Students paint the town “red” for MSU Denver


Posted Tue, Sep 11, 2012

DRESSED FOR SUCCESS: MSU Denver students gather to form a giant U to celebrate their school’s name change. (Photo by Michael Wilson)

Denver – Metropolitan State University of Denver faculty and students gathered in front of the Student Success Building Wednesday Sept. 5, 2012 to celebrate the university’s name change.

Gov. John Hickenlooper approved Metropolitan State College of Denver to change its name to Metropolitan State University of Denver by signing senate bill SB12-148 into law on April 18, 2012. The name change became official July 1.

The journey to the new name was a long one, beginning in 2006 when the research for the name change began.

“It was worth every bit of that struggle,” said President Stephen Jordan addressing the cheering crowd of MSUD students, faculty and staff members.

Administrators chose to pursue the change from Metropolitan State College of Denver and formed the Strategic Name Initiative. “Denver,” “Metropolitan,” “University” and “State” were viewed as important words to capture Metro State’s culture and history.

There was great support for the change among students, faculty, staff members and alumni.

The Board of Trustees voted 5-2 to change the name to Denver State University in March 2011. University of Denver officials disagreed with the name change because it too closely resembled the name of their school. Following DU’s opposition, the Board removed Denver State University from the list. They decided on Metropolitan State University of Denver after conducting additional research.

According to a study by Sector Brands, a Colorado-based branding firm, Metro State degrees were perceived as less valuable than those from other Colorado four-year colleges. The study also concluded that most people relate the word college to community college. Those views affected potential employers of Metro State job-seekers. The goal of the name change was to improve the school’s image and more accurately reflect the school’s stature.

“It will give us more recognition,” said MSUD senior Courtney Bruno.

Many students showed their support during the celebration by wearing red Metro State University T-shirts. After the ceremonies, led by MSUD mascot Rowdy the Roadrunner, students, faculty and staff members gathered to form a giant “U” in front of MSCD’s new state-of-the-art Student Success Building.

“This is the beginning of a new era for Metropolitan State University,” Jordan said.


MSU Denver at a glance:

-Nearly 24,000 students

-More than 70,500 alumni have graduated from MSU Denver

-20% of in-state students choose to attend MSU Denver to earn their bachelor’s degrees

– Issues in Higher Education ranks MSU Denver among the top 100 institutions in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees to students of color

– The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks MSU Denver first in the state for the ethnic diversity of faculty; 22% are professors of color

– 75% of MSU Denver’s grads stay in Colorado

-Offers 55 majors, 90 minors and 3 master’s degrees

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4 Responses to “Students paint the town “red” for MSU Denver”

  1. Simone DeAlba Says:

    Great story, I think Metro State changing its name will lend it more credibility within the community and hopefully will help sway the perception that our degrees are “less valuable” than other Colorado degrees.


  2. Ashley King Says:

    I enjoyed this story. I liked learning the process that went into changing the name of the school.


  3. Joshua Schott Says:

    Glad this school finally gets to be a University, but hopefully tuition doesn’t rise too much because that is what makes Metro so appealing to so many people.


  4. Leah Raaflaub Says:

    Very relevant article, enjoyed reading it, and really liked the section “MSU at a glance.”


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