DENVER, Oct. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — On Tuesday, October 5, the University of Denver (DU) unveiled a plan that significantly enhances the University’s student experience and its impact on the Rocky Mountain Region. Chancellor Jeremy Haefner announced that DU has acquired 724 acres of land in Colorado’s Larimer County, adjacent to Roosevelt National Forest, and two hours northwest of Denver. This wilderness mountain setting will make up the James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus and distinguish DU as the only U.S. university that integrates an urban and mountain experience for all its students.
“We are taking a dramatic leap forward in our commitment to providing a transformational four-dimensional experience for our students—one that emphasizes advancing intellectual growth, exploring character, promoting well-being, and pursuing careers and lives of purpose,” says Haefner. “By the time they graduate, every DU undergraduate and graduate student will have had the opportunity to learn and grow at this remarkable place.”
Purchase of the $11.25 million property was made possible by a $26 million gift from DU alumnus James C. Kennedy (BSBA ’70). Mr. Kennedy is an avid outdoorsman with a long-held commitment to conservation, sustainability and education. DU’s Board of Trustees named the campus after him to honor his enthusiasm for and commitment to outdoor education and DU’s shared vision about the impact the experiences of a mountain campus will bring to DU’s students. The Kennedy Mountain Campus will be funded entirely through philanthropy and will not add additional fees or costs to students and their families.
At an elevation of 8,000 feet, the James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus was formerly the Magic Sky Ranch, a property owned and used by the Girl Scouts of Colorado (GSCO) primarily as a summer camp. GSCO will continue to lease a portion of the site for its camps for six weeks each summer. In addition to dramatic rock formations and a pristine lake, its amenities include a cafeteria with full kitchen; facilities for outdoor leadership training; an indoor gymnasium; and access to public lands for wilderness and end-of-road experiences.
At the Kennedy Mountain Campus, students will learn, reflect, recreate, connect with others, and reconnect with themselves and their values. Programming is expected to span all four seasons and will encompass everything from orientation experiences for first-year students to immersive leadership experiences and alternative break opportunities. The site also lends itself to faculty-led research projects for students interested in sustainability, the environmental sciences and geography, as well as those focusing on ethics and diversity, equity and inclusion.
“It’s a different kind of classroom being outdoors, especially for students who haven’t spent much time experiencing nature. The hope is that they will develop a deeper commitment to preserving our environment,” Kennedy says. “It will be a unique experience and differentiator for the University of Denver. DU will create wonderful programs there and I’m excited to see them get going.”
Students will begin enjoying short opportunities to visit the James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus as early as this fall. Longer stays involving structured programming will begin next fall and will be guided by both faculty leadership on curricular opportunities, and staff input on co-curricular options.
About the University of Denver:
The University of Denver: Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is committed to engaging with students in advancing scholarly inquiry, cultivating critical and creative thought, and generating knowledge. The University strives to educate the 21st-century citizens and leaders needed in its organizations and communities. For additional information, visit the University’s newsroom or follow the University on Facebook and Twitter.
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SOURCE University of Denver