Campus & Community

Dan Ritchie receives standing ovation at undergraduate Commencement

A capacity crowd in DU’s Magness Arena gave Chancellor Emeritus Dan Ritchie a standing ovation following his address at the undergraduateCommencement ceremony June 7. The Class of ’08 is the last one Ritchie welcomed to DU in 2004 before leaving his position as chancellor the following summer.

Nearly 1,000 seniors received their degrees during the ceremony, which was held in the building named after Ritchie, the Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness. More than 5,000 parents and friends joined the seniors at the ceremony.

During his Commencement address, Ritchie discussed the state of the U.S. and the world today, including the economy and widely reported scandals in business organizations and government. He challenged graduates to go out and do something outstanding with their degrees and to remember the high ethical standards that come with a DU education.

“University of Denver class of 2008, you’ve had one of the great educational experiences on the planet,” said Ritchie. “Each of you will have the opportunity to lead us in some way to make this a better world.”

The ceremony culminated several days of Commencement activities on campus, which included welcoming back the class of 1958. Numerous events were held at schools across campus to recognize students’ accomplishments in the days leading up to the spring ceremony.

Ritchie was one of two people also receiving honorary degrees from the University of Denver during undergraduate Commencement. Current Chancellor Robert Coombe awarded Ritchie a Doctor of Higher Education. Former DU English Professor Robert Richardson was given an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

In closing, Ritchie quoted President Abraham Lincoln: “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

With that, the students and parents Ritchie had welcomed to DU nearly four years ago showed their appreciation for his 16 years of service as chancellor with a standing ovation.

Watch the Commencement ceremony video.

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