Current Issue

Editor’s note

You may be wondering, with all of the great things going on at the University of Denver, why devote so much of our magazine to Africa?

The answer is simple: It is DU’s mission to be a great private university dedicated to the public good. Whether here in our own community or thousands of miles away in the Sudan or Kenya or South Africa, University of Denver students and alumni are living that mission. The articles in this issue are an exceptional demonstration of how DU Pioneers are using their education to change our world. How could we not share such an important message?

When we began planning this issue a year ago, we had no idea that Africa would become its focus. We had intended to simply cover a College of Law student who would be spending the summer in Uganda, working on behalf of DU’s Human Rights Advocacy Center. As we investigated the possibility of sending a photographer and writer to cover the story, we began to unearth myriad connections between DU and Africa. Karambu Ringera, a human communication studies PhD student, was caring for AIDS orphans in Kenya. Alumnus Tony Carroll had been helping advance African trade, while another alum, Cindy Courville, focused her attention on Africa from a seat at the National Security Council. The list goes on.

With financial support from the Office of Communication & Marketing, University Advancement, Office of Internationalization, the Center for Multicultural Excellence and the School of Communication, we sent a University of Denver Magazine writer (Janna Widdifield) and photographer (Tim Ryan) to Uganda and Kenya to meet with students and alumni and document the work they were doing there.

Perhaps even more incredible than the ways our Pioneers are impacting Africa is how their work is touching lives back on campus. For example, after returning from assignment, Janna and Tim invited Karambu to give a presentation to the Office of Communications & Marketing (OCM), where they work. Office employees then donated enough money to send one AIDS orphan, Mutuma (pictured), to boarding school for several years. Tim Nyman, an OCM graphic designer, donated his time to create brochures and other materials to help Karambu with her fundraising efforts, and D&K Printing produced the pieces at no cost. One good deed does beget another, and another and another.

As you peruse this issue, I hope you feel the same sense of pride that all of us on the magazine staff feel. It’s a pride in the remarkable work of our students and alumni, pride in the professors who trained them, pride in a university that makes serving the public good a centerpiece of the enterprise. I also challenge you to explore the ways that you, too, can live the mission of the University of Denver and help make your little corner of the world a bit better.

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