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Scenes from the Inauguration Soirée

See and hear from the government officials, business leaders and more who attended the fundraising event benefiting the C2 Hub.

By Matt Watson

September 12, 2018

President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., stands with Gen. Darren W. McDew (left) and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock (right) at Davidson
President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., stands with Gen. Darren W. McDew (left) and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock (right) at Davidson's Inauguration Soirée on Sept. 7, 2018. Photo by Mark Woolcott

The road from classroom to career starts with a soirée.

Some 500 members of the Denver community came together Friday to celebrate Metropolitan State University of Denver at the Inauguration Soirée honoring President Janine Davidson, Ph.D. Several notable leaders showed their support for the president and the University by attending the Soirée, MSU Denver’s third annual fundraising gala, whose proceeds will go toward the University’s Classroom to Career Hub initiative.

Visit the Inauguration Soirée photo gallery and read below to see what Denver leaders had to say about President Davidson, the C2 Hub and MSU Denver.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock:

“I am a huge supporter and a big admirer of this venerable institution. The Bible teaches us that you must be a light unto the world. … You can’t hide a house that sits on a hill. Metropolitan State University sits upon that hill, and you have become a light unto our community.”

Marilee Utter, president of Citiventure Associates LLC and chair of the MSU Denver Foundation Board of Directors:

“One of the things I appreciate the most is that Janine is very much following in (President Emeritus) Stephen Jordan’s footsteps. She took this vision of becoming a premier urban university and is making it her own and taking us there. The continuity is wonderful, and it’s a humble thing for her to do. She didn’t come in and turn the world upside down.”

Ron Tilton, president of FirstBank Holding Co. and vice chair of the Foundation Board of Directors:

“Diversity is another thing you hear about MSU Denver – it has the traditional diversity that most HR departments look at, whether that’s gender or ethnicity, but the other part that’s not talked about a lot is diversity of economic background. That’s just as important as we build a great culture in our organization (FirstBank) to have people of different backgrounds. MSU Denver looks like Colorado.”

Rob Cohen, MSU Denver trustee:

“One of the things that I think is really powerful is the alignment between what Dr. Davidson appears to be, her personal value system, and the value system of this University. You can’t make that up. You can’t fake it.”

Jim Mulligan, MSU Denver trustee:

“Stephen Jordan did some transformative things to get this University to its next level, and at the same time he set it up for someone to come in and transform it further. Janine is perfect for that. She came in, with her focus solely on students, and she’s turned that into a new career hub. Within one year, she’s organized this campus in a way that I’d not thought possible.”

Jeff Shoemaker, MSU Denver trustee:

“As a trustee, my first goal is to champion the college-to-career initiative so we can become GAJ University – Get a Job University – where the students get a full experiential education but also connect with future employers so they can become future employees. The second goal of mine is to discuss how we can better balance the level of support that MSU Denver receives from the state of Colorado.”

Gen. Darren W. McDew, who served with Davidson in the Air Force:

“We promote in this business (the military) by faith. You don’t get a job because of what you know – it’s about how fast you can learn and how quickly you can adapt. It’s about the potential to serve in a next, bigger opportunity. That’s the foundation she brings here. It isn’t where you come from; it’s about where you’re determined to go.”

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