Illiff - Avenue of Heroes

Veterans Day is an important time to recognize the people who sacrificed so much for all of us. While we are all excited about the gentrification of the DU campus, there is an old, grey building (pictured) sandwiched between the Newman Center for the Performing Arts and the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science building, currently under construction. It is a powerful reminder of DU's past.

Today, few people remember the important role DU had in serving returning soldiers from WWII. Under the GI bill, returning soldiers flooded colleges and universities and temporary structures were erected to accommodate the crush of new students. DU became known as 'GI Tech' and the student population swelled to 15,000 students! Double rows of Quonset huts lined the south side of Illiff  Avenue (below)  along with the surviving grey army barrack building. DU played an invaluable role during this period educating the "greatest generation".

Over time, if we are not able to save the current barrack building with advancing campus improvements, LetsGoDU proposes a suitable memorial be constructed along Illiff Avenue to remind the the community of DU's critical role in educating returning soldiers,and the powerful contributions they made to their families, DU, their community and the world.

If any readers of  LetsGoDU were there at DU for the GI Tech era, please share your memories.

LetsGoDU salutes all our vets.


Anonymous said...

Nice reminder, Tim

5BWest said...

Thanks...15,000 students on the 'old' DU campus - it must have been something!