Dennis Gallagher – a graduate, parent of a Regis graduate, professor emeritus and financial contributor to the University – has a lifelong connection to Regis and the mission of service. He retires this year after a 44-year career in public service in the Colorado House, state Senate, Denver City Council and Denver auditor position. Gallagher spoke with Regis University Alumni Magazine about leadership, the city of Denver and Regis’ impact.
How did your education influence your commitment to being a leader and public servant?
At Regis, I remember learning about the ancient Roman leader Cicero fighting for freedom and defending the Roman Republic from tyrants. That got into my blood and bones and I would think, “Would Cicero agree with my decisions?” That’s how it all got started.
What is your most beloved memory from Regis?
In spring 1989, I was needed at a student meeting in the Student Center. Eight months pregnant, I waddled from Main Hall to the meeting. To my surprise, I was met with praise and given the Administrator of the Year award by the student body. It was one of the most touching moments of my life here.
Regis was a part of your childhood growing up in Northwest Denver, correct?
I used to ride my bike around campus as a boy and fell in love with it back then. When I was in high school, Father Robert Boyle, S.J., came to our school and introduced us to the written work of Shakespeare and Gerard Manly Hopkins, S.J., a Jesuit poet with whom I have had a deep spiritual connection ever since. My family knew Regis was a wonderful place where there was great learning going on. It was paradise for me and I still relish my time there.
How has Regis influenced Denver?
Regis University has sent a thoughtful, intelligent workforce to the city. Even today, Regis graduates are encouraged to be entrepreneurs and continue improving the economy. The citizens of ancient Athens all swore an oath to leave the city more beautiful than they found it, and our graduates should go forth and do likewise.