During the 1990s, JWU began exploring the feasibility of creating a new campus in the western United States as part of a university-wide strategic planning process. Inspired in part by strong support from several Denver-based foundations and corporations, JWU selected Denver in 1999.
The university initially acquired a 10-acre traditional university campus that once housed Colorado Women’s College and then — since the early 1980s — the University of Denver Law School. Having brought life back to an otherwise upscale residential neighborhood, JWU exercised its option to purchase the remainder of the site in 2003, acquiring an additional 15 acres of the campus. Since welcoming its inaugural class in 2000, JWU has invested more than $48 million in construction and renovation to enhance and improve classroom facilities, culinary laboratories and residence halls on campus.