CU Denver Chancellor Don Elliman helps students move into Campus Village Aug. 15.

The window of Emily Johnson’s fourth-floor studio apartment looks out over the Auraria campus, the Pepsi Center and downtown Denver.

A diverse city bursting with culture beckons, and that’s exactly what attracted the pre-health major from Bozeman, Mont., to the University of Colorado Denver. Fall semester classes begin Monday.

“I feel really excited,” said Johnson, who was among the hundreds of CU Denver students moving into Campus Village Apartments on Wednesday. “I’m excited to experience the culture and the vast amount of people compared to Montana. And more diversity — that’s what I’m really excited for.”

Several members of university leadership as well as representatives from student government and the Office of Student Life greeted the students and helped them carry boxes into their new homes at Campus Village. Chancellor Don Elliman, Provost Rod Nairn, Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance Jeff Parker and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Raul Cardenas were among the university leaders hoisting bags, boxes and luggage.

“This is fun,” Elliman said, as he helped the Johnson family with their move-in. “It’s great to see the energy of school starting again and seeing the faces of the students who are starting their college experience.”

About 80 percent of students in Campus Village are CU Denver students, and approximately 50 percent of them are first-year students. Campus Village is also open to Metropolitan State University of Denver and Community College of Denver students.

Residents come from 37 states and 11 countries, including our first Campus Village student from Botswana.

Eddie Diaz and his parents drove 20 hours from their home in Portland, Ore., to move Eddie into his apartment. “I’m the first in my family to go to college — aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone.”

Diaz said he plans to become a physician assistant, and “I heard they have a really good program here.”

While a bit nervous to be so far from home, Diaz is excited about being in Denver. “This is a new thing. I’ve been to Mexico for months at a time, but that’s different because you’re with family.”

His mother, Martha Diaz, said his decision to attend CU Denver was bittersweet. “I’m excited for him, but at the same time I’m sad because it’s too far for me. But I’m happy that he has a lot of dreams.”

Lily Jamieson arrived at Campus Village with her parents and many boxes to move in from her home of Dallas. She was excited to be meeting her roommates who hail from Arizona, Alaska and California.

“I’m from Texas, so it’s really far to me, but I’m really excited,” said Jamieson, who will study photography. “I think it’s going to be really fun. The weather here is great. In Texas it’s so hot.”

Some highlights of Campus Village:

  • Free laundry
  • On-site tutoring in writing, biology, English and math
  • High-speed wireless
  • On-site dining facility and cyber cafe
  • Live-in Denver police officer
  • Full-time on-site professional Residence Life staff on call in addition to on-call resident assistants
  • CU Denver specialty floors including Denver Bound Scholars and BS/BA to MD students.

For information about events during “CU Launch!” week, including Friday’s Convocation and Barbecue and the Block Party Night, go to this website.

(Photo: Chancellor Don Elliman lifts a bag of items belonging to new CU Denver student Emily Johnson as her mother, Linda Johnson, looks on. Elliman and other members of university leadership helped students on the first day of move-in at Campus Village.)

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