Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

University of Denver hosts high school graduations

This month, the University of Denver will play a part in one of the most anticipated moments in the lives of thousands of area youth. Because Magness Arena can accommodate large numbers of youth and their families, it will host high school graduation ceremonies for Cherry Creek and Aurora Public Schools.

“We’re trying to educate the schools coming in not to park on city streets, but to use alternative transportation or park in the University parking lots,” says Richard Michel, event parking manager. “We’re asking students, faculty and staff to give us a few days a year to allow these public schools to come in and utilize our parking for these graduates.”

Michel says he’s encouraging use of RTD busses and light rail. For permit holders who drive to campus on high school graduation dates — May 17, 18, 24, 25 and 26 — he says to allow an extra 15 minutes in case their usual lot is full. In that instance, Argus staff will refer drivers to the closest available lot where the permit is valid. The following lots will be impacted: 103, 108, 301, 302, 311, 316, C, E, L, T and W.

While graduation is highly anticipated by almost 5,000 graduates and their families, DU’s neighbors are often less than enthusiastic about the influx of thousands of additional people. 

Michel understands, and says the University is doing what it can to mitigate parking-related problems, including designating the new Lot E for graduation. He says Aurora Schools have prepaid for parking in DU lots to ensure parking for graduates and their families.

He says a number of signs advising visitors to park in DU lots are set out in the surrounding neighborhood during high-volume events. The University has been putting out signs for at least five years, and also working with parking crews to manage the inflow and outflow of visitors.

Michel says DU notifies the city about large events and the city patrols for parking violators. He advises residents to contact the city if there are any problems. The city’s parking management division is available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Otherwise, residents should call the police non-emergency line at 720-913-2000.

University of Denver commencement ceremonies take place in May and June as follows: The Sturm College of Law ceremony will take place May 19 at 10 a.m. The graduate Commencement ceremony will take place on June 8 at 5 p.m. The undergraduate ceremony will take place June 9 at 10 a.m.

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