Campus History

Campus History

Founded in 1965

The history of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is as rich as Colorado itself. Beginning in the 1920s, the University of Colorado began offering courses at different locations in Colorado Springs. But the campus didn’t become the one we know today until George J. Dwire sold the 80-acre Cragmor Sanitarium to the University of Colorado.  And what did it cost? For just $1.00, UCCS was able to lay claim to the land that would become its campus. 

From 1965 to 1972, the “Colorado Spring Center” operated as a division of the CU Boulder campus. That all changed, however, in 1974. During this year, UCCS was recognized as a distinct Colorado university campus, along with the two Denver campuses.

History on Campus

Colorado has always been known for its healthy climate. Over time, it became the “healthcare mecca” for everyone from writers to artists to even corporate tycoons.

Colorado Springs started when General William Jackson Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs, gave Dr. Edwin Solly 100 acres of land on Austin Bluffs. 
Besides the acreage, Palmer also gave the doctor $50,000 to start a tuberculosis sanitarium: the Cragmor Sanitarium.

The Cragmor Sanitarium building was designed by one of Colorado’s most famous architects, Thomas MacLaren. The building has now become the Main Hall on campus.

Now & Into the Future

With over 12,000 enrolled students, UCCS continues to grow and innovate.

UCCS began with only two programs in engineering and business - but now offers over 70+ undergraduate and graduate degree programs across six different colleges:

From our original 80 acres, UCCS has added 450 acres along the Austin Bluffs Parkway and North Nevada Avenue. UCCS continues to meet and exceed the needs of Colorado’s second-largest metropolitan area.

Helping Our Community Grow

UCCS continues to have a positive impact on the State of Colorado.

We have become a local nexus of teaching, research, and healthcare that reaches beyond economic statistics.

  • $440 million total economic impact for the State of Colorado
  • 3,902 workers supported
  • $200 impact on labor income
  • 10,949 students enrolled in Fall 2022
  • 2,750 degrees awarded in the fiscal year 2021-2022
  • Over 38,600 alumni reside in Colorado
  • Students and visitors spent over $100 million in Colorado during fiscal year 2021-2022
  • Received research awards totaling more than $9.3 million during fiscal year 2021-2022

A Native American Ancestral Site

A millennia ago, a group of Native Americans made UCCS their home.
Remains dating back to 100 A.D. to about 1400 A.D. can be found on the UCCS campus. These 30 sites were used by the Plains Native Americans. Visitors and students alike can see the archaeological remnants of these populations throughout the campus grounds. 

We know that our current today is built on the lands of our Native brothers and sisters.

At UCCS, we are humbled to be a part of this land legacy. We are committed to recognizing this land’s original owners. This is why we - along with Native American members of our community - have put together a land acknowledgment statement. We are dedicated to displaying it in all types of publications and communications. 

Land Acknowledgement Statement