Campus & Community

Alumni reconnect with University at second annual symposium

“We like to think the success of the University is measured by the success of our alumni,” Chancellor Robert Coombe told the multi-generational capacity crowd at DU’s second annual Alumni Symposium Oct. 3–4. “We really need to be an asset to you throughout your life.”

The symposium is one way DU is trying to do that. The free event provides an opportunity for alumni to exchange and explore ideas, intellectually reconnecting with the University through keynote lectures and faculty-led courses.

The 190 symposium participants attended five classes, choosing from 33 lecture topics. “Hard Choices for America” featured former Colorado governors and DU faculty members Dick Lamm and Bill Owens, who shared their opinions on the difficulties currently facing the nation. Other topics included Motown, trauma psychology, Chinese nationalism and privacy issues.

“I am very excited by the cutting-edge research,” said Anita Khaldy (BA ’86). “I didn’t get the whole picture of what’s going on at DU until now.” Khaldy also appreciated that the symposium afforded her the opportunity to network and reengage in the social fabric of the University. “I used to feel disconnected from the University, but this weekend changed that,” she said.

Pamela Turbeville (MBA ’83), CEO of Navistar Financial Corp., said in her keynote speech that she chose to attend DU because she wanted more than a degree. She wanted substance.

During his keynote address, David von Drehle (BA ’83), editor-at-large for Time magazine, praised DU for contributing to his success as a journalist and writer. Von Drehle discussed how the numerous changes in society brought about by the technological revolution have redefined what characterizes a great university.

Traditionally, he said, a school’s name has had undue influence on its reputation. “Finally,” von Drehle said, “universities are going to be judged by what they do.”

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