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A message from President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., on extending the Displaced Aurarian Scholarship
Nov. 4, 2021
I am pleased to affirm MSU Denver’s commitment to providing free education for all Aurarians and their direct descendants displaced by forcible removal from the Auraria neighborhood. MSU Denver will expand the Displaced Aurarian Scholarship program to include eligibility for all direct, lineal descendants of displaced Aurarians, not only children and grandchildren. The renewal will also expand eligibility to allow the scholarship to be used by part-time students and for graduate studies, as well as undergraduate and certificate programs.
Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) is one of three institutions of higher education located on the Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) campus in the Auraria neighborhood, which is Denver’s oldest neighborhood and predates the founding of the city itself. The Auraria neighborhood encompasses a geographic area which was originally the traditional territory and ancestral homelands of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Ute nations. In 1858, a group of miners from Auraria, Georgia established Auraria, which then merged with the city of Denver in April of 1860. Eventually, Auraria became known as a working-class neighborhood, inhabited first by residents of old immigrant populations and then by a large and growing population of Central and Eastern European immigrants and their children. Auraria developed into a vibrant community with rich ethnic diversity. Although it remained diverse, Auraria became a largely Hispanic neighborhood by the middle of the 20th century. In June of 1965, a major flood devastated the Auraria neighborhood and motivated city and state leaders to consider and ultimately enact urban renewal plans. What followed was the forced removal and displacement of more than 300 households to clear the neighborhood for the establishment and construction of the AHEC campus. The displaced residents were compensated for their homes and tuition free education on the AHEC campus was promised for all displaced residents and their children and grandchildren.
MSU Denver’s history will always be connected to that of the Auraria neighborhood and the tragic removal of its residents for the construction of the AHEC campus, and we are committed to ensuring access to quality education for all Aurarians.
Janine Davidson, Ph.D.
President, MSU Denver