As he unloaded boxes in the driveway of Campus Village Apartments, Pat Brennan paused to reflect on the swirl of emotions that accompanied watching his first child go off to college.
“There’s mixed feelings,” said Brennan, who moved his daughter, Danielle Brennan, into the apartments. “There’s a certain amount of sadness in the transition, but at the same time there’s excitement for what she has coming up. It’s a big change for her, her mom and I and the rest of the our family.”
During Wednesday’s move-in day, Campus Village buzzed with the excitement that marks the start of a new school year and, for most of the students lugging boxes, the first steps into a new stage of life. This year, new CU Denver mascot and logo were on full display as Milo the Lynx greeted students and their families. Members of the University leadership team, as well as an army of representatives from student government and the Office of Student Life, wore CU Denver colors and helped the new Campus Village residents unload cars and get settled into rooms.
With 1,129 freshmen enrolled as of Monday, CU Denver is on pace to have the largest freshman class in the university’s 40-year history. Non-resident freshman enrollment is up more than 50 percent from last year, while resident freshman enrollment is up more than 10 percent.
Jade Chatman, a freshman majoring in sound recording, slapped hands (paws) with Milo as she strode up the Campus Village steps. She said she felt a bit of nervousness and pressure about striking out on her college career. “But it’s a little liberating too,” Chatman said, “because now you start to take responsibility for yourself and your actions.”
Njal Lundberg, assistant community manager at Campus Village, said out-of-state and international students moved in Monday, followed by in-state underclassmen on Wednesday and upperclassmen trickling in the rest of the week. Campus Village, which mostly houses CU Denver students but also some students from Metropolitan State University of Denver and Community College of Denver, is completely full with more than 700 students in residence.
“It’s exciting,” Lundberg said. “Everybody is excited to be here and the weather is great.”
In addition to Campus Village’s many amenities, the apartments this year feature a new Living Learning Community for pre-health students on the fourth floor, Lundberg said. In partnership with CU Denver, the community offers study sessions and seminars on pre-health topics and college life, all geared toward supporting pre-health students.
Anthony Areniego, a freshman from Aurora studying computer engineering, said he was looking forward to seeing the suite he’d be sharing with five other students. “I’m a little nervous and a little excited at the same time,” he said. “I’m just ready to start, I guess.”
(Photo: CU Denver freshman Jade Chatman high-tens Milo the Lynx as she moves into Campus Village Apartments on Aug. 14.)