Metro State alumna kicks off grand day for Auraria Campus and Colorado
Department of Engineering Technology Chair Richard Pozzi (left) and Metro State President Stephen Jordan (right) accept $10,000 check from alumna Lisa Moder.
A $10,000 check presentation from an alumna to the Metropolitan State College of Denver Department of Engineering Technology at an early morning reception kicked off a celebratory day for the College, the campus, the city and the state on Friday, Aug. 20.
In her presentation, EchoStar senior test engineer Lisa Moder, said the department “guided me and taught me everything I needed to know to launch my career.”
It’s the kind of testimonial and commitment to education that reverberated into the event that followed — the official Auraria Science Building ribbon-cutting ceremony. More than 300 people, including Gov. Bill Ritter, Mayor John Hickenlooper, Downtown Denver Partnership President/CEO Tamara Door, and a host of legislators and higher education leaders attended.
Held in the courtyard of the 197,000 square-foot Science Building Addition and 142,000 square-foot Renovation Project, the festive occasion was much different from the images of the hole in the ground that ignited collaboration among city and state leaders to secure funding for the completion of the $111 million building.
According to Dean of the School of Letters, Arts & Sciences Joan Foster, the need for the building was evident. “The student population on the Auraria Campus has grown more than 250 percent since the campus opened in 1976... In fact, one in five Colorado undergraduates attends classes at Auraria. And currently Metro State has a headcount of more than 24,000 students. This is the largest concentration of Colorado resident undergraduates in the state.”
More than 300 people, including Gov. Bill Ritter and Mayor John Hickenlooper, attended the Auraria Science Building dedication ceremony.
Addressing the crowd, Ritter credited Colorado State Treasurer Cary Kennedy for her leadership, saying without her vision, the funding for the Auraria Science Building “would not have gotten done.”
Door said, “When trouble hit, everyone came together to find a solution. There are cities across the country that hunger for a campus like this in the city. We are proud of this campus and what it holds for our future.”
Hickenlooper said, “A city like Denver is blessed to have a campus like this where students can work and study. No other investment more reliably predicts economy vitality.”
Student trustee Kat Cammack, a senior with a double major in international relations and international business, recalls taking math classes in the old science building. “There was water damage in the ceiling and the projectors didn’t work. Now we have the overhead projectors from the ceiling. How wonderful and exciting for incoming students.”
According to reports from the Office of Intuitional Research Data Book more and more Metro State students are positioned to benefit from classes taught in the Auraria Science Building. Numbers from fall 2005 to fall 2009 indicate that the number of science and math majors has grown by 21 percent to more than 2,500, and that 25.8 percent more women and 34 percent more students of color are majoring in these areas.