The First Word

MSU Denver is redefining the role of urban universities.

By Stephen M. Jordan, Ph.D. President

Publish Date: June 24, 2014

Stephen M. Jordan, Ph.D., President


Metropolitan State University of Denver stands on the threshold of creating something entirely unique in urban higher education. We’ve embraced our role as an epicenter for urban impact—an institution that is setting the national example for providing a high-quality education that is accessible to all. A university that is woven into civic life, that is actively serving the needs of our community, bolstering our state’s economy and  finding solutions to the issues of our nation’s increasingly urbanized society.

As MSU Denver nears its 50th anniversary in 2015–16, we can reflect with pride on how we have transformed—and are transforming—individual lives, our community and higher education itself.

Our impact includes preparing talented and energetic workers for some of Colorado’s leading industries. One successful example is the on-campus Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center, which opened in 2012 and is a pipeline for the state’s burgeoning hospitality industry. With the generous support of Navin and Rita Dimond, our Hospitality, Tourism and Events program is poised to lead the way in preparation of a new generation of industry leaders.

In planning our 50th anniversary celebration, we’re also looking ahead at new ways we will shape Denver, our state and our world in the next half-century.

One of those ways includes our Aerospace Engineering Sciences (AES) initiative, which will capitalize on Colorado’s prominent position in the aviation, aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries and enhance the University’s standing as a national educational leader in these fields. This ambitious project is in the spirit of our mission and will help keep Colorado’s economy thriving well into the future.

Fitting for a university located in the heart of the Mile High City, this issue of the Metropolitan Denver Magazine celebrates lofty ambitions, big achievements and people in high places—accomplished alumni such as Katherine Archuleta, head of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; former Denver Broncos VP for Corporate Communications Jim Saccomano; and Miss Native American USA Sarah Ortegon. They are wonderful examples of what it means to be a Roadrunner.

We’re well on our way to becoming the nation’s preeminent public urban institution, and the evidence is written on every page of this magazine. I hope you’ll join us on this remarkable journey.