For more than 100 years, the Division of Continuing Education at CU-Boulder has offered generations of students and community members access to the university’s resources. The Department of Extension, as it was once called, was endorsed by the Board of Regents in 1911 and formally inaugurated in June 1912.
Our modern-day mission aligns with the early vision of our predecessors. Founding director and professor of sociology, Loran D. Osborn had an interest in the social problems of his day. His sentiments for continuing education as written in 1912 still ring true today:
“Only a fortunate few have the privilege of being in residence at the University of Colorado. It is no longer conceivable that the university has exhausted its duty and opportunity by putting its educational equipment at the service of this comparatively small number of young people, important as this function is. Its expert resources are too valuable an asset to the state to be thus limited. They should be at the disposal of individuals who cannot come within the college walls, and communities, which are seeking information and guidance in solution of the complex problems of modern life. It was the appreciation of this fact on the part of the university, and its desire to be of the widest possible service in the state, that led to the organization of the University Department of Extension, and it is with this broad purpose and spirit that the department is being administered.”
Amid our list of accomplishments from the past 100 years, there is no greater point of pride than knowing we have changed the lives of our students and community — past, present, and future. We are one-century strong, and we are delighted to commemorate 100 years of enriching lives and building community.
Anniversary Photo Credits: Archives University of Colorado Boulder Libraries; Carnegie Branch Library for Local History, Boulder, CO; Denver Public Library, Western History Collection; and University of Colorado, University Communications.