The campus community is invited to a ceremony this Friday honoring
Frank Abbott, who has sometimes been called the father of Auraria for
his efforts in establishing the combined campus. A plaque will be
dedicated in Abbott’s honor; the ceremony will be held at the Ninth
Street Park from 10 a.m. to noon.
In the annals of Metro State history, Abbott is credited for coming
up with the idea of a shared campus. He became the first executive
director of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education in 1965. Two
years later, he reputedly had a flash of inspiration while walking
downtown from a CU-Denver building to a Metro State one.
He left the Colorado commission in 1977 and moved to New York to
work for the regents of the state of New York. In 1984, he returned to
Colorado to work for the Western Interstate Commission on Higher
Education and remained there until his retirement in 1992.
In 1999, Abbott published the book, The Auraria Higher Education
Center -- How It Came To Be. The book provided an account of AHEC’s
creation, detailing the “innovative development, spirited controversy,
intermittent provincialism and evolution” of the innovative idea for
the shared campus.
Abbott died in August 2006. He was 85.
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