MSU Denver

Roadrunners Rising

We are committed to supporting all Roadrunners as they rise, and we invite you to join us as we follow their journeys.

With over 105,000 Roadrunner alumni, the MSU Denver story is hardly unique. But the roads that our students travel en route to crossing the commencement stage are special and impactful – and their stories need to be told.

Roadrunners Rising: Rising Scholars is multi-year reality documentary project that tells the stories of Roadrunner students. Through their student experience, we will explore campus, programs and services with a true understanding of what it takes to be a Roadrunner.

Introducing Rising Scholars

They call a flock of Roadrunners a marathon. The road is often hard, zig-zaggy and long – but as Roadrunners we are not alone. Together, we are Roadrunners Rising. Together, We Are MSU Denver.

Episode 1: Meet Leon Duran

Leon is a 2015 alumnus with a degree in criminal justice. He is an entrepreneur, father, sailor and an online MBA student. He will graduate for the second time from MSU Denver in December 2022.

Meet our Rising Scholars

Arianna Valdez leaning on a fence with a Roadrunners sign.

Arianna Valdez

First-generation. Latina. Student-athlete. Scholarship recipient. Integrative Health Care major. Roadrunner.

Meet: Arianna Valdez
Leon Duran standing in his U.S. Navy uniform.

Leon Duran

Father. Sailor. Business owner. Mentor. Entrepreneur. 2015 Criminal Justice graduate. Current online MBA student. Roadrunner.

Meet: Leon Duran
Derek Brekken wearing a red, collared shirt with his arms folded and smiling.

Derek Brekken

Aspiring lawyer. 2021 Public Relations graduate. Podcaster. Story-teller. Proud alumni. Roadrunner.

Meet: Derek Brekken
Cohen Family

Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo. USA vs. New Zealand Photos by Jessica Taves

How Roadrunners Rise

It takes a community

The vision to ensure all Roadrunners rise demands the efforts and support of many. From excellent faculty to dedicated staff and engaged alumni, MSU Denver is a community that invites the participation and support of everyone.

Paramount to these efforts is the investment of the incredible community of Roadrunner supporters. Philanthropic support of our students and the university’s greatest priorities is what allows us to help all Roadrunners rise.

Making an Impact Through Giving

Russell Noles

The gift of representation

MSU Denver alumnus Russell Noles understands firsthand the impact of representation in the classroom. When Noles was a student at George Washington High School in Denver, Colorado, his mother suggested he consider going into accounting. Initially unsure, he says everything changed when three Black accountants were guest speakers in one of his classes. Read More.


Barb Grogan standing near the Tivoli with the SpringHill Suites in the background

Supporting student success

To say Barb Grogan is passionate about Metropolitan State University of Denver is a bit of an understatement. In conversation, her infectious enthusiasm for all things Roadrunner bubbles over, making it impossible not to get swept away in the excitement. From faculty and staff to University leadership, she loves it all – but there’s nothing she loves more than the students. Read More.

Fundraising Totals for FY22

Join the Race

Join the over 4,500 Roadrunner donors and make a gift in support of MSU Denver today!

Make a Gift

About MSU Denver

Academic Offerings

Economic Impact

During the 2019 fiscal year, MSU Denver generated $703.4 million economic impact on local and statewide economies.

MSU Denver directly employs 2,848 people, including 738 student employees.

Read the full report here.