All posts by LetsGoDU

DU confirms Pioneer tradition erasures by Division of Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence

The University of Denver’s New Vice-Chancellor for Marketing and Communications, Renea Morris, has confirmed to LetsGoDU that at least two long-standing programs under DU’s Division of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence have recently been given name changes which have removed the word “Pioneer” from the names. The same “Inclusive Excellence” team was also believed to have been a central player in a number of other anti-Pioneer activities on campus between 2016 and 2018, including the 2017 so-called “mask ban” that now prevents the unofficial school mascot, Denver Boone, from appearing on campus. Continue reading DU confirms Pioneer tradition erasures by Division of Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence

DU ‘Pioneers’ nickname once again at risk due to internal sabotage and erosion

Once again, recent University of Denver administrative action appears to be sabotaging the Pioneer nickname, this time quietly removing “Pioneer” from two long-standing, on-campus programs, the Pioneer Awards and Pioneer Passage. Both programs have recently been renamed to eliminate the word “Pioneer,” directly contradicting a 2018 DU Board of Trustees decision to keep the 95-year-old Pioneer nickname in place.

You’ll recall that in January 2018, we broke the story that a so-called “mask ban” was suspiciously enacted by DU to prevent the “Denver Boone” mascot from appearing at DU home games. Within weeks of that debacle, we reported that the DU central administration was secretly colluding with student groups to change the “Pioneer” nickname to “Trailblazers”. Within weeks of our stories, after vociferous objections from the alumni and fan community, then-DU Board of Trustees Chairman Doug Scrivner sent out a damage-control email with assurances that the Pioneer nickname was not going to change.

Still, the Pioneer nickname continues to be slowly scrubbed away from within. Since many of our DU fans and readers are not currently on campus, we believed it was our duty to report on this sabotage so that these quiet steps could be brought into the public sphere.

First, then-Chancellor Rebecca Chopp quietly renamed the Evans Award, the highest recognition the University could bestow, as the Chancellors’ Medal, in order to help rid DU of its association with its western pioneer founder, John Evans.

Next, in early 2019, DU’s long-standing student awards program, The Pioneer Awards, was suddenly (and quietly) renamed the Crimson and Gold Awards.

And we now have proof that Pioneer Passage, the meaningful induction ceremony during first-year orientation week, has apparently been renamed New Student Convocation, set to debut this September. The projected orientation schedule created on Apil 29th, 2019 had “Pioneer Passage” scheduled for 10:45 AM on Tuesday September 3rd, while a July 22, 2019 version of the same schedule now has “New Student Convocation” slated for the same time and date, proving that DU dropped “Pioneer Passage” name sometime between April and July of 2019. Continue reading DU ‘Pioneers’ nickname once again at risk due to internal sabotage and erosion

Rapid Reaction: Provost Dr. Jeremy Haefner named Denver’s 19th Chancellor

In a rapid-fire decision, the University of Denver Board of Trustees has decided to continue its current strategic momentum and promote its own provost, Dr. Jeremy Haefner, to be the 19th Chancellor of the University. On July 15, Haefner will officially replace Dr. Rebecca Chopp, who recently stepped down due to health issues after a five-year tenure.

Outgoing Chancellor Rebecca Chopp had named Haefner Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor on July 15, 2018. He joined DU from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in New York where, for 10 years, he served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Haefner is now quite familiar with The University of Denver’s current strategies, financial realities, staff, students, and shortcomings. Furthermore, DU is in the midst of the quiet period of a billion-dollar capital campaign and likely valued the continuity of a quick, qualified hire over the uncertainty of a long and expensive national search, new leadership, and a potentially different core direction. Continue reading Rapid Reaction: Provost Dr. Jeremy Haefner named Denver’s 19th Chancellor

NCAA Championships Day 4: Denver’s Jett Seymour wins Slalom National Championship

Photo: Courtesy of Denver AthleticsNational Champion Jett Seymour

The Denver Alpine team took to the slopes on the final day of the NCAA Skiing Championships in Stowe, Vermont. While the Pioneers did not repeat as team champions, a DU sophomore won an individual NCAA championship.

On the men’s side, DU sophomore Jett Seymour became a national champion and All-American with a first-place finish in the men’s slalom Saturday morning.

On the women’s side, Denver had another strong Alpine performance as Andrea Komsic finished 6th and Amelia Smart finished 4th in slalom. Both are now  All-Americans. Continue reading NCAA Championships Day 4: Denver’s Jett Seymour wins Slalom National Championship

NCAA Championships Day 3: Pioneers fade in Nordic Classical

Photo: Courtesy of DenverPioneers.com

The Pioneers continued their recent trend of every-other-year wins. And, Denver is usually not at their best when out East. It has never been more true than Friday when the Nordic team experienced another bad day.

Denver’s hopes for a repeat national championship were all but dashed in Stowe, Vermont Friday when the Pioneers struggled at the men’s (20k) and women’s (15k) Classical events. Denver needed to hold serve or make a little bit of progress but neither happened this morning. Continue reading NCAA Championships Day 3: Pioneers fade in Nordic Classical

NCAA Championships Day 2: Pioneers cling to fragile title hopes

“Nothing is over until we decide it is!” – Bluto, Animal House

Cynics will say, “No chance”. But remember 2017 when the Pioneers led by 34.5 points going into the final day and finished third? With two days remaining and a 31 point deficit faced by the Pioneers, Denver is still within striking distance of this year’s NCAA Skiing Championship.

The men’s and women’s Giant Slalom was featured Thursday morning in Stowe, Vermont. The Pioneers rebounded from the prior day’s Nordic performance with top 10 finishes in both the men’s and women’s sides. Denver (228 points) now sits in 4th place. Dartmouth leads the field with 259 points on the strength of a powerful women’s Giant Slalom finish by all three of their team members. Denver trails Vermont by 17 points and Utah by 24 points. Continue reading NCAA Championships Day 2: Pioneers cling to fragile title hopes

NCAA Championships Day 1: DU Skiers face tough uphill battle

Article special to LetsGoDU by Denver Ski Team Insider Tim Healy

The 2019 NCAA Skiing Championships began Wednesday in Stowe, Vermont.

The Pioneers began their defense of their 2018 title, hoping to clinch their 25th title. But it was a challenging day for the Crimson and Gold.

On the Nordic side, Coach Dave Stewart has a new look squad. After losing some of his team members from last season to graduation and illness, Stewart fielded three skiers this year that are new to the NCAA Championships – but show strong potential. During the 10k event, Eivind Kvaale led the Pioneers to an 11th place finish while other newcomers Borger Norrud (24th)  and OleMarius Kirkeng (27th) finished back in the pack. I have nicknamed the three Norwegians –  the “Attacking Vikings” – but today was not the type of day they could attack. Continue reading NCAA Championships Day 1: DU Skiers face tough uphill battle

Mission Accomplished: DU-affiliated Fight Oar Die completes 3,000-mile row

Article by and photo courtesy Jason Evans

The actor Kevin Conroy once said “Everyone is handed adversity in life. No one’s journey is easy. It’s how they handle it that makes people unique.” That sentiment perfectly sums up “Fight Oar Die,” the DU-affiliated group of four veterans who took on a grueling 3,000-nautical mile row across the Atlantic Ocean in a UK-based competition known as the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Continue reading Mission Accomplished: DU-affiliated Fight Oar Die completes 3,000-mile row

A Day with the Denver Ski Team

Below is an account from LetsGoDU ski team insider, Tim Healy, on this season’s outlook for DU’s defending national champions. His recent day with the team is chronicled below:


This past Saturday the DU ski team hosted its annual Ski with the Team fundraiser up at Winter Park Resort. Members of both the Alpine and Nordic teams joined supporters and friends of the program on the Winter Park Express for a train ride up to the slopes. On board the train the athletes served beverages and breakfast burritos from local favorite Snooze an A.M. Bakery. Once we arrived at the mountain, we hit the slopes. I was joined by senior Tuva Norbye, junior Storm Klomhaus, sophomore Amelia Smart, & freshman Katie Hensien. And, frankly, how many sports can you spend the day with NCAA national champions doing a hobby you love to do! Continue reading A Day with the Denver Ski Team