Led by:

Brandon Buzbee, Associate Vice Chancellor, University Advancement

Linda Olson, Interim Dean, Colorado Women’s College

Our alumni and friends number over 140,000, forming a vital network in Denver and around the globe. We want them to remain involved with the University—serving as our ambassadors, enjoying meaningful mentorships with students and engaging in creative work with faculty and staff. We want to build strong, vibrant systems that make a difference in the lives of our alumni and friends.    


Working Groups

Preparing for Careers and Lives of Purpose

In a rapidly changing global economy it is imperative the University of Denver has a set of career resources and programs to prepare our students for achievement and success beyond their tenure on campus.

During the 2015-2016 academic year, we estimate that 30% of our undergraduate students had at least one touch point with career services. By the end of the 2016-2017 academic year, nearly 50% of our undergraduate students had a formal touch point with career services, with an average of 3.3 touch points for those who engaged with our services. Following our commitment to start with exposure to a variety of careers early in the collegiate experience, our first-year undergraduates had a 43% engagement rate.

Career Services also hosted 16 Dine and Dialogues with students and alumni on topics such as:

  • Careers in Mental Health
  • Careers in Brewing and Beer
  • Careers in Event Planning
  • Careers in Real Estate and Finance

26 alumni were involved, representing companies from the Colorado Ballet to Comcast and over 150 students attended the Dine and Dialogues throughout the academic year.

Additionally, we have been exploring philanthropic and academic opportunities to support and encourage professional internships for our students. As a part of the One Day for DU campaign, we raised over $2500 for our Internship Award Program.

We have also increased coordination on the topic of financial literacy across campus. In April and May, we hosted meetings that brought together staff members from a variety of offices including team members from Career & Professional Development, Financial Aid, Bursars Office, Center for Multicultural Excellence, Student Outreach & Support, Daniels, University Library and the Controller’s Office. Next steps include but are not limited to:

  1. Discussions around financial literacy training to incoming students at orientation
  2. Developing a page on Financial Aid’s website to house all student and young alumni programming related to financial literacy. All of the educational events, videos, resources and handouts will be accessible in one spot. The site will also include a resource list of financial literacy speakers that are available for student groups and classes.
  3. Developing a list of topics that would provide additional support to students during their time at DU
  4. Hiring a Graduate Fellow within Financial Aid to develop further materials and programming

We also created a new Director of Campus Engagement role to grow career and employer engagement pathways with faculty. Recently, we sent out a “Faculty Career Champions” survey to students to identify faculty that have supported student internship, career, and continuing education goals. To date there have been over 350 submissions and we will be convening those faculty for a career discussion in September.

In addition, we are partnering with Jesse Owen and his team in Educational Psychology to engage with all sections of the Career Decision Making course held through that department.

Last Updated: 6/15/17

Heidi Perman

Executive Director of Career and Professional Development

Nancy Lorenzon

Director, Undergraduate Research Center

Pat Perrella

Executive Director, Career Services

Tonnett Luedtke

Director, Academic Advising

Engaging Alumni and Friends

In the 2017-2018 academic year, we focused on how to help faculty, alumni and students collaborate. For example, Sheila Schroeder, Associate Professor in the Media, Film and Journalism Studies department, worked with students and alumni through Project DU F.I.L.M. on producing Happy F*ing Valentine’s Day. Project DU F.I.L.M. pairs DU students with professional alumni mentors to produce, shoot, edit and distribute films they shoot together on location in Colorado. Check out this video of what the experience has meant to the students and alumni who participated.

In addition, we now have full-time dedicated alumni contacts in nearly every unit on campus to continue the creative collaboration that occurs when faculty, staff, students and alumni engage. We have also co-launched a new Women’s Professional Development Series with Colorado Women’s College to provide a networking series for all women alumnae from DU and CWC.  These monthly meetings touched the lives of over 100 alumnae, 44 students and 50 faculty and staff around important topics to advance women in their careers and life passions.

Throughout the year, Chancellor Rebecca Chopp, select deans and local alumni visionaries crossed the country to bring alumni the very best of DU as a part of the Leadership Insights series. Over 100 alumni gathered to hear thinkers and doers, together with local alumni visionaries, share critical insights on a wide range of pertinent topics. Alumni heard from several alumni visionaries including Ted Souder, Head of Industry- Retail at Google in Chicago, Devin Dillon, PhD 2011, Deputy Superintendent of Academic Social Emotional Learning from Oakland Unified and retired Army Gen. George Casey Jr.

We ended our year with our inaugural Alumni Weekend where over 1,100 alumni visited the DU campus to celebrate as our new graduates transition into alumni. Among other activities, we recognized several alumni members at our inaugural Alumni Awards Ceremony, including Brenda J Hollis, JD Law ’77, Prosecutor of the Special Court of Sierra Leone; Imran Khan, BSBA Economics & Finance ’00, Chief Strategy Officer, Snapchat; & Debra Crew, BA Spanish and International Studies ’93, CEO, Reynolds American. To keep up to date with alumni events, don’t forget to check our website for upcoming events.

Last Updated: 6/15/17 

Brandon MacNeill

Associate Vice Chancellor, Athletics and Recreation

Katie Davy

Executive Director of Alumni Networks, University Advancement

Mona Spitz

Executive Director of Alumni Engagement, Daniels College of Business

Ricki Kelly

Assistant Dean of Development, Sturm College of Law

Sheila Schroeder

Associate Professor, Media, Film and Journalism Studies