Return to its Roots: Women’s College reclaims the name Colorado Women’s College
The Women’s College of the University of Denver is getting a new name — an old one. Just in time read more…
The Women’s College of the University of Denver is getting a new name — an old one.
Just in time for its 125th anniversary, the Women’s College will reclaim its historical name, Colorado Women’s College.
“By reclaiming our name, we honor the historic legacy of the college, we honor the University of Denver and its commitment to the education of women, and we honor the state that we live in and the community that we serve,” says Lynn Gangone, dean of the college.
Colorado Women’s College was founded in 1888 by the Rev. Robert Cameron with the dream of forming a “Western Vassar,” an institution to rival the East Coast’s prestigious women’s colleges. It opened its doors in September 1909 with an enrollment of 59 students.
The only all-women higher education program in the Rocky Mountain region was acquired by DU in 1982. In 2004, the Women’s College moved into a new home in the Merle Catherine Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women on the north side of the DU campus.
“Now we offer the best of both worlds: a women’s college with a historic legacy inside a really fabulous, state-of-the-art university,” Gangone says. “The University of Denver has a really strong commitment to the advancement of girls and women. They’ve done what no other large university that has merged with a women’s college has done in maintaining an academic program for women. What DU has accomplished in terms of maintaining the identity of this college and creating a space for women on campus is really extraordinary.”
In reclaiming its legacy name, Colorado Women’s College embraces the women of its past, present and future.
“This is an opportunity to really elevate who we are, elevate the women we educate, and to welcome more fully two really important groups: the students and prospective students for whom having this identity and legacy will really make a difference,” Gangone says. “They are supported by thousands of alumnae — across the country and the world, extending through 125 years — who are joined again as part of one college.”
The new name will be feted with a series of alumnae gatherings across the country and as part of the college’s 125th anniversary celebration in November.