Message to Alumni & Donors from Val Otten
Dear DU Community:
Since joining the University of Denver last month, I have seen first-hand how our community comes together during crisis, rising to the occasion to meet the most pressing needs of our students and University as a whole. The generosity of our alumni and friends, whether it has been through offering to help our graduating students who are entering a difficult job market, supporting our Student Emergency Fund and many other priorities, visiting an alumni-owned restaurant for curbside service, or other meaningful contributions to our community, has been inspiring. It has revealed that our community cares deeply not just about our students, but also about DU.
DU aspires to do great things. I have learned early on that this University has a strong entrepreneurial streak, is ambitious, is intensely focused on delivering public good through our research, and is fervently dedicated to academic excellence and ensuring each dimension of our student experience is outstanding. These distinguishing attributes will continue to guide us, including in these uncertain times, as we discover new and exciting ways to build community. For example, in March, we launched our Stay Connected site, bringing an ever-growing number of opportunities for you, our alumni and friends, to access free virtual programming — daily activities for children and families, work-from-home tips, mental health resources, career guidance and advice, health and wellness offerings, DU expert presenters and more. More than 4,500 people have engaged with our Stay Connected site to date, demonstrating both the need for this resource and the ability for our community to come together in this difficult time.
We have also come together to support our graduating students. Supporting our students’ career readiness from day one is a top priority at DU — now more than ever. And our alumni are playing a big role, posting internships and jobs on our job board for graduating students and offering to mentor our students, who only a few short months ago thought they were graduating into a booming economy. We are going to soon roll out additional ways to support our graduating students, including a platform for sharing advice from your own life experience.
Listening to and learning from you (even from my home office as I work remotely!) has been central to my initial weeks here at DU. I eagerly look forward to every opportunity to immerse myself deeply in our wonderful alumni and donor communities, getting to know you personally. Out of these difficult times, DU will emerge stronger and even better able to lead.
Please know your involvement is key to our ability to fulfill our mission—and central to the future of DU. Thank you for the many ways you continue to connect with the University of Denver.
Senior Vice Chancellor for Advancement