With 2022 upon us, DU embraces a research triumph

Happy New Year, and welcome to winter. 

Not only is this the winter edition of the University of Denver Magazine, but winter also finally came to Denver. After more than 125 days with scarcely any snow, the Mile High City finally welcomed a winter wonderland Dec. 31. 

Growing up in the Midwest, I thought I’d had enough snow for a lifetime. But I admit, those soft white flakes looked beautiful cascading down the mountains and trees. For me, the beginning of a new year always evokes thoughts about time—what was spent and what is yet to be. I started the year meditating on my word for 2022, “embrace,” which I hope will help me hold onto a positive attitude as the year unfolds. 

As DU enters 2022, it is embracing good news: We have been designated a Research 1 (R1) institution, a category that the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education uses to indicate U.S. universities that engage in the highest levels of research activity. All told, not that many universities qualify for an R1 classification. DU is the only private institution in the Rocky Mountain region to achieve this status. In the nation, it’s now part of an elite group of 137 higher education institutions with this distinction. 

This edition of the University of Denver Magazine focuses on the impact of and the commitment to the research happening on campus. Our coverage is extensive, but it’s by no means exhaustive. For every research endeavor we’ve featured, many more warrant coverage. 

The timeline featured in “50 Years of Creativity and Innovation” chronicles DU’s research journey from the 1970s to now, as well as recognizes the first faculty member who obtained more than 500 patents and an alumna who was the first woman to graduate from a Colorado medical institution. 

The focus of DU’s research is tied to the University’s vision to be a great private university dedicated to the public good. In “Curbing the Toll of Mental Illness,” you’ll read about DU faculty members working across several disciplines to stem the tide of suffering associated with depression, suicidal thoughts and traumatic brain injuries. 

Among the most exciting things about DU’s research are the opportunities provided for students—undergraduate and graduate—to work with faculty through a variety of centers and institutes to solve challenges facing our community and our world. 

As I imagine the possibilities the new year brings, I’m glad to be part of an environment that embraces tough challenges by engaging in high levels of research and having a direct effect on the public good.

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