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DU to graduate more than 500 on Aug. 12

More than 500 University of Denver graduates and undergraduates are expected to accept their diplomas Aug. 12 at summer Commencement.

The annual event begins at 8:30 a.m. on the Graduation Green on the south side of DU’s Margery Reed Building. This year’s celebration will be the first to take place during the Penrose Library redesign. The library project is not expected to impact the ceremony, but the hourly parking lot to the east of the library is closed to the public.

Daniel L. Ritchie Memorial Way — the circle between DU’s University Hall and the Iliff School of Theology — will be open only for passenger drop-off. Parking lots on the south end of campus will be open until 3 p.m. for visitor parking.

This year’s Commencement address marks a special day for the speaker, English professor and former Provost William Zaranka, who retired earlier this year. 

Zaranka came to the University in 1969 as a PhD creative writing student. After earning his doctorate in 1974, he taught briefly at the University of Pennsylvania before returning to Denver for a position here. He ended up serving as dean of DU’s arts and humanities divisions in the 1980s. In 1989, he was named provost, a position he held until 2001 before returning to the classroom.

During his tenure, Zaranka saw the University through some of its most difficult times, and saw it emerge as the strong, well-regarded institution it has become.

“It feels like a part of me,” Zaranka told DU Today when he announced his retirement. “I’ve been very fortunate to see it go from where it was when I first came to the glorious thing it is now, a beautiful campus and wonderful faculty, tremendous administration, great physical plant and highly selective, excellent students … It’s been heartening to see all the wonderful growth and changes that have taken place. It’s just been remarkable. It’s going to be hard to leave the people and the place.”

In case of inclement weather, the program will be held at the Ritchie Center. A decision will be made by 7 p.m. the night prior and posted at the Commencement website. Video of the entire ceremony will be streamed live at the commencement website.

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