Denver’s New University

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signs Metro's name change bill into law April 18 in the Student Success Building's lobby. After more than four years of research, Metropolitan State University of Denver was chosen to be the new name of Denver's newest university.

Metro students graduating this spring will receive the first degrees donning the new name: Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Gov. John Hicklenlooper and several supporters and sponsors of the name change bill made history April 18 in the Student Success Building by granting Metro the long-awaited title of university. The governor signed SB-148 amid a crowd of hundreds of enthusiastic Metro students, faculty and alumni just after 3 p.m.

“Metro State is a remarkable asset to the entire state of Colorado,” Hickenlooper said. “Currently, there are over 24,000 students enrolled in Metro and over 75 percent of the Metro alumni live in metropolitan Denver. Clearly, Metro deserves to be recognized as a university.”

In his red Metro State T-shirt, Hickenlooper amused the audience when he used half a dozen pens to sign the two bills. Metro President Stephen Jordan estimated that it was about three letters per pen.

“Good thing I have a long name,” Hickenlooper joked.

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Metro President Stephen Jordan speaks at the signing of SB-148 April 18.

As he signed the last letter of his name, a Roadrunner banner with “Metropolitan State University of Denver” was unfurled from the top of the main staircase.
“This is the beginning of a new era for Metro State,” Jordan announced to the explosive crowd.

The name change legally goes into effect July 1.

Metro administration will now begin the process of changing the university’s signage across Auraria over the summer. One of the first items to be addressed is Metro’s website, MetroConnect and student emails.

Cathy Lucas, associate to the president for marketing and communications, said that a committee of students, faculty and alumni will be formed and appointed to discuss the new logo for Metro including typeface, design and even options for nicknames for the university.

A mass email was sent to Metro students and affiliates April 23 to poll for the most popular domain name for the new website, which will launch July 1. The three choices are msud.edu, metrostatedenver.edu and msudenver.edu. The survey closes April 30.

According to Lucas, the appointed committee is nomination based and will work closely with the Board of Trustees and Metro administration to develop a new logo and seal for Denver’s newest university.

Metro alumni who are interested in having their diplomas reprinted with the new name will need to wait a little longer.

“The alumni association will be working on a marketing campaign for that,” Lucas said. “There’s a cost involved in printing new diplomas, so they’re looking at potentially a fundraiser that would allow for alums to maybe pay for the diploma if they choose, and then maybe donate to a scholarship.”

Hickenlooper also signed SB-045 at the celebration April 18. The bill requires that the Colorado Commission on Higher Education collaborate with colleges and universities to notify eligible students that they can receive an associate’s degree while earning their bachelor’s degree if they’ve fulfilled certain curriculum requirements.

“I always have been a supporter of Metro and I always will be,” Hickenlooper said. “This is one of the greatest schools, not just in Colorado, but in America, and we appreciate how hard you all work.”

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Gov. John Hickenlooper congratulates Metro President Stephen Jordan with one of the pens he used to sign SB-148.

Author: Megan Mitchell

Megan Mitchell is the managing editor of The Metropolitan. She has worked for the paper since spring 2010 as a reporter, assistant editor, Metrospective editor, and editor-in-chief respectively.

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