Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

World a different place when today’s freshmen were born

Most of DU’s incoming first-year students are 18 years old, which means they were likely born in 1992. Also born that year were the Clinton political dynasty — Bill Clinton beat out George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot in for the presidency in November 1992 — the European Union (the Treaty of Maastricht was signed in February) and cable mainstays Cartoon Network and the Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy).

Top movies in 1992 included Aladdin, Basic Instinct and Batman Returns. It was a big year for musical debuts — Tori Amos, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine, Pavement and No Doubt all released their first albums in 1992. In the rap world, Dr. Dre released his landmark album The Chronic and the Beastie Boys changed musical directions with Check Your Head.

It was a big year for decade-defining events as well: The Bosnian War began in March, the Los Angeles riots that came in the wake of the Rodney King trial happened in April, and “Long Island Lolita” Amy Fisher shot Mary Jo Buttafuoco, the wife of her lover, Joey Buttafuoco, in May.

The world was a different place in 1992, and so was the University of Denver campus. the Ritchie Center, the Newman Center and the Daniels College of Business building had yet to be built, and the Lamont School of Music was across town at DU’s Park Hill Campus, along with the Women’s College and the College of Law.

Nelson Hall and Nagel Hall didn’t exist in 1992 either, but the old Science Building and the Alumni Gym were still standing.

DU students did a lot less traveling in 1992, as the Cherrington Global Scholars Program hadn’t yet been created. Neither had the Partners in Scholarship (PINS) program.

Although it was wildly popular with fans, the hockey team wasn’t quite the success it is today. Head Coach George Gwozdecky came to DU in 1994 and led the team to back-to-back NCAA championships in 2004 and 2005, the team’s first such wins since the late 1960s. Cheering them on in the old DU Arena was Denver Boone, the Pioneer mascot that was officially retired in 1998 but still makes regular appearances on campus.

DU also had a varsity baseball team in 1992 — it played on a diamond next to Centennial Towers, where the Cable Center is now located.

The city of Denver was a different place in the early 1990s as well: Denver International Airport was years from being completed, LoDo was a seedy part of town known more for its flophouses than its hip nightspots, and light rail was still two years away.

And though the Colorado Rockies and Coors Field were in the works in 1992, the team wouldn’t play its first home game until 1993 — in the old Mile High Stadium. The Rockies’ first game at Coors Field wasn’t until April 1995. 

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