Since its founding in 1864, the University of Denver (DU) has played an integral role in the city it calls home. The university is known nationally and internationally for preparing students to blaze trails in their chosen professions. Colorado Women’s College emphasizes academic excellence, global responsibility, community engagement and creative approaches to problem solving.
The History of the University of Denver
The University of Denver was founded in 1864 as Colorado Seminary by John Evans, Colorado Territory's second governor. The seminary closed its doors temporarily after a few years in the unstable economic landscape of Denver's gold rush. However in 1880, Colorado Seminary re-opened as the University of Denver.
The Legacy of Colorado Woman's (Women's) College
In 1888, Colorado Woman’s College (CWC) was founded and officially opened its doors in 1909, with an enrollment of 59 students.
The 1920s and 1930s were a period of expansion. The CWC campus constructed new buildings and enrollment continued to climb from 265 to 358 students throughout a ten-year period.
Enrollment reached a record of 1,117 students in 1967. Temple Buell pledged $25 million in trust and as a result, the college was renamed Temple Buell College in 1967. In 1973, the name of the college returned to its original with one revision; the board of trustees voted to use “women” in the college name to emphasize the purpose of CWC – to educate many women. Thus, it would be known as Colorado Women’s College.
A re-engagement program was established in 1973, targeting working women over the age of 25. However, during the 1970s and 80s, CWC faced financial hardships; after careful consideration and study, the Colorado Women’s College and the University of Denver merged in 1982. DU was committed to continuing women’s programs, incorporating the re-engagement program known as The Weekend College into the College of Business.
A New Horizon
The 1990s brought rapid change. The Weekend College was renamed The Women’s College and subsequently became a separate academic unit.
In 2004, The Women’s College moved into its new home in the Merle Catherine Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women on the University Park campus.
At present, Colorado Women’s College is at the forefront of women’s higher education and is a leader in advancing the world through women— locally, nationally, and globally.