Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Campus closure brings holiday joy, energy savings

The University of Denver will close Dec. 25–28 and Dec. 31. Including the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s Day, altogether that’s eight days most employees will have off.

Last year was the first time the University had closed for two extra days. The recommendation to make the last five days of December holidays came from the campus calendar committee and was approved by DU’s trustees in 2006.

“We’re trying to give people a solid break where they wouldn’t have to come back for one day, says Human Resources Director Richard Gartrell. 

Employees are enthusiastic, Gartrell says, because they’re able to make plans ahead of time. 

“I’m glad that University of Denver staff get Christmas through New Year’s Day off so we can spend some time with our families, ” says Brenda Goates, program assistant at University College.

This year Gartrell and his wife are flying to Mexico for the break.

“It’s the first time we both had that much time off,” he says.

Since this year Christmas falls on a Tuesday, many employees are taking Dec. 24 as a vacation day to travel to meet family for the holiday.

Although the closure impacts most employees, some departments will maintain skeleton crews to prepare for the winter quarter starting Jan. 2. The registrar’s office, the bookstore, and the facilities, housing and safety departments will keep a few people on staff. Payroll will be available for check pickup. 

The closure will do more than lighten spirits. It will save the University about $20,000 in utility costs, says Facilities Management Director Jeff Bemelen.

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