Skip navigation

Colorado Women's College

Colorado Women's College

Colorado Women’s College and the University of Denver: 1982-2016

DU was committed to continuing women's programs, incorporating the re-engagement program known as The Weekend College into the College of Business in 1982. The original CWC Park Hill campus became home to three University of Denver entities: The Weekend College, the DU College of Law, and the Lamont School of Music. 

The 1990s brought rapid change. The Weekend College was renamed The Women's College and subsequently became a separate academic unit. In 1999, Johnson & Wales University acquired the east half of the 26-acre Park Hill campus from DU, with an option to purchase the remainder; in July 2003, Johnson & Wales completed the long-planned acquisition of the six buildings on the Park Hill campus that it did not already own. 

The Women's College left the Park Hill campus in the fall of 2001.  In September 2002, the Lamont School of Music moved into its new building on DU's southeast Denver campus, and The Women's College broke ground on a new building in February 2003. In September 2004, the University of Denver's College of Law became the Sturm College of Law and moved into its new building on the main DU campus.

In 2004, after a successful capital campaign, The Women's College moved into its new home in the Merle Catherine Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women on DU's University Park campus. Construction on the $9 million center was made possible by gifts – ranging from as little as $2 to as much as $3 million – from 700 donors, including individuals, foundation and corporations. CWC continued to offer degree programs to non-traditional women students, with classes offered in the evenings and on weekends.

In 2013, the University of Denver announced that The Women's College would reclaim its legacy name as Colorado Women's College, to honor the history and impact of Colorado Women's College as DU prepared to commemorate its 125th anniversary.

In February 2015, the Colorado Women's College announced to its community that, as a result of declining interest in its academic program, the college would be changing and reimagining how to continue to fulfill its mission to educate and empower women. At the time, there were just 152 students enrolled in the program.  CWC ceased admitting new students that year, and issued its final degrees at the end of the 2016 academic year. In the Fall of 2016, the 60 remaining CWC students transferred to University College, the college of professional and continuing studies at the University of Denver, for working adults.

CWC is now continuing as the Colorado Women's College Collaboratory, with a focus on gender equity, leadership, and advancement for women and girls that encompasses the whole of DU, as well as local and national partnerships. Read more about the future of CWC here.