Magazine Feature

DU a different place when class of 2013 was born

Most of DU’s incoming first-year students are 18 years old, which means they were likely born in 1991. Also born that year were the grunge revolution — Nirvana released its landmark Nevermind album in September — trash-TV staple “The Jerry Springer Show” and Operation Desert Storm.

Top movies in 1991 included Silence of the Lambs, City Slickers and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. In the world of music, the late Michael Jackson released Dangerous, Metallica released its self-titled “black album” and MC Hammer won a rap Grammy for his ubiquitous hit “U Can’t Touch This.”

It was a big year for decade-defining events as well: In addition to the Gulf War, 1991 also was the year serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested in Milwaukee and the year an amateur videographer caught Rodney King being beaten by Los Angeles police officers — which eventually led to one of the worst riots in the city’s history.

The world was a different place in 1991, 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 1991 either, but the old Science Building and the Alumni Gym were still standing.

DU students did a lot less traveling in 1991, 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 was Denver Boone, the pioneer mascot that pre-dates current mascot Ruckus.

DU also had a varsity baseball team in 1991 — 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 three years away.

And though the Colorado Rockies and Coors Field were in the works in 1991, 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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