Skip to Content

Long-time Burns School professor gifts endowed professorship

Back to News Listing


Connor Mokrzycki


Profile  • News  •
Glenn Mueller

“Students often ask, ‘What should I do for a living?’ My answer is God gives us all very different gifts. Figure out your gift, do it for a living, and it doesn’t feel like work,” says alumnus Glenn Mueller (BSBA ’74), professor in the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management.

For Mueller, that gift was understanding the complexities of real estate markets and investing and making them easy for others to understand.

Announcing his retirement after more than two decades of service to DU, the internationally recognized scholar is gifting the University $1 million to endow a named professorship in the Burns School.

First as a student, then as an alumnus, professor, DU husband and DU dad, Mueller has deep ties to the DU community. His wife Jan (MA ’91) and their sons Graham (BSBA ’07) and Andrew (MS ’08) are all DU alumni. “Now Andrew is a professor here,” Mueller says.

But before his time as a professor, Mueller walked the halls as an undergraduate student. Originally from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Mueller has been passionate about skiing from a young age and when it came time to apply to colleges, he says, DU’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains made it all the more attractive. But when he visited campus, his mind was made up. “I fell in love, applied, got in and started at DU on my 18th birthday,” he says.

While making weekly trips to the mountains as a member of the Alpine Club, Mueller pursued a degree in finance and was introduced to the world of real estate by Mike Crean, emeritus professor in the Burns School. After graduating in 1974, Mueller moved to Boston where he met his wife and earned an MBA from Babson College before moving back to Denver to work as a bank loan analyst.

While looking for a house in the Mile High City, Mueller knew just who to ask. “I called up my former professor, Mike Crean. We ended up building houses next to each other, right over on York Street,” he says. The pair became not only neighbors but also lifelong friends and golf partners.

After another move back East to work as a developer and builder, Mueller returned to the University to teach as an adjunct professor in 1984—per Crean’s recommendation. Mueller fell in love with teaching, prompting him to earn a PhD from Georgia State in 1986. He returned to teaching at DU until 1990, when he dove into research in the institutional real estate investing world, while also teaching at Johns Hopkins University and then Colorado State University. Handling two jobs for more than 30 years, Mueller says, “Industry work made me more relevant in the classroom.”

In 2006, Mueller once again returned to his alma mater as a full professor, where he has remained ever since. Mueller has published more than 100 articles on real estate investment strategies and capital markets. Best known for his quarterly real estate market cycle reports, Mueller has lectured at hundreds of industry events and more than 40 universities around the globe.

Glenn Mueller at Arapahoe Basin

In retirement, Mueller plans to continue conducting and presenting research on real estate market cycles and working on affordable housing development. He also plans to pursue his 60-year passion for skiing—on snow and on water—continuing to volunteer as a host and tour guide at Arapahoe Basin in the winters and taking to the lakes in the summers. Mueller has water skied competitively for 40 years. In 2019, he won the New Hampshire state championship, took second at New England regionals and placed ninth at the water ski nationals.

Throughout his years in academia and industry, Mueller put his expertise to use for the public good, chairing industry research committees, holding leadership roles in academic organizations, sitting on four church building committees, working on 13 Habitat for Humanity projects with his sons and, most recently, joining the board of Sharing Connexion, an organization that lends its real estate expertise to affordable housing organizations and nonprofits.

As he transitions out of his teaching role at DU, Mueller sees his gift as a way of giving back to the community that played a major role in his life.

“The University has been good to me. It’s my alma mater, and I love it,” Mueller says. “I practice what I teach. And part of that is giving back. So many of my good friends are former students.”

Mueller’s gift provides significant funds for the Burns School to hire an associate professor, who will hold the Glenn Mueller Endowed Professorship. This not only secures a new faculty member’s position at the University but enables the school to attract another nationally renowned scholar and teacher, says Vivek Sah, director of the Burns School.

Mueller’s years teaching and researching at DU have left their mark on campus and beyond.

“His contributions as a scholar and professor, and his impact on students at the University and the real estate community locally and nationally, have been immense. He has contributed significantly to the real estate discipline and advanced the discipline as much as anyone could,” Sah says. “He carries our flame—our torch—wherever he goes.”

This article is from the Winter 2024 issue of the University of Denver Magazine. Please visit the magazine website for additional content.