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Introducing the Denver Advantage Campus Framework Plan

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Rebecca Chopp

Letter  •

Dear Friends,

Would you like to see a more bustling campus—with places to meet your friends, grab a coffee, maybe even sit around a fire pit? Do you wish the neighborhood around DU had more dining options—options that explore even more of the world’s cuisines? Local shopping where you can pick up anything from an avocado to a pair of socks without getting in a car? How about a hotel to attract more speakers and conferences to DU? And, as I heard countless times while creating DU IMPACT 2025, I know you’d like to see more affordable housing for students, faculty and staff.

Today, we take another step toward realizing our vision for a vibrant campus that serves the needs—and wishes—of our entire community.   

Over the past year, we’ve consulted with over 1,000 individuals—here at DU and beyond. Based on their feedback and after thoughtful planning, I’m thrilled to reveal our Denver Advantage Campus Framework Plan.

This campus plan is a long-term, flexible framework that explores ways DU can evolve over the years and decades ahead. It is the next step in fulfilling the Denver Advantage: a campus designed to fuel the collaborations and relationships proven to help students succeed, now and throughout their lives.

The first step was taken in May 2017, when we announced three new buildings that will transform the student experience at the University of Denver. Construction on those critical projects begins this summer, with the brand-new Community Commons, first-year residence hall and Pioneer Career Achievement Center set to open in Fall 2020.

With the help of architecture and planning firm, Ayers Saint Gross, the larger Campus Framework incorporates the findings of an array of experts in sustainability, mobility, space analytics and real estate economics, as well as the needs and aspirations of our community.

With the Denver Advantage and the Campus Framework Plan, we’re envisioning DU’s future as a vibrant college town in the heart of our growing, ever more dynamic city. We want to see our beautiful 125-acre campus become more active. We want to see its retail, hospitality and restaurant options more abundant, its bikeways and pedestrian infrastructure safer and more robust. We want our signage to be more welcoming and our parking more visitor friendly. We want our future development to be even more sustainable, and we want to find ways to make more affordable housing options available to our students, faculty and staff.

Some of these goals can be realized within the next year. Others are long-term projects that will require partnerships, donors and thorough due diligence. And, as with any such framework, it will adapt over time.

The University of Denver began as a small community of scholars in the Rocky Mountain West and transformed itself into a global institution. Please celebrate with me as we look forward to the next phase of our University’s evolution.


Rebecca Chopp