IT’S AN EXCITING TIME OF CHANGE and transformation in Denver and the Rocky Mountain West. Similarly, I believe it’s an incredibly exciting time for higher education and for the University of Denver. From artificial intelligence and aerospace, software development and agriculture to wellness and bioscience, Colorado has positioned itself as a hub of innovation—and that spirit of experimentation permeates the DU campus and emboldens our students and faculty members.
At DU and in Colorado, we have a fearless vision of what we can achieve. We are a community of diverse ideas and backgrounds. We are interested in business, science and technology—but we are also interested in the arts, theater and nature. We relish the amazing murals popping up throughout the city—free, public and wholly inspiring. In the mountains we seek adventure and peace, whether on skis or on the trail. We are also redoubling our commitment to engaging with and connecting to our communities.
In Denver, this commitment is brought to life at the many food halls where we gather. At DU, it is made manifest in our work with local partners to tackle big challenges like homelessness, crime and sustainability, and in the three new buildings being built right now—a Community Commons, the Career Achievement Center and the Dimond Family Residential Village.
The Rocky Mountain West has never been afraid to try new things, to meet the call of the future with our best ideas. Right now, higher education is in the midst of a reckoning about how we can best serve our students, faculty and society. This will require change and challenge, yes. But, in this moment, DU has the privilege to both define and shepherd in this new era of education and scholarship.
At DU, we are thinking and acting our way into our future using our strategic plan as our guide. The goals laid forth in DU IMPACT 2025 are not a wish list. They are our charge, and as we meet
them, we are creators, not reactors.
Indeed, in these past five years I’ve been chancellor at DU, and throughout my entire career, a lesson rises above: It is not enough to simply keep up with change. To do best by our students, faculty and staff, the University of Denver doesn’t keep pace; we leap ahead and use the wisdom gleaned from our experiences to imagine a new way forward.
What I see ahead for DU is an exciting opportunity to bring people and ideas together. In society, there is a call for a great coalescing—a call for connection socially, academically, structurally. The world is hungry for authentic and meaningful experiences shared with others and that do good in the world. Everything DU has worked toward, all of our unique strengths and capabilities, has prepared us to lead the answer to this call.
The common thread connecting the stories in this report is people coming together to do big, important work. These stories, and so many DU stories, expand the limits of what we believe higher ed can do for society and how, together, we can create connection.
In classrooms, DU students participate in hands-on learning, working in teams to solve complex problems. Our faculty conduct scholarship alongside and with their peers, crossing the dotted lines between disciplines. DU joins forces with partners in the Denver community to help in their work to create impact and lasting good. Even our new spaces envisioned by the Denver Advantage Campus Framework Plan use connection and community as a guiding design principle.
The University of Denver is rising up to meet the needs of the time and to anticipate the needs of tomorrow. We are fostering connection in its myriad forms because that is what our students need to become great leaders and thinkers, what our faculty need to continue their transformational research, what Denver needs as we boldly grow. Indeed, it’s what the world needs as we collectively strive for greatness and for goodness.
At DU, we are figuring out by doing. In ways big and small, we are living out our aspirations.
Rebecca Chopp, Chancellor