Category Archives: Uncategorized

Purdue-Fort Wayne Leaving Summit League in July, 2020

In a move that was long expected, Purdue University-Fort Wayne (branded as ‘Fort Wayne’) will leave the Summit League for the Horizon League in the midwest, in July of 2020. The Mastodons were the last team in the Summit League in the Eastern time zone. The move will leave the Summit with nine full members, including DU, once Missouri-Kansas City rejoins the league in July of 2020.

“Purdue Fort Wayne and [it’s] athletic administrators have been very upfront about exploring a possible transition to a conference more reflective of their geographic footprint,”  said Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple in a league statement. “This move did not catch anyone in our league off guard and Purdue Fort Wayne’s transparency throughout the process was appreciated…”We will continue the efforts to explore expansion and create new membership options, similar to the recent addition of the University of Missouri Kansas City. Membership changes cause short-term disappointment, but in the long term, our league and its members will continue to prosper and meet the challenges placed in front of them.” Continue reading Purdue-Fort Wayne Leaving Summit League in July, 2020

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

Seven WCHA Members Rock College Hockey with Exit Announcement

Final Phase I Project of the Denver Advantage underway with Leo Block Demolition

After a late start, The Burwell Center for Career Achievement is finally under construction after overcoming several zoning technicalities. The new facility will house Career Services, act as a resource for corporate relations and engagement and provide as a gathering place for alumni and alumni relations. The new facility is being built at the intersection of Asbury Avenue and South Gaylord Street, replacing the former Leo Block Alumni Center.

Burwell Center

Photo: The Burwell Center for Career Achievement will cover 23,000 square feet and meet energy requirements to achieve LEED Platinum designation. In addition to interview spaces and offices, the building will have a guest patio and living room for visitors to the DU campus. Continue reading Final Phase I Project of the Denver Advantage underway with Leo Block Demolition

CC’s new 3,000-seat Robson Arena moves toward 2020 groundbreaking

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CC’s New Robson Arena – Exterior Entrance (note: final colors/materials not yet selected). Photo: Colorado College

Colorado College continues to move forward with the building of its own new 3,000-seat, on-campus Robson Arena, scheduled to open in 2021. According to a Sept. 18 business plan, the arena financing was estimated at about $45 million, with about $27 million of that funding from the CC community — Colorado College ($6 million) and CC donors ($21 million), with a good chunk of the donor money coming from former CC hockey player Ed Robson, Class of 1954. The remaining funding will come from $9 million in State/City tourism funds and the final $9 million from private bonds. In May 2019, CC began demolition of existing buildings on the arena site. Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2020. Continue reading CC’s new 3,000-seat Robson Arena moves toward 2020 groundbreaking

DU’s Tyler Bozak Celebrates Stanley Cup

Former DU star Tyler Bozak of the St. Louis Blues shows off the Stanley Cup to hundreds of thousands of Blues fans at conclusion of the Blues’ team parade in downtown St. Louis on June 15. Photo: Tyler Bozak Twitter

The Denver Pioneer hockey program is celebrating the three latest DU alumni winners of the Stanley Cup Trophy, emblematic of an NHL Hockey Champion – Tyler Bozak –  a key forward for the 2019 champion St. Louis Blues, former DU defenseman Chris Butler who played 13 games with the Blues this season (and is a St. Louis native) and Bruce Affleck, a 1970s DU defenseman who today is a front office executive with the St. Louis Blues.

These three new Pioneer Stanley Cup Winners join a select group of fellow DU Pioneers who have also won the vaunted trophy as NHL players, coaches or management.  DU forward John MacMillan was the first DU Stanley Cup winner in the early 1960s, winning a pair of Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  DU forward and Hockey Hall-of -Famer Glenn Anderson is the most decorated DU Stanley Cup winner, winning six Stanley Cups in his career, mostly with the Edmonton Oiler dynasty of the 1980s.  1960s DU captain and two-time NCAA Champion Craig Patrick won two Stanley Cups as the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early 1990s, while DU Pioneer forward Beau Bennett was the last Pioneer to play on a Stanley Cup-winning team (prior to this week) in 2016 with the Penguins. Kevin Dineen, who captained the Pioneers in the early 1980s, was an assistant coach on the 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, while Dineen’s brother Shawn, who played at DU just before Kevin, owns a 1996 Stanley Cup ring with the Colorado Avalanche as a scout. Former DU player and head coach Marshall Johnston got his name on the Stanley Cup as part of the front office with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006.

Center Tyler Bozak, who played two seasons with the Pioneers a decade ago, signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent for the first nine seasons of his NHL career, and joined the St. Blues before this season just in time to help the Blues to an improbable Stanley Cup win over the Boston Bruins in seven games, after languishing in last place in January of 2019. Enjoy these photos of the last 48 hours of Bozak’s hockey life.

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Bozak after the win in Boston with young son Kanon (Center) and wife, Molly. Photo: Molly Bozak Twitter
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Bozak just after winning game seven in Boston. Photo: St. Louis Blues
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Bozak, the Stanley Cup, and Bozak’s wife, Molly, on the ice in Boston after the Game Seven win. Photo: Molly Bozak Twitter
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Chris Butler, a former DU defenseman and St. Louis native, got a chance to skate with the Stanley Cup after the Blues won the Cup in Boston.  Butler played in 13 games with St. Louis this year.

Class of 2019 Takes a Final Bow

Well, it is the end of another academic year. Congratulations to the graduating class of 2019, who continued to witness the greatest sports era in the history of the University of Denver. In fact, this year was the first school year they did not have a national championship team – yet, nearly 75% of DU’s athletic teams advanced to the NCAA playoffs.

Best of luck from LetsGoDU.

Go Pioneers!

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

DU Chancellor Rebecca Chopp to Step Down Due to Health Issues

DU’s 18th Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. Photo: DU

University of Denver Chancellor Rebecca Chopp has announced that she will step down from her position on July 14, 2019, due to what she has termed “a complex neurological disorder”. DU Provost Jeremy Haefner has been named interim chancellor.

Chopp, the first female Chancellor at the University of Denver, was sworn into the position on September 18th, 2015. While recent speculation had centered around Chopp’s health, the announcement today was a surprise to many.

Prior to her arrival at the University of Denver, Chancellor Chopp was the 14th President of Swarthmore College. Chopp received her B.A.  from Kansas Wesleyan University, a Master of Divinity from St. Paul School of Theology and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Before Swarthmore, Chopp was the president of Colgate University. Before arriving at Colgate in 2002, Chopp was Dean and Titus Street Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School. She spent 15 years at Emory University before her tenure at Yale.

At the University of Denver, Chopp has been noted for her support of first generation students, like herself. She has a reputation as a solid fund-raiser, and under her leadership, DU recently broke ground on major capital improvements. Also, DU is in the early stages of delivering on her envisioned ‘DU District’ with a comprehensive multiple-year plan for campus and University Park improvements.

As it relates to athletics, under Chancellor Chopp’s watch, the University of Denver continued to win the  I-AAA Directors’ Cup as the best non-football school in DI athletics. Denver also won lacrosse (2015) and hockey (2017) NCAA championships, and Chopp hired DU’s new Athletic Director, Karlton Creech.

We wish Chancellor Chopp the very best in her health battle and thank her for her many contributions to the University of Denver.

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The following letter was released today from Chancellor Chopp:

Dear Friends,

As some of you know, I have struggled with health issues this year. Unfortunately, the doctors I have been working with have diagnosed me with a complex neurological disorder that I need to attend to sooner rather than later. After many tests and consultations, I have decided I must step down as Chancellor on July 14. As Chancellor, the 70- to 80-hour work weeks and the stress that naturally is connected to higher education in these unsettled times just does not permit me enough time to focus on improving my health. I have just shared this news with the Board of Trustees who agreed that after I step down as Chancellor in July, I will continue to serve DU as an advisor on special projects. I am also deeply honored that they chose to designate me Chancellor Emerita when I step down.

This community has been so supportive of my husband, Fred, me and our family, and we deeply appreciate it. Now, I would request that you not ask for further details about my health at this time. We need privacy in order to move forward and make sense of this unexpected turn of events. I am sure you can understand and respect that. Thank you.

The most important thing for all of us is what happens next. DU could not possibly be in better hands. Jeremy Haefner, our Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, is a known leader in the future of higher ed and has quickly become “our” leader. The Board of Trustees has wisely decided that Jeremy is the natural and perfect choice to serve as Interim Chancellor beginning in mid-July. Nancy Nicely, our Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff, knows how to ensure our priorities are executed and our community is nurtured. And Leslie Brunelli, who will arrive at DU on June 3, brings an experienced and steady hand to her position as Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Treasurer. The Chancellor’s Cabinet is strong, we have amazing Deans and creative, dedicated and hardworking faculty, staff and students. 

What an amazing five years we have spent together! It all began in 2014 when literally thousands of DU community members stepped forward to share their insights and experiences and help craft the next strategic vision for our University, DU Impact 2025. Together we agreed our emphasis should be on student learning and leading, discovery and design in an age of collaboration, engagement and empowerment in Denver and the Rocky Mountain West, and OneDU, the University’s shared sense of community and values. Embracing our commitments to diversity and inclusivity and sustainability, our common vision was to build on our strengths in research, teaching and service by developing a DU designed by all of us for the 21st century. 

Recently we broke ground on the new residence, the Dimond Family Residential Village, one of three adjacent buildings in the heart of campus that also includes a Career Achievement Center and Community Commons. Together this new and vibrant community gathering space will reshape the way our community comes together and will provide countless opportunities to deepen our connections to one another, and to DU. I am confident we will continue to build towards OneDU as more and more community members step up to play their rightful roles in the implementation of this vision of all that DU can be. This is a magnificent University and as is our tradition, we continue to pursue excellence in our unique DU way. I know that the Board of Trustees is committed to building on the success of these five years and to continue to lean into our innovation, creativity, boundless energy and practical idealism. 

I mean this sincerely–the greatest privilege of my life has been to work with you, to affirm our great strengths and imagine forward. You are, in the words of this simple Kansas girl, “good folks.” God bless you and I look forward to working beside you during this transition and in new and fulfilling ways after July 14.

With love and gratitude,
Rebecca

Playing in third Frozen Four in four years, Pioneers on brink of becoming greatest of all time

BUFFALO, N.Y. – “Prove Them Wrong.” That has been the mantra of the 2018-19 Denver Pioneers. It’s on the shirts worn by players and staff and it’s on the faces of each and every one of the Pioneers players. “Prove Them Wrong” has galvanized a team that didn’t exactly have a surplus of believers outside of the offices and locker rooms at the Ritchie Center at the beginning of the season. Whether it was a tweet here, an article there, or a passing comment on campus, before the puck even dropped, it was a foregone conclusion that the Pioneers would have a down year. How foolish! Continue reading Playing in third Frozen Four in four years, Pioneers on brink of becoming greatest of all time