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Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science Records

Identifier: U031


Collection contains the records of the School of Engineering and Computer Science at University of Denver from 1959-1975. Though engineering degrees were offered as early as 1881, the College of Engineering was first established in 1919 and became the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science in 2014. Collection contains issues of the publication “The Denver Engineer,” awards, memos, reports, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, proposals and, correspondence relating to the School of Engineering and Computer Science.


  • Other: 1959-1975


Biographical / Historical

The first engineering degree offered by the University of Denver was the Mining Engineering degree which was offered in 1881. In 1918, Dr. Wilbur Engle started the first formal engineering program in Chemical Engineering. This lead to the establishment of the College of Engineering in 1919. In 1958 The Boettcher Foundation gifted 1.25 million which founded The Boettcher Center for Science and Engineering which is what the buildings utilized by the program were called. There were many different engineering programs offered thought the years including Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering. All of these departments went through accreditation processes through the Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (ECPD) up until the College of Engineering was closed in 1975.

The decision to close the College of Engineering was made on October 16th, 1973 during a Board of Trustees meeting. On October 17th, 1973 there was an announcement made to the entire school about the closing of the College of Engineering due to rising costs and a decline in enrollment rates. It was decided that Juniors and Seniors would be able to finish the program, but newer students would be encouraged to transfer school or switch programs. At the same time the college was closing, the University of Denver decided to offer a pre-engineering program where students would be able to complete a two- or three-year program and then transfer to either Colorado State University or Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri to complete a full bachelor’s degree.

In 1981, it was proposed that an Engineering degree be offered under the Department of Physics and it was unanimously agreed. The Engineering degree was officially offered starting in the fall of 1982. DU also started an Engineering Club in the following year. In 1984 the faculty of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering was created. In December 1988, Barton L. Weller, an alumnus of the university, gifted the school with $1 million to go towards programs in the natural sciences and the Department of Engineering. Accreditation was again sought after for the Engineering department, and in 1990 all four programs of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering were accredited through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

The School of Engineering and Computer Science was established on June 5th, 2003. On May 6th, 2014 the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Sciences Groundbreaking Ceremony was held. The new building was erected on the southern part of campus between Orin and Trevorrow Halls and the Newman Center for the Performing Arts.


14.5 Linear Feet (20 containers)


The collection is unarranged.

Processing Information

Collection name was changed from School of Engineering and Computer and Science Records, 2017 September 12.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428