Class of 2027 Arrives on Campus for Convocation and Discoveries Orientation
The fifth largest first-year class in the University of Denver’s history arrived on campus Sept. 5 for Convocation and Discoveries Orientation, kicking off the class of 2027’s academic journey.
After moving into their dorms, the first-years, transfer students and their families were welcomed to DU at Convocation. Chancellor Jeremy Haefner greeted them from center ice in Magness Arena, celebrating the beginning of fall quarter. “We are so excited because you are here,” Chancellor Haefner said. “But we are also so excited because you are the first students to be fully immersed in DU’s four-dimensional experience, our structured, intentional, holistic approach to education. It’s an education that focuses on the four dimensions of your life: Your intellect, your career, your wellbeing and your character.”
The students and their families were also greeted by Todd Adams, vice chancellor of student affairs and inclusive excellence; Todd Rinehart, vice chancellor of admissions; Mary Clark, provost and executive vice chancellor; and MJ Hyde and Zach Headley, president and vice president of undergraduate student government.
Made up of 1,471 students, the inaugural 4D class hails from 935 different high schools. Out-of- state students are 72% of the class, representing 47 states and 27 countries. Nearly two thirds of the class travelled more than 500 miles to reach campus. Of the 177 transfer students, 89 are living on campus—a record high for the University.
Acknowledging students’ past experiences and accomplishments, Rinehart echoed the chancellor’s excitement for the new students’ arrival on campus. “Academically, you impressed us with your intelligence and desire to learn. Personally, your stories brought us smiles, laughs and tears. You are successful athletes, musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, writers, committed to social justice and community engagement,” he said. “You’ve made a difference in the lives of many, and we are thrilled to welcome your many talents to campus.”
Clark encouraged students to take advantage of and explore DU’s countless academic and cocurricular offerings. “This is your time to learn what else is out there,” she said. “Do experiment, do explore, and you will be happier for it.”
From their first day on campus, the class of 2027 has nearly endless opportunities to explore their passions and meet new people throughout their undergraduate studies. During the week-long Discoveries Orientation, students attended orientation sessions, met their 4D peer mentors and began their academic journey with their first-year seminars. These seminars, which are designed by individual professors around their passions and areas of expertise, range from learning about the art and literature of travelling through the United States in “The American Road Trip” to everyday chemical reactions in “You Are What You Eat: A Course in Food Chemistry.” A spattering of evening events, including ice-skating, laser tag, late-night ice cream, and demonstrations by a hypnotist, provided students a chance to socialize and meet their peers.
And Discoveries Week is only the beginning of the support that the class of 2027 will receive to develop their intellectual growth, careers and lives of purpose, wellbeing and character throughout their time here. Chancellor Haefner encouraged students to take advantage of DU’s four signature experiences: undergraduate research opportunities, internships in Denver, First Ascent at the Kennedy Mountain Campus and the University’s world-renowned study abroad program—which all support students on their academic journey and create moments to reflect and learn. “Four dimensions, four signature experiences, all integrated by reflection, exceptional classroom learning and dedicated mentors,” said Chancellor Haefner. “This is the 4D experience.”
Concluding his speech with a request of the class of 2027, Chancellor Haefner asked the students to think ahead to the future. “I want everyone, everyone here today, to be here on June 12, 2027, graduating from the University of Denver. In the meantime, I want to hear about all of your stories of discovery,” he said. “Stop me, say hello and enchant me with your experiences and reflections. I cannot wait to hear your stories. Go DU!”