Goodbye summer, hello fall semester. In the past two weeks, campus has been abuzz with action: move-in day, a welcome ceremony for new students, and plenty of preparation for the first day of classes, as shown in the video below.
Campus Village comes to life
Pop music played from outdoor speakers as new and returning students, with family members in tow, settled into their home at Campus Village on Aug. 14. The five-story building, within walking distance of downtown Denver’s lively social scene, welcomed 420 residents for the fall semester. About 63% are first-years.
Jason Vanhook, a returning RA from Fort Collins, said he’s most excited about his diverse neighbors: About 40% of Campus Village residents are from out of state.
“There are so many different people from different walks of life,” said Vanhook, who, with his fellow RAs, stood out on move-in day in a bright yellow tee with CU Denver Lynx on the front.
Vanhook and other returning students living at Campus Village may notice something different this semester: improved heating and cooling. Over the past two summers, CU Denver replaced the residence hall’s HVAC system. Also new is the Ignite Evolution Greenhouse, built in just 12 days by 24 students in the College of Architecture and Planning. The modular structure lives on a courtyard on the south side.
“We will be growing herbs that will be used in the dining hall,” said Meloni Rudolph Crawford, PhD, assistant vice chancellor for student life and residential education.
Convocation ceremony promotes campus unity
Connections are key. Faculty and staff are partners in student success. The city is where learning comes to life.
These were some of the themes at this year’s New Student Convocation, held at the Lola and Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center on Aug. 16, three days before the first day of classes. Dressed in the same black gowns they will don on graduation day, roughly 700 freshmen and transfer students sat before a row of CU Denver leaders polished in academic regalia.
“As we like to say, CU Denver is in the heart of the city, but it’s our students that give the city its heartbeat,” Chancellor Dorothy Horrell said to students and their families, who watched from a set of bleachers on the periphery. “Our location means more than a pin on a map. We are surrounded by business headquarters, seats of government and nonprofit organizations – all of which are at your fingertips with the more than one thousand internships we secure for our students each year.”
New Student Convocation, and the accompanying pinning ceremony, is a longstanding tradition that promotes university spirit and encourages student-faculty relationships. Individual school and college ceremonies precede the event, and an outdoor barbecue follows.
Keynote speaker and alumnus Don Jesse Toussaint, a county court judge in Arapahoe County, was at one point living on the streets before finding his way at CU Denver. He encouraged students to always persevere, even if the odds are against them.
“My experience here at this school was great. The teachers and professors that I dealt with were top-notch,” Toussaint said. “When I was struggling in class, they made sure I didn’t fail.”
Jamie Sutliff and Peter Waller, president and vice president of CU Denver’s Student Government Association, also took the mic, where they gave candid remarks from personal experience.
“Finding a community is sometimes easier said than done,” Sutliff said, adding, “You find community by taking action and being unapologetically yourself.”
If these events are any indicator of the year ahead, it’s bound to be a good one.