The Student Success Building lobby was jam-packed with Roadrunners today as Gov. John Hickenlooper signed SB12-148, authorizing Metro State to change its name to Metropolitan State University of Denver.
President Stephen Jordan began the celebration by announcing that this “might be the best day yet to be a Roadrunner! This isn’t the end, though. Rather it’s the beginning of a new era for Metro State.”
An 18 x 4 foot banner with the new name was unfurled from the second floor, as the governor announced to a cheering crowd of 650 attendees, “It’s a law! You can now officially call yourselves Metropolitan State University of Denver.”
Saying he always has been and will always be a supporter, Hickenlooper said that Metro State is one of the outstanding universities in Colorado and in the nation. “Changing the institution’s name was a great way to honor what it has become: a great asset for not just Denver but for all of Colorado.”
Other dignitaries who attended included Joe Garcia, lieutenant governor and executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education; one of the bill’s co-sponsors Rep. Crisanta Duran; Board of Trustees Vice Chair Michelle Lucero; Alumni Association Board of Directors President Jim Garrison and Student Government Assembly President Jesse Altum.
The journey to a new name
The seeds of Metro State’s new era were sown two years ago when the Board of Trustees voted to study a name-change option. The resulting Strategic Name Initiative garnered overwhelming support for a new name: 80 percent of the 9,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members who completed an online survey wanted a name change.
The primary reason was to increase the value of a Metro State degree while eliminating the misperception that the institution is a community college. Altum’s remarks echoed this intended result: “I won’t have to explain to future employers that I went to a four-year institution. My resume will clearly state that I earned a bachelor of arts from a full-fledged university.” Altum, who will graduate next year, added, “I can’t wait to see my name on a Metropolitan State University of Denver diploma!”
In his closing remarks, Jordan recollected Metro State’s beginning in 1965 when 1,189 students enrolled. “Today we educate nearly one-fifth of all undergraduate resident Coloradans. We have nearly 24,000 students enrolled at Metro State. That’s a 2,000 percent increase since 1965.
“Scrappy, full of fighting spirit, this is a ubiquitous theme I see as we keep one foot in our past and one in the future and become Metropolitan State University of Denver. It is a great day to be a Roadrunner!”
What happens now?
While everyone may now use “university” to refer to Metro State informally, the new name won’t actually take effect until July 1, so printed materials will not be available until later this summer. Plus, the Metro State community is encouraged to be cost- and environmentally conscious by using up their old materials.
To view video of the signing ceremony, click here.
Another higher education bill
Today’s festivities provided the opportunity for the governor to sign another bill that will impact higher education in Colorado. SB12-045 requires that the Colorado Commission on Higher Education collaborate with state institutions of higher education to develop and coordinate a process to notify students who satisfy certain eligibility requirements that they can receive an associate’s degree while earning their bachelor’s degree.
Top of Page