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Press Release

Students Celebrate Start of Academic Year With New ‘University’ Status and Home

First Year Success Program doubles participation with new building

Contact: Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: September 4, 2012

(Denver) — For students returning to campus this fall at Metropolitan State University of Denver there is much to celebrate as the institution continues its metamorphosis.    

 The official ribbon cutting of MSU Denver’s 100 percent student-funded Student Success Building and celebration of the institution’s recent move to university status will be held on Sept. 5 at 11 a.m. at the building’s south entrance. While initial occupation of the building started back in March, the building’s classroom space had not been fully utilized until the start of this fall semester.

 “The Student Success Building has not only allowed us to double the number of students in our First Year Success program, but it creates a unique opportunity for centralizing our wide range of support programs while providing a new landmark for the university both inside and out,” says President Stephen Jordan says.

MSU Denver is serving nearly 1,000 first-year students in defined academic learning communities this fall and all 2,000 first-year students have access to co-curricular programs to provide support and student engagement opportunities, says Cynthia Baron, associate director of the First Year Success Program.

The four-story Student Success Building has 145,000 square feet of dedicated space for MSU Denver classrooms, support programs and administration offices with an adjacent central quad. In addition to the First Year Success Program there are several other unique programs housed in the new building, including the Center for Innovation and CAVEA (Center for Advanced Visualization and Experiential Analysis). The building represents the first MSU Denver-dedicated facility on campus, as the initial anchor to the University neighborhood square property.

In addition to Jordan, speakers on hand to celebrate will include: Board of Trustee Ellen Robinson, Student Government Assembly President Laura Noe and Student Trustee Jesse Altum. Students approved a special fee in April of 2009 to provide the funding to make the building possible. Unanimous approval from the Capital Development Committee of the Colorado State Legislature and the Governor’s Office followed. The student fee to finance the construction was assessed up to 12 credit hours, which total at $19.80 per credit hour in 2012.

The total budget for the project was $62 million, which includes $10 million for the renovation of 129,000 square feet of existing classrooms and faculty offices freed up by the new building. The building is designed to adhere to a minimum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold status for energy efficiency and sustainability, and is a benchmark for future buildings within MSU Denver’s new neighborhood.

The architect for the building was RNL and the general contractor was Saunders Construction. More about the building as well as other MSU Denver capital projects can be found at


About Metropolitan State University of Denver

With 23,000 students, MSU Denver is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans and enrolls the highest number of students of color among the state’s four-year colleges. The University offers 55 majors and master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. It boasts more than 75,000 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.