CSU Spur has adopted an Anchor Institution framework, which focuses efforts on the economic and social wellbeing of the communities that surround the physical footprint of CSU Spur. The CSU Spur team is working closely with — and is actively engaged with — the Denver Anchor Network and the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities to determine ways to implement Anchor ideals to connect with and support residents near our future campus.
The CSU System and CSU Spur believes in the power of education to enhance lives, and that everyone has a right to earn a higher education. As an initiative of the CSU System, CSU Spur is explicitly inclusive – it is a place open to all, meant to offer every individual the opportunity to connect with education and resources, and to inspire creativity. CSU Spur exists to be a welcoming place where anyone can learn and connect with a higher education institution.
Several times a year, the CSU System convenes a team of researchers from CSU and partners from local organizations like Butterfly Pavilion, Denver Zoo, and Pinyon Environmental, to collect information about the ecosystems and lifeforms of the South Platte River near the National Western Center site. This event has created a foundation of data that can be compared as improvements and restoration takes place on and around the River. In the future, this effort will be open to the public for community science collection.
Starting in 2020, CSU Spur and RiNo CRUSH Walls partnered to have CSU art students paint a building facade at the future CSU Spur campus. Students designed and created the wall mural on the McConnell building, which will be home to artist studios and be a part of the future CSU Spur Hydro building. This wall will be repainted by CSU students each year as part of CRUSH Walls.
CSU Construction Management students have participated in Extreme Community Makeover as in the neighborhoods around the future CSU Spur campus. Students have committed to a major exterior renovation project of a home each year since 2016, including yard clean-up, exterior repairs, and home painting. As part of the effort, homeowners work alongside the volunteers to complete the project.
Annually since 2013, CSU veterinarians and veterinary students have partnered with veterinarians from Dumb Friends League to provide free exams and vaccinations to more than 200 pets from the local communities of Globeville and Elyria-Swansea. Dumb Friends League will open its second donor-subsidized Solutions Clinic at the CSU Spur Vida building in 2022.
As part of a comprehensive partnership with Bruce Randolph School, the CSU System worked with school leadership to develop a program aimed at helping students identify how they could access higher education. Once a year, admissions teams and current students from CSU in Fort Collins and CSU Pueblo visit the school to share information (and spirit!) about college, discuss grade-relevant college preparation, and address student questions and concerns.
In an effort to ensure the success of CSU Spur as a place for learners of all ages, a Teacher Task Force was established in 2020 with formal and informal educators of all backgrounds and areas of interest from around the state. The Teacher Task Force has advised on future CSU Spur programming and on the design of interactive exhibits that will be a feature of each building.
CSU established the Youth Action Team to bring together National Western Center partner organizations to connect youth to the project in a meaningful way. In 2020, twelve students from Bruce Randolph School participated in the YAT, and developed an internship program for students to connect to the National Western Center project. CSU System will welcome its first interns in Spring 2021 and will also launch a shadow day program in Fall 2020 to showcase a variety of careers for students.