Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

DU confers more than 1,300 graduate degrees this spring

The University of Denver awarded more than 1,300 degrees at its Spring Graduate Commencement exercises on June 8.

Fifty-eight graduates earned doctoral degrees, and 1,254 students earned master’s degrees in diverse fields, including library and information science and social work management.

Following a call to order by DU Trustee Leo Goto and a welcome by Chancellor Robert Coombe, alumni association representative Moses Brewer (BA physical education ’71, MA speech communication ’76) welcomed the graduates into the ranks of DU alumni.

Jerome “Jerry” Wartgow (PhD education ’72), former superintendent and CEO of Denver Public Schools, delivered the Commencement address.

He challenged the graduates to give back to the community, to help improve the education in public schools and to instill the love of lifetime learning in children.

“By reinvesting the return on your education back into the community, you can help change history’s course,” said Wartgow. “You’re not only helping others survive, but thrive.”

Wartgow has dedicated his career to education and public service. He began as a high school math teacher, but soon moved up to become the dean of students at the International School of Bangkok, Thailand.

After earning his PhD in higher education and business from DU, Wartgow worked as a professor and the head of educational organizations. In 1986, he was appointed as the founding president of the Colorado Community College and Occupational Education System. During his 12 years there, he unified a system of 13 diverse institutions serving more than 100,000 students.

In 2001, Wartgow became the superintendent and CEO of Denver Public Schools. During his tenure, the district twice won the governor’s award for the most improved school district in the state. He retired from the school system in 2005.

Wartgow is on the board of directors for Scholar Centric, an educational publishing firm, the Denver Public Schools Foundation and the Education Foundation.

Coombe conferred Wartgow with an honorary doctoral degree in public service in recognition of his 40 years of service to the community.

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