President expresses gratitude to students, employees and community members while recapping a strong year for MSU Denver.

Dec. 10, 2021

We have much to celebrate at Metropolitan State University of Denver this holiday season. Reflecting with Rowdy on our journey through 2021, I’m beyond grateful for the amazing students, faculty, staff and community members who supported our mission in the face of continued pandemic-related challenges.


Like last year, 2021 was a difficult year, but Roadrunners are resilient and rose to the occasion. In the first half of the year, MSU Denver had tremendous success at the state legislature, making the case for more equitable funding for those underserved by the education system – first-generation college students, low-income students and students of color – resulting in an $8.5 million base funding increase for MSU Denver, the biggest increase any university received.

We also created more paths to college for more students, launching a Pathways to Possible program with a $2.4 million state grant that provides support for students from urban turnaround high schools and rural high schools, and then a Finish What You Started program with $5.7 million from the state to recruit and support adult learners and transfer students who left college without a degree. Both will pay long-term dividends for these students and the state as Colorado works to close attainment gaps and meet its advanced workforce needs.

Thanks to a tremendous team effort, we successfully carried out a mostly online spring semester and a mostly in-person fall semester, bolstering our remote learning and working capacity and adhering to public health measures. Our campus Covid-19 numbers were well below the city and state levels all year long, and the University is better positioned now than it was before the pandemic thanks to all we’ve learned and our critical mission of meeting students where they are.

We hosted some exciting events on campus this fall, including a stellar TEDxMSUDenver, a celebration of the Aurarian legacy, a drop-in from the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, and many matches featuring the No. 1 volleyball team in the country. Next week, we’ll host my favorite event across the street from campus: Commencement at the Colorado Convention Center on Dec. 17. Last December we celebrated MSU Denver’s 100,000th graduate, and after next week we will have added 3,700 more alumni to that total in 2021.

On behalf of all of us here at MSU Denver, I want to wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season and a joyous 2022.


Janine Davidson, Ph.D.
President, MSU Denver