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Oral History

DU campus


The University of Denver's rescue and renewal 1984-2014

With a cadre of talented leaders, expanding enrollment, academic innovation and a strong commitment to serve the public good, the future of the University of Denver is bright indeed. But it was not always so. In the mid-1980's, the University was in severe straits with a future that was neither certain nor secure.

The University's rise from the brink of bankruptcy is a true renaissance tale. It is not one story, but many; a series of interwoven narratives created by men and women who were personally involved in saving the University and undertaking an extraordinary process of renewal. Coming from diverse backgrounds but sharing a deep commitment to DU, their achievements paved the way for today's University of Denver.

This oral history project covers the period of 1984 through 2014. Narrators' stories generally fall in to three main categories:
The Perfect Storm 1982-1989 A time of severe financial adversity threatening the University's very existence
Back from the Brink 1990-1995 The University's dramatic financial turnaround and academic stabilization
A Tide of Renewal 1996-2014 Academic innovation, enrollment growth and financial vitality position the University for national prominence