Dear Alumni and Friends,
When CU's Denver campus transitioned from a satellite of the Boulder campus to its place as a full-fledged campus of the University of Colorado 40 years ago, part of its charge was to bring a full range of quality CU programs to Denver. CU Denver has delivered on that promise and then some. It has emerged as one of the leading urban universities in the United States and is a key contributor to the vibrancy of the metro area.
CU is taking the next step in its service to our state and the Denver metro region thanks to the vision and generosity of Dave and Gail Liniger, who recently donated The Wildlife Experience facility – the popular Douglas County wildlife art and natural history museum – to the university. Their gift, valued at $40 million, is the largest real estate donation in CU's 138-year history.
The Liniger Building at CU South Denver (off I-25 and Lincoln Avenue) allows us to build on our legacy of service to the city and state by expanding our offerings in the fast-growing south metro area. Our partnership began in the spring, when we teamed with the Linigers to convert 11,000-square feet of the 151,000-square foot facility to classroom and laboratory space. We began offering classes there this fall, with CU Denver and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus leading the way. In January, CU will take over operation of the building. CU Denver will manage the facility for us, but it will house programs from each of our four campuses.
I applaud the Linigers for their vision. The Wildlife Experience has been a touchstone cultural offering in south Denver since opening in 2002, so bringing the quality of CU programs to the area is a natural fit.
Before we entered into our initial collaboration with The Wildlife Experience or offered classes, we surveyed some of the key businesses and professional organizations in the area as part of a needs assessment. We found some gaps in workforce development and educational offerings in areas such as health care and public health, engineering, finance, aerospace and others. We are tailoring our offerings to meet the particular needs of the south metro area, which is home to about one-third of the population of metro Denver.
We look forward to serving the greater metro community by growing our presence in south Denver and continuing to work with the area's businesses. It's a natural extension of our mission and a wonderful complement to the vision of the Linigers.
As we know from the experience of our Denver campus, higher education is a key component of economic vibrancy and quality of life. We trust that CU South Denver will have that kind of impact on the south metro region. We are grateful to Dave and Gail Liniger for their generosity. Their transformational gift will have a substantial impact for decades to come.
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