The University of Denver dates back to 1864, when it was founded as the Colorado Seminary. The Civil War destabilized the region, and the Seminary closed and reopened, trying to adapt, until 1880, at which point it became the secular (but still Methodist-influenced) University of Denver. Around that time, DU's campus moved from the downtown to its current home away from the city's center, and it began to grow. The Daniels College of Business opened in 1908 as one of the first ten of its kind in the nation.
After World War II, the school's population peaked at over 15,000 students. In recent years that number has settled closer to 10,000, split between grads and undergrads.
The picturesque, 125-acre DU campus is located seven miles from downtown Denver and is connected to the city by light rail. The school is an arboretum and, when not covered in snow, its grounds are lush and well-maintained. Two buildings date back to the 19th century: University Hall and Evan’s Chapel. Others are much newer, including the just-opened Newman Center for the Performing Arts and the Strum School of Law, which was completed in 2003.
DU benefits from being an urban campus -- it’s connected via light rail to Denver’s bustling downtown -- that's also only an hour away from the Rocky Mountains. Some students complain that there isn’t much of a college town feel to the University neighborhood where most of them live; others are preoccupied with Greek Life on campus, interning in the city, or learning how to snowboard.
Winter Carnival is an annual February festival of skiing and partying in the mountains.
May Daze is a week-long springtime festival including a moon bounce, live music, and food.
Mr. DU is a competition to crown the hottest Denver man, sponsored by the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority.
Drag Queen Fashion Show: Like Mr. DU, but in drag.
David Adkins (attended) is the actor and comedian known as “Sinbad”
Pete Coors '70 is the chairman of Coors Brewing Company and partial owner of the Colorado Rockies
Gale Norton '75 served as the first female Secretary of the Interior
Condoleeza Rice '74 served as U.S. Secretary of State under President George W. Bush
Andrew C. Taylor '70 is the CEO of Enterprise Rent-A-Car
An NCAA Division I school with a focus on both institutional and recreational athletics, DU is consistently chosen as one of the fittest schools in America. The Pioneers won their first national championship in skiing in 1954 and had racked up eighteen more by 2008; they now hold the record for most titles. Ice hockey is taken very seriously on campus as well. The team has won seven national championships, including back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005. The golf, tennis, lacrosse, and gymnastics programs are also strong. DU does not have a football team.
John Evans founded DU as well as Northwestern University in Illinois.
Walt Disney designed one of DU's original mascots, who was based on Daniel Boone.
The "DU Rose" is a unique hybrid that blooms on campus every year around Commencement.
The Chipotle restaurant in the University neighborhood was the first in the nation.
First- and second-year students are required to live on campus unless they are commuting from home. They have six dorms to choose from:
Centennial Halls (first-years)
Johnson-McFarlane Hall (first-years)
Centennial Towers (sophomores)
Nelson Hall (sophomores)
Nagel Hall (sophomores, juniors and seniors)
Within these dorms, the school offers six Living and Learning Communities (LLCs) that combine residential and academic experiences.
Upperclassmen who opt to live on campus can share a suite, have their own efficiency, or nab a traditional apartment.