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Introducing the James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus

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Jeremy Haefner

Letter  •

Dear DU community members,

I’m thrilled to share incredibly exciting news with you. With a generous $26 million dollar gift from a University of Denver alumnus, we are taking a dramatic leap forward in our commitment to providing a transformational, 4D Experience for our students and all in the DU community.

I am pleased to announce the

James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus at the

University of Denver!

This invigorating mountain environment, paired with DU’s bustling, urban campus will truly distinguish the University. The experiences we will all have—but most especially our students—at the Kennedy Mountain Campus will strengthen connections to DU, as well as instill a conservation mindset and lifelong appreciation of and respect for the natural world. The Kennedy Mountain Campus will also help build on and foster partnerships within and outside of the University community.

DU’s Board of Trustees named the Kennedy Mountain Campus to honor James C. Kennedy (BSBA ’70) and his enthusiasm and long-held commitment to conservation, sustainability, and outdoor education. Jim Kennedy also deeply believes in DU’s vision for providing students with impactful experiences, as well as learning and skill-building in the great outdoors. Most importantly, because the Kennedy Mountain Campus is funded entirely through philanthropy, there will no additional cost to DU students or families. This is directly related to and guided by our work advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.

In addition, a group of DU faculty experts in anthropology have undertaken a study on the history of the Kennedy Mountain Campus and its land. They will soon enter into the next phase of that work in consultation with our Indigenous partners in a Class III archaeological study of the site, ensuring equity and honest engagement with history remain forefront in our minds and planning.

At the Kennedy Mountain Campus, students will learn, reflect, recreate, connect with others, and reconnect with themselves and their values. It is an investment in and accelerator of DU’s 4D Experience model of education. DU students will now have a unique location from which to further the exploration of their character and nurture their well-being, as well as build bonds with peers. A location ripe for the deepening and discovery of passions and interests—from hiking, yoga, and rock climbing to painting, writing, leadership development, relationship building and beyond—the Kennedy Mountain Campus is a space for all students, of all backgrounds, abilities and interests.

The Kennedy Mountain Campus will also complement the work of DU’s faculty. Vital research will find a natural home here. Additionally, the Kennedy Mountain Campus will provide an inspirational setting for professional and personal development for DU’s faculty and staff to engage in think-tanks, conferences, and creative and leadership retreats. Through mentoring, supplemental classroom opportunities, and immersive learning experiences, faculty members can also deepen their engagement with students.

DU’s faculty and staff will play a vital role in building the curricular and co-curricular programming. DU students of today and tomorrow can expect outdoor leadership training and living, pre-orientation retreats, a universal first-year and transfer students Kennedy Mountain Campus experience (a unique opportunity to build tradition and a touchstone to be shared by the entire student community), weekend immersives on vital topics such as ethics, sustainability, and DEI, as well as interterm and alternative break opportunities.


 James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus

  • Located in Larimer County, Colorado
  • 724 acres of rolling terrain with rock outcroppings adjacent to Roosevelt National Forest
  • Over 25,000 square feet of existing housing
  • Dining hall, health center, rec center, indoor/outdoor ropes courses, access to public lands
  • Winterized and seasonal cabins
  • Miles of existing trails
  • Property previously owned by Girl Scouts of Colorado; the GSCO will continue to lease a portion of the property for six weeks each summer


I ask the entire DU community to join me in sincere gratitude to James C. Kennedy for his generosity and belief in the Kennedy Mountain Campus and what it will do for our students and community. DU is honored and humbled by his contribution to this institution’s bold, enduring future. Thanks also belong to many individuals who have worked tirelessly and with incredible creativity to make the Kennedy Mountain Campus possible, as well as the faculty and staff who will now help shape our future together in this magnificent natural setting. Your work will positively impact our community for generations to come.

At the James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus at the University of Denver, barriers will be broken and bonds will be created. Students will build memories and connections to last a lifetime. And faculty and staff will facilitate the learning and honing of skills we know students need most to pursue lives of purpose. This is the 4D vision, and it comes alive at the Kennedy Mountain Campus.

This is a landmark moment for DU, and it’s just the beginning. I cannot wait to share more, and I look forward to welcoming students to the Kennedy Mountain Campus this fall.


Jeremy Haefner