Alumni

Big names in business, politics and law make up the first class of DU Distinguished Alumni

Big names in business, politics and law make up the first class of DU Distinguished Alumni

When Crisanta Duran (BA ’02, public affairs and Spanish) decided to run for office at age 29, her dual bachelor’s degrees became powerful tools. “Being able to speak with people in their native language was very, very helpful” says the sixth-generation Coloradan who in November became the first Latina to […]

Stella Peterson found a network of support at the University of Denver’s Latino Leadership Institute, a program designed to elevate Colorado Latino leaders into positions of influence across sectors and industries.  Photo: Wayne Armstrong

DU helps foster a new generation of Latino leaders

By almost anyone’s account, Stella Peterson’s story was one of success. A first-generation college graduate, entrepreneur, triathlete and mother of two, Peterson already had an impressive resumé. But she wanted more—primarily to expand her network and to make contact with other Latinos in Colorado’s business world. “I wanted to connect […]

Steven Dunn's debut novel, "Potted Meat," was nominated for a 2017 Colorado Book Award. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

Veteran Steven Dunn finds his voice

Steven Dunn thought he was a painter until his girlfriend (now wife) pointed out the number of words he used in his paintings. That’s when he realized his true calling was writing. “I knew that I wasn’t doing what I needed to do with painting,” says Dunn (BA ’14). “I […]

Lisa Sasaki is director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Asian Pacific American Center. Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian

Alumna Lisa Sasaki helms Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center

As the new director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Asian Pacific American Center (APAC), Lisa Sasaki expects to spend the next few years leading a team through dramatic change. One of the primary things she wants to shepherd is a change in prepositions. For too long, the University of Denver alumna […]

The Mostar Bridge as it looks today. Photo by Keith Jones

A return to Sarajevo, 20 years later

Twenty years is a long time. Technology has changed drastically. Styles and fashions have evolved. New generations have been born. And life has moved forward. For me, 20 years means something different. Something a bit more special. Something more character-defining. Twenty years ago, I had the opportunity to do volunteer […]

Left to right, DU alumni Kyle Granowski, Peter Burwell and Fred Klaas at Echo Mountain ski area. Photo: Jeff Haessler

Daniels alums make a high-altitude investment

Their love for skiing and snowboarding and their entrepreneurial spirit are driving three DU alumni to take their education and skills to new heights. Peter Burwell (BSBA ’11), Kyle Granowski (BSBA, MS ’10) and Fred Klaas (BSBA ’11) became good friends while studying at the Daniels College of Business. That […]

Distinguished Alumni Class of 2017

Distinguished Alumni Class of 2017

Debra Crew (BA ’93, Spanish and international studies), Winston-Salem, N.C. In January 2017, Crew was appointed president and CEO of Reynolds American. She previously served as president and COO of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and held senior management positions at PepsiCo, Mars Inc. and Dreyer’s. Crew, who was ranked No. […]

Mile High Alumni: Five recent graduates who are shaping Denver’s future

Mile High Alumni: Five recent graduates who are shaping Denver’s future

Denver has come into its own in recent years, earning a reputation as a hotbed for tech, arts, dining, craft beer, entrepreneurship and an engaged millennial population. Just as DU has helped to shape Denver over the past 150 years, the University has a strong influence on the city’s latest […]

"The secret of longevity and a successful brand is ...hard work, passion, commitment to family and humanitarian efforts,” says alumnus Marc Schulman. Photo courtesy of Eli's Cheesecake

Alumnus Marc Schulman carries on a cheesecake legacy

Family is a way of life for Marc Schulman, president of Chicago-based dessert empire Eli’s Cheesecake. Schulman (BSBA ’76) inherited the business from his father, the late Eli Schulman, owner of several now-shuttered Chicago-area eateries that played host in the ’60s and ’70s to celebrities such as Woody Allen, Barbra […]

"Volunteer with a variety of organizations until you find out what really pulls at your heartstrings,” says Yvette Cook. Photo courtesy of Usher's New Look

Alumna helps Usher shape next generation of leaders

For Yvette Cook, there was no choice growing up but to serve her community. She says her civic-minded parents encouraged her to follow a path of altruism. Now Cook (BA ’82, MA ’85) heads up Usher’s New Look (UNL), an Atlanta-based nonprofit started by the multiplatinum-selling performer at the age […]

Alumni shaping Denver: Brian Vicente, Amendment 64

Alumni shaping Denver: Brian Vicente, Amendment 64

Brian Vicente (JD ’04) has been fighting the marijuana fight for more than a decade, most significantly as co-director and one of two primary authors of the 2012 measure that made Colorado the first state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana. These days Vicente and his 50-person firm, Vicente […]

"It’s been really cool to see those artists being able to take what they’re doing at Nocturne and further their art and their careers." Photo: Anthony Camera

Alumni shaping Denver: Nicole Mattson, Nocturne

Two years ago, Nicole Mattson (BSBA ’03, business; MBA ’12) and her husband, Scott, opened Nocturne, an upscale jazz club in Denver’s up-and-coming RiNo (River North) neighborhood. A hotspot for local jazz artists and aficionados — including faculty and students from the Lamont School of Music —t he club has […]

"As somebody who cares about connecting foreign-trained professionals to the same work they’ve been doing in their home countries, it’s a perfect time [in Denver]." Photo: Anthony Camera

Alumni shaping Denver: Hillary Frances, Emily Griffith Technical College

Hillary Frances (MA ’09, international and intercultural communications) is instructional dean of adult education and the Language Learning Center at Emily Griffith Technical College, where she helps prepare nontraditional students — including refugees and immigrants — for the workforce. The school’s bridge classes are designed to help adults who worked […]

"LoDo is one of the hottest markets in the country right now, and I think the Union Station development was the paramount catalyst for that." Photo: Anthony Camera

Alumni shaping Denver: CJ Chapman, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

A Denver native and East High School graduate who went to Princeton to play basketball, CJ Chapman (JD ’06) returned to his hometown after college to pursue a law degree at DU. He is now a partner and real estate lawyer at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, where he has negotiated […]

Alumni shaping Denver: Candi CdeBaca, Project VOYCE

Alumni shaping Denver: Candi CdeBaca, Project VOYCE

Candi CdeBaca (BS ’09, sociology; MSW ’09, social work) is co-founder and executive director of Project VOYCE, a nonprofit that mobilizes and trains Denver youth to work on problems in their schools and communities. Her goal is to prepare kids from Denver’s poorer neighborhoods to claim their seat at the […]