Cathy Grieve is a University of Denver alumna (MA ’75, PhD ’79), parent of three DU graduates, a faculty member and an administrator. She has participated on many committees, spearheaded many successful DU-wide endeavors and served in many volunteer capacities. Most people on campus — and even in the broader Denver community — know of her work and passion.
Thus, it comes as no surprise that Grieve is this year’s Distinguished Service to the University Award recipient. The award will be presented at the Founders Day celebration in March.
“I’m really humbled by this,” she says. “I will accept it graciously on behalf of everyone who has been part of my life at the University, personally, academically and professionally.”
Grieve spent more than 30 years of her DU career as a faculty member in the School of Communication, where she also administered a robust internship program through which she placed some 75 students a year in positions across the country. Her students interned for media outlets including The New York Times and CNN, in addition to public relations agencies, national and international nonprofits and government agencies.
“As a gifted teacher and adviser, Cathy was a very important mentor to me,” says Margaret Thompson, associate professor in the Department of Media, Film & Journalism Studies. “The students also loved her and were constantly flocking to her office.”
In 2005, when Grieve was asked to serve in a different capacity — director of the Office of Special Community Programs — she went where her university needed her most. Then, in 2010, she was asked to serve as executive director of conferences, events and special programs. She again answered the call.
In this newest capacity, Grieve oversees summer conferencing and internal and external events and is on the steering committee for the upcoming presidential debate.
Thompson says Grieve is very missed in her department. “Among many things, we greatly miss her positive energy and wonderful sense of humor in the halls of our building,” she says. “I have no doubt that the University of Denver is a stronger and higher quality institution as a result of Cathy’s dedication and service.”
Grieve insists that her commitment to DU is simply her way of giving back to a community that has empowered her to live her “best life.”
“I came to DU to earn a master’s and then a doctorate, and to hone my skills as an educator,” Grieve says. “The University has always been very supportive of me personally, and of my work, and I always felt that I had the opportunity to do it all.
“I always will be very grateful for the opportunities that DU has given to me,” she says.