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Alumni Relations

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Traditions & Events

Founders Celebration

Newly imagined for 2016

This year, as the University embarks on a journey of campuswide transformation under the leadership of Chancellor Rebecca Chopp, we took this moment in time to re-imagine one of our most time-honored traditions. Each year, we commemorate the founding of our University on March 5, 1864 with an event that gives us cause to reflect on our past and look toward to our future. In 2016, we expanded this observance with a celebration that spanned two days and invited the entire DU community to participate.

This Founders Celebration offered four opportunities for the University community to gather together and commemorate this important occasion.

Founders Forum

On March 2nd, the DU community gathered at the Cable Center for a showcase of our stellar faculty and academic excellence . The evening celebrated the academic innovation coming out of the University and highlighted a few of the many individuals at DU whose research and teaching is transforming the student experience. Attendees experienced the excitement of new ideas and came together for a lively discussion in an elegant reception. 

Proceeds of the event directly benefited the University of Denver Scholarship Fund. Thank you to all who attended the Forum, you helped raise $4,860 for student scholarships! 



Kim Bender  

Kim Bender
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Work

"Belonging: A basic human need"

 Watch the video here


Erica Chenoweth  

Erica Chenoweth
Professor & Associate Dean for Research, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

"The Stunning Success of Nonviolent Resistance"

 Watch the video here


Phil Danielson  

Phil Danielson
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Division of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

"Bullets to Body Fluids: Justice through Science"

 Watch the video here


Sam Kamin  

Sam Kamin
Vicente Sederberg Professor of Marijuana Law and Policy, Sturm College of Law

"Not Whether, But How: Undoing the Federal Marijuana Prohibition"

 Watch the video here


Lavita Nadkarni  

Lavita Nadkarni
Associate Dean/Director of Forensic Studies, Graduate School of Professional Psychology

"Forensic Psychology at DU: Experiential Training focused on the Public Good"

Watch the video here


Click here to visit the Founders Forum 2016 photo album

Founders Fest

Founders Fest event photo

Founders Fest brought students, faculty and staff together to connect at a casual lunch, learn more about each other and recognize our shared values and culture. Photos of the event can be found here

Founders Gala

 Founders Gala Honorees Robert & Judi Newman, Donald & Susan Sturm, Andrew Taylor

The 2016 Founders Gala, a festive event held at the Sheraton Denver Downtown, honored Robert & Judi Newman and Donald (LLB '58) & Susan M. Sturm with the inaugural Founders Medal, the University’s highest non-academic honor awarded to individuals and families whose transformative leadership and engaged philanthropy represent the pinnacle of DU's mission and values. Additionally, Andrew Taylor (BSBA '70, HDR '01), the Executive Chairman of Enterprise and a DU alumnus, received the Evans Award, the highest honor given to an alum of the university, for outstanding achievement in his profession, humanitarian service in his community and demonstrated continuing interest in the University.


Founders Formal

Founders Formal event photo

Students danced the night away at the Founders Formal, a student-sponsored formal dance for all DU students celebrating One DU and the University's anniversary.

View event photos here
View backdrop photos here


View photos and videos from Founders Gala 2015.