Previous Chancellors

A History of University Chancellors

Founded in 1864 as the Colorado Seminary, the University of Denver has been shaped by a distinguished group of visionary leaders.

Since 1880, the University has been directed by a chancellor working in conjunction with a board of trustees, as well as faculty, staff and alumni. To date, the University has been led by 18 chancellors:

Note: Gaps in the chronology reflect periods when the University was led by an acting chancellor.



Rebecca Chopp

September 2014-present

Robert Coombe

July 2005-June 2014

Daniel L. Ritchie

July 1989-June 2005

Dwight Morrell Smith

January 1984-July 1989

Ross Pritchard

October 1978-January 1984

Maurice Bernard Mitchell

September 1967-March 1978

Chester M. Alter

August 1953-July 1966

Albert Charles Jacobs

November 1949-March 1953

Alfred Clarence Nelson, interim

October 1948-November 1949

James F. Price

April-October 1948

Ben Mark Cherrington

November 1943-February 1946

Caleb Frank Gates

March 1941-November 1943

February 1946-August 1947

David Shaw Duncan

September 1935-March 1941

Frederick Maurice Hunter

July 1928-September 1935

Heber Reece Harper

November 1922-January 1927

Henry Augustus Buchtel

December 1899-September 1920

William Fraser McDowell

1890-June 1899

David Hastings Moore

October 1880-June 1889