Nearly 100 people packed the brand-new CityCenter on Oct. 10 for the official grand opening of what will serve as CU Denver’s new “front door” to the city, designed as a transparent portal for the community. Partnerships between CU Denver, business people and city officials are already forming within the glass walls of the center on the corner of 14th and Lawrence streets, fulfilling a vision set forth by the mayor and embraced by Chancellor Dorothy Horrell.
The grand-opening event included the unveiling of CityCenter’s first initiative – Imagine a Great Region, aimed at targeting Colorado’s booming growth in the years ahead – by CityCenter Executive Director Nolbert Chavez, CU Denver’s chief of external initiatives and former state legislator (top photo).
“Today is a big deal,” Mayor Michael Hancock (MPA, ’95) told the audience, which celebrated the CU Denver-City of Denver marriage with toasts and decorative cake. “In Denver, we have largely ignored this tremendous asset of student intellectual capital and faculty members that are some of the best in the world,” Hancock said.
Now, that expertise can help solve serious urban issues facing the city, from traffic and transportation to housing and homelessness.
“Innovation doesn’t happen in isolation,” said Xcel Energy President Alice Jackson. “CityCenter will be a true catalyst in promotion, innovation, collaboration and connection between students and faculty at the University of Colorado Denver and the great Denver-metro community that we get to serve and work in day to day.”
And, with the Mile High lure bringing so many people into the region, much work lies ahead, Horrell said.
“We know that, as with any other vibrant urban center, growth and progress are not without challenges, and addressing those issues requires that everyone of us in every institution that we have does our part,” the chancellor told the audience rife with deans, mayors, lawmakers and CEOs. CU Denver, the state’s only public research university, stands ready to do its part, she said.
“One of our highest priorities is to elevate our city and our region through the work that we do every single day.”