Campus & Community

DU’s own Daniel Ritchie to receive Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Chancellor Emeritus Daniel Ritchie is one of more than 90 American citizens who will be honored May 7 with the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations’ Ellis Island Medals of Honor.

According to the organization, the awards are “presented each year on historic Ellis Island to a select group of individuals whose accomplishments in their field and inspired service to our nation are cause for celebration.”

The Ellis Island Medals further honor citizens who dedicate themselves to community service and “preserve and celebrate the history, traditions and values of their ancestry while exemplifying the values of the American way of life, and who are dedicated to creating a better world for us all.”

Ritchie served as the University’s chancellor between 1989 and 2005 and as chairman of the Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2007. He served as CEO of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts from 2007 to 2014. In December 2014 he was named to the board of the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, which oversees the 150-acre Fitzsimons Innovation Campus, north of the CU Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo.

In 2013 he donated property valued at $27 million to the School of Engineering and Computer Science, which was renamed the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science in honor of Daniel Ritchie’s father. The 110,000-square-foot building on the south side of campus also will house the new Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging. It is slated to be completed this fall.

The Ellis Island Medal comes on the heels of a Colorado Governor’s Citizenship Medal that Gov. John Hickenlooper awarded to Ritchie in December 2015. Ritchie was given the inaugural Vanguard Legacy award for his transformational contributions to the community throughout his lifetime.

Previous Ellis Island Medal winners include six presidents of the United States; former secretary of state and current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; and esteemed Americans such as Frank Sinatra, Lee Iacocca, Quincy Jones, Muhammad Ali, Elie Wiesel and Rosa Parks.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *