UCCS celebrates Colorado Springs’ 150th with a blast from the past

In the first of a series of lectures celebrating the intertwined histories of UCCS and Colorado Springs, Peg Bacon, provost emerita, shared stories of how the university grew up alongside its community.

The lecture, titled “UCCS and Colorado Springs – Growing Up Together,” overviewed the university’s history beginning in 1925, when the University of Colorado began to offer classes in Colorado Springs. The fledgling university didn’t begin to take shape until 1952, when CU established an extension center in Colorado Springs, administered from its campus in Boulder. And it wasn’t until 1965 that the university became a degree-granting institution after purchasing the 82.5 acres and accompanying structures of the former Cragmor tuberculosis sanatorium for one dollar. The campus was named the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Center – or as some students cheekily named it, “TB U.”

Bacon’s lecture sweeps through the ’70s, characterized by a push to grow and become a full-fledged university; the turbulent ’80s, marked by tensions over funding, academic programs and the university’s twin missions of technical education and research; and the exploding growth and expanding scope of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in the twenty-first century.

Listen to the full lecture above, complete with archival photographs spanning nearly 100 years of Colorado Springs history.

All members of UCCS and the community are invited to join in the celebrations of Colorado Springs’ 150th birthday – its sesquicentennial anniversary – through programming leading up to July 31, 2021. Learn more about UCCS’ celebrations.