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Introducing Nineteen

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Jeremy Haefner

Letter  •



Dear Members of the DU Community,

It was the culture of DU that made me want to serve as provost, and it’s the culture which makes me so proud and also honored to now be serving as DU’s nineteenth chancellor.

More than anything, an institution—a formal term for a community with a common goal—is supported and defined by its culture. Culture can’t be mandated, and it certainly isn’t created top-down. It’s built over time by the diverse people who spend significant portions of their lives working, studying, collaborating, innovating, and connecting with their colleagues, peers, and friends.

Here on this campus our culture is defined by an ineffable sense of resilience and grit, but also of compassion, tolerance, intellectual curiosity, openness, and creativity. I see it in our faculty, in their research and how they conduct their classrooms. I see it in our staff, a group of individuals singularly dedicated to keep this institution humming. Most importantly, I see it in our students. I see it in how they apply themselves in the classroom and lab as well as on the field, the rink, the stage, and the canvas. I see it as they create businesses from the ground up. I see it when they courageously stand up for what they believe in. It is a privilege to be here, to participate in DU’s culture and to continue fostering it for generations of students to come.

So, I can’t wait for what lies ahead. At DU, we are standing on the shoulders of giants, but we are not satisfied with simply enjoying the view. We are continually improving so that the next generation can see even farther. What a great and wonderful responsibility.

I am humbled by how many people in our community came to last week’s meet and greet event. It was a particular pleasure to meet so many new faces and to introduce my best friend and wife, Maurin. Because it is summer (and boy, it was hot) when many in our community are not on campus, there will be many more opportunities to come together. One such opportunity is to join me for road scholars training runs to get ready for this year's Crimson Classic! Our first training run will be July 31 at 11:30 a.m. Meet me at the north stairs of the Ritchie Center for a 30-minute run. 

I want to stay in close communication with campus and will use this Nineteen letter as one way to do so. I’m also on both Twitter and Instagram, and I will be attending many campus meetings and events in the coming weeks and months.

And why Nineteen? Because I am the 19th Chancellor and 19 is a very interesting number. Here are some fun facts about 19:

  • 19 is prime!
  • Adding the digits of 1864 (our founding year) equals 19!
  • The prime factors of 2019 are 3 and 673 so adding those digits equals … you guessed it … 19!
  • 19 is the atomic number for potassium!

Finally, I want to thank you all for giving me such a warm and gracious welcome as your chancellor. Your kindness is an unimpeachable reflection of this campus, and I’m deeply grateful to count you all as my colleagues and friends.


Jeremy Haefner