Female graduate walks up to receive her diploma in front of Tivoli.

Spring 2019 Commencement was largest ever

May 20, 2019

The university held its largest-ever commencement ceremony May 18, at Tivoli Quad, where a record-setting total of 2,144 students graduated.

Spring 2019 Commencement by the numbers

  • Largest-ever graduating class: 2,144
  • Record number of bachelor’s degrees: 1,421 
  • Record number of doctoral degrees: 88
  • Record commencement attendance: 10,000
Aerial view of commencement on campus and a city view in the background.
An estimated 10,000 guests, families and friends of graduates, set an attendance record at Spring 2019 Commencement.
A female graduate smiles at the camera.
Three female graduates smile towards the camera.
The largest class of doctoral students (88) in the university’s history was hooded at Spring 2019 Commencement.
Female graduate's cap with quote "Nevertheless, she persisted".

The first three newly licensed Colorado teachers to earn a four-year CU Denver bachelor’s degree in elementary education entirely at Otero Junior College in LaJunta, Colo., received their diplomas at the ceremony. The first Latinx cohort of the Doctor of Education Leadership for Educational Equity (EdD) graduated, as well.

Two female graduates happily hug each other.
A record number of 1,421 students graduated with bachelor’s degrees at Spring 2019 Commencement.
Female takes a picture of a cap with the quote "I never dreamed about success I worked for it".
Female Professor happily hugs graduate.
The university held its largest-ever commencement ceremony May 18, 2019, at Tivoli Quad, where a record-setting total of 2,144 students graduated.
Chancellor Horell hands a female graduate her diploma.
Chancellor Dorothy Horrell hands graduates their degrees at Spring 2019 Commencement.

Honors and awards

The ceremony acknowledged CU President Bruce Benson, the longest-serving CU president in more than 65 years, who will retire in July. Chancellor Dorothy Horrell made a surprise announcement that the courtyard area between Student Commons and the Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center will be named the Benson Terrace in recognition of President Benson and First Lady Marcy Benson and their service to the university.

Kathleen Beatty, PhD, dean emeritus of the School of Public Affairs, was awarded the University Medal for her service to higher education and the local, national and global community. Jacob Jabs, president and CEO of American Furniture Warehouse, received the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters for his achievements as a business and community leader, his commitment to inspiring and educating the next generation of entrepreneurs and his support of the CU Denver Business School.

President Benson makes his way to the commencement stage.
The Spring 2019 Commencement ceremony acknowledged CU President Bruce Benson, the longest-serving CU president in more than 65 years, who will retire in July.
A graduate takes a picture with her family.
Two graduates happily smile for the camera.
The spring 2019 graduates will join the 92,000-strong CU Denver Alumni community, which reaches over 100 countries.
A graduate smiles for a picture with a friend.
A female graduate's cap with 2019 tassel.