Campus & Community

Korbel School celebrates opening of new building

The Josef Korbel School of International Studies has a long and storied history at the University of Denver. The school, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, is named for Czech-American diplomat Josef Korbel — father of former U.S. Secretary of State (and 2016 undergraduate Commencement speaker) Madeleine Albright — and has educated such luminaries as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif; former U.S. Army Chief of Staff George Casey Jr.; and Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs Heraldo Muñoz.

Another major chapter in the school’s history was written in May 2016 with the opening of the Anna and John J. Sie (pronounced “see”) International Relations Complex. The structure, which took 18 months to complete, joins the existing Cherrington Hall and Sié Chéou-Kang Center with a new 46,000-square-foot, five-story building. The new construction and renovations to Cherrington Hall were funded by a $17 million gift from the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation.

“We are immensely grateful to Anna and John Sie for this transformational learning environment,” says DU Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. “A hallmark of DU’s strategic vision is students learning and leading in a diverse and global 21st century. With the Sie Complex, the Josef Korbel School is even better positioned to prepare students to become tomorrow’s global leaders, have meaningful careers and lead lives of purpose.”

University Architect Mark Rodgers and architectural firm Anderson Mason Dale collaborated on the design of the new building, which features tech-equipped classrooms and meeting facilities, including a top-floor events room with stunning 360-degree views (named Maglione Hall in honor of Anna Maglione Sie); a “simulation room” inspired by the White House’s famed Situation Room; and new homes for Korbel School institutes such as the Latin America Center, the Center for Middle East Studies and the Center for China-U.S. Cooperation.

“This entire Sie Complex is going to allow us to do things we could never do before,” says Christopher Hill, dean of the Korbel School. “We have our centers that are properly housed with office space; we have new seminar rooms; we have new spaces now for students that our students in the past could only dream of. We’re a first-rate program, and now I think we have first-rate facilities.”

Among the new building’s other architectural features are a copper roof — a signature look for new DU buildings — made of more than 7,000 pounds of 95 percent recycled copper, and a blue-tiled spire that is just a few inches shy of 32 feet high, making it one of the tallest structures on the DU campus. The spire was placed atop the Sie Complex tower in a traditional “topping-out” ceremony on Sept. 24, 2015.


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