked 86th among all public and private "National Universities" by U.S. News & World Report in the 2015-2016 rankings.

University rankings
Forbes[15] 103
U.S. News & World Report[16] 86
Washington Monthly[17] 135[18]


Ritchie Center Tower

The University of Denver has an undergraduate student body of 5,087 in 2011, and a graduate student body of 6,389, with a total student enrollment of 11,476. The ratio of undergraduate women to men is 54% women to 46% men. Of the class of 2011, 67.0% are White, 2% are Black, 6.8% are Hispanic, 5.2% are Asian or Pacific Islander, 1-2% are American Indian, 11% are international (there were more than 1,400 international students as of 2013), and 9.1% are race/ethnicity unknown. Around 63 percent of the student body is from outside the state of Colorado. For 2011 the average accepted high school student obtained a 3.74 GPA, SAT range of 1220 to 1500 and, an ACT of 28. Roughly over 50% of the incoming freshman class for 2011 was in the top 10% of their graduating high school class. The University of Denver likes to promote inclusiveness, therefore there are numerous programs and people available to help transfer (or international students). There are International Student Advisors available to help with issues such as cultural adjustment and immigration. (Frequently Asked Questions | University of Denver,



The university has five residence halls, Johnson McFarlane Hall (JMac), Centennial Halls, Centennial Towers, Nelson Hall and Nagel Hall. Johnson McFarlane Hall was recently energy star certified as one of the most energy efficient buildings on campus, and is the oldest co-ed dorm in the western United States.

At the beginning of the summer of 2011, the 41-year-old Penrose Library closed for a $32 million renovation, and reopened in the Spring of 2013 as the Anderson Academic Commons, a 21st-century high tech collaboration and study space - one of the most advanced and technologically capable libraries among universities throughout the country.

The environmentally friendly $25 million Morgridge College of Education was opened in June 2010.

DU completed the first ever (Peter S. Barton) lacrosse-only stadium that was specifically designed for the sport in 2005, as well as new Ciber field soccer stadium (2010) on the northern end of campus. Ciber field also contains new studio space for the School of Art adjoining the main grandstand, as well as the Pat Bowlen varsity sports weight training facility underneath the stands.

Nagel Residence Hall was completed in the Fall of 2008 to house upperclassman and is one of the most unique buildings on campus, offering a wide collection of art throughout the building donated by the Nagel family. The building is certified Gold in LEED standards to be environmentally friendly and more sustainable. As well as Nagel, Nelson Hall is another LEED residence hall that was built in the last eight years.

The university has the second highest telescope in the world located at 14,148 feet near the summit of Mount Evans called the Meyer-Womble Observatory. This telescope is most commonly used by the university's Natural Science and Mathematics Department, and more specifically the Department of Physics and Astronomy at DU.

Evans Chapel; built in the late 1870s
Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management
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