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Press Release

METROPOLITAN STATE UNIVERSITY OF DENVER CELEBRATES ITS 50TH BIRTHDAY, THURSDAY, OCT. 1

Remembering our roots; expanding our reach


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

Posted: October 1, 2015



(DENVER) — MSU Denver honors its founders and future collaborators at its 50th Birthday Celebration on October 1 from 4-6 p.m. on the lawn outside the Student Success Building, 890 Auraria Parkway, Denver.

Birthday Celebration Schedule

4:00- 6:00PM   

  • Pre-show Jumbotron Loop that includes MSU Denver slides
  • Recognition of MSU Denver Founding Fathers Roy Romer and Joe Shoemaker
  • Remarks from MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan
  • Remarks from Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks

From its humble beginnings – two associate degree options and roughly 1,100 student enrollment – to today’s 244 degree options including three master’s degrees and 21,000 students -- MSU Denver is transforming metropolitan Denver’s urban communities through a welcoming urban environment and by building partnerships with industry to provide greater opportunities for success.

While remaining true to its founding mission to provide access to all students, MSU Denver is soaring to new heights. Key strategic initiatives will forge a path for MSU Denver to provide students with the tools and experience they need for future jobs.

Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Initiative – Groundbreaking Oct. 8
Launching MSU Denver on the fast-track to its next 50 years is its Aerospace and Engineering Sciences (AES) building groundbreaking on October 8. The AES building will serve as a training ground for the next generation of professionals in aerospace and advanced manufacturing.

About Metropolitan State University of Denver’s 50th Anniversary
For 50 years, Metropolitan State University of Denver has transformed the lives of students, served as a courageous leader in higher education and boldly advanced the well-being of metro Denver communities. Throughout its history, the University has been known as a gateway to opportunity through broad access, quality academics and education relevant to the Colorado economy. The yearlong MSU Denver anniversary celebration commemorates the creation in 1965 by the Colorado General Assembly of the state’s first urban higher education institution.

MSU Denver Timeline:

  • Oct. 1, 1965, 1,189 students had enrolled at MSU Denver, then known as Metropolitan State College.

  • In 1968, the Colorado Legislature approves $1.9 million for construction of Auraria Higher Education Center.

  • In 1976, MSU Denver relinquishes two-year programs to the Community College of Denver as part of Auraria shared-campus arrangements.

  • Legislative authority was given in 1990 to change the school’s name to Metropolitan State College of Denver; and in 1991 becomes largest school of its kind in the nation.

  • Tivoli Student Union opened in 1994― ultimately voted No. 9 on the 2013 Best College Reviews list of the top 25 student unions in the country.

  • $1.2 million helped fund the World Indoor Airport (WIA) in 1995, a top-notch aerospace simulation laboratory for training pilots and ground professionals. The facility bolstered MSU Denver’s growing Aviation and Aerospace Science Department.

  • During the 2000 decade, the school broke the 20,000-student enrollment mark and led all four-year institutions in minority enrollment.

  • On July 1, 2002, Governor Bill Owens signs a bill separating MSU Denver from the State Colleges in Colorado board of trustees that governs Mesa State, Adams State and Western State.

  • Stephen Jordan becomes president in 2005 with a vision to radically transform the University by spearheading the effort to advance from college to university status.

  • In 2012 the institution received legislative approval to change its name to Metropolitan State University of Denver.

  • Today, MSU Denver serves 21,000 students who see the University campus as a gateway to opportunity for an affordable, high-quality education. Most of the 85,000 graduates of the last 50 years remain in Colorado, fueling Colorado’s economy.

Editor’s Note: MSU Denver Alumni are available for interviews.

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About Metropolitan State University of Denver

MSU Denver is a leader in educating Coloradans in university programs particularly relevant to the state’s economy and the demands of today’s employers. With the highest number of ethnically diverse students among the state’s four-year colleges, MSU Denver offers 58 majors plus master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. More than 21,000 students are currently enrolled at MSU Denver, and 75 percent of the University’s nearly 80,000 graduates have remained in Colorado as valuable members of the state’s workforce.

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