Metro is just one step away from official university status after passing its third and final reading in the Colorado House of Representatives March 27.
SB-148 soared across the House floor with a vote of 56-6 (with three absentees). Now, the bill is heading to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk to be signed into law, which is expected to happen in the next couple of weeks.
“I’m confident that [Hickenlooper] will sign the bill,” Representative Crisanta Duran, D-Denver said. “There was a long negotiation process prior to the time that the bill was even introduced; negotiations that took place with the University of Denver and all stakeholders.”
Duran said by the time the bill was presented for this year’s congressional session (it failed to be introduced last year), it was essentially non-controversial and would go through the legislature easily, as it did.
While the exact date of signing is unknown, Metro will be Metropolitan State University of Denver by July 1, said Cathy Lucas, associate vice president of communications and advancement at Metro.
From there, the process of updating Metro’s citywide signage and online image will take up most of the summer.
“We’re not going to be rebranding, I think that’s a really strong word,” said Lucas. “But we’ll be putting together a committee of faculty, staff, students and alumni to really look at how we can redesign our typeface.”
Lucas pointed out that the word “university” is longer than “college,” and in the world of graphic design, space is everything. Therefore, all signs and brand designs need to be reconsidered.
“As far as the website, we’re looking at a lot of options,” Lucas said. “Is it going to be metrostatedenver.edu or msudenver.edu or msud.edu? Those are the things that this group will be working out.”
She said the future committee would also be considering Metro’s seal for an updated look, as well as how nicknames for the new university can be trademarked — all to be finished before the celebration of the new name this fall.
“We’re hoping to get the governor to come on campus to do a signing sometime in May at the Student Success Building,” Lucas said.
The importance of the bill passing resonates with its government sponsors.
“Across the country there is this movement of colleges becoming a university, but I think this is a true reflection of what [Metro] has become,” Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder said. “It occupies a rather unique and critical position in our department of higher ED as to the kinds of students they attract.”
Likewise, Duran’s mother and sister both graduated from Metro.
“To me, the value of Metro for both of them in their lives was tremendous,” she said. “I think that those stories are representative of thousands of stories across the state that highlight the value of what a degree at Metro really means. I think the name should reflect what the value of those degrees really are.”