7 Buildings you Need to Know at CU Boulder

Sky view of CU Boulder.

Students travel from all over the country to attend CU Boulder. The mountains, beautiful scenery, and great academics are all reasons to attend the university. Another part of the university’s appeal are the elegant and historical brick buildings that you can see all over campus. Somehow, the new buildings that pop up each year fit in with the older buildings in a harmonious balance. Depending on what your major is, you will spend more or less time in some of the buildings around campus, but you’ll definitely have one or two classes in each. Below are the 7 buildings you need to know at CU Boulder.

1. The University Memorial Center

University Memorial Center.

The UMC is the heart of the CU Boulder campus. Whether you’re stopping by between classes, grabbing lunch at the Alfred Packer Grill, or shopping at the CU bookstore, there’s always something to do and someone to talk to. The UMC is a great spot for lunch, studying, or even bowling with friends at the The Connection. Located in the middle of campus, the UMC is definitely a building you should know and love.

2. Recreation Center

CU Rec Center and pool.

The Rec Center at CU is the best place in Boulder to exercise. The facility was just recently renovated, features state of the art equipment, and even a buffalo shaped pool! The Rec Center is in the center of campus which makes it super easy to drop by between classes, after dinner, or for a morning workout session.

3. Hellems Arts and Sciences Building

Hellems Arts and Sciences Building.

Hellems Arts and Sciences Building is home to many English, anthropology, and political science classes. Most students in the arts and sciences college will take a class in Hellems. As one of the oldest buildings on campus, Hellems has awesome historical appeal. Part of its appeal, though, is that it doesn’t have air conditioning, so make sure you sit by a window!

4. Macky Auditorium

Macky Auditorium.

If you enjoy concerts or guest speakers, Macky Auditorium is definitely one of the buildings you need to know on campus. The auditorium is grand and beautiful, and houses many of the fun events CU Boulder hosts on campus. Last year, Aly Raisman gave an awesome speech at Macky and John Mulaney  had an awesome standup comedy performance.

5. Norlin Library

Norlin Library.

Norlin Library is one of the best places to study on campus. It’s absolutely massive and houses tons of different nooks to cram before a test. One a sunny day, you can lounge outside on the Norlin Quad, and on winter nights you can visit the Laughing Goat Cafe for a warm coffee.

6. Fiske Planetarium

Fiske Planetarium.

Fiske Planetarium is an awesome place to spend your day. You can walk through the museum or see a show in the awesome planetarium. On weekends, you can even see a laser show with friends! If you love space, having fun, or just relaxing between study sessions, Fiske is the place to go.

7. The Center for Community

The Center for Community.

If you’re living on campus, the C4C is definitely a building you should be familiar with. As one of the newest buildings on campus, the C4C is one of the best places to eat. The food is delicious so you’ll probably grab most of your meals here, and it’s the closest dining hall to the dorms.

Interesting Facts About CU Boulder

1. A Cafeteria at CU is Named After a Cannibal

Alfred Packer Grill is actually named after Al Packer, Colorado’s most famous cannibal. He was alive during the gold rush era and is famous for eating his entire expedition team when they were lost in the mountains. Now, you can eat in his grill at the UMC… but don’t worry, no meat served there is human.

Alfred Packer Grill.

2. CU has One of the Largest Live Mascots in the Country

Ralphie the Buffalo, CU Boulder’s mascot is one of the largest a live mascots in the country. Although most people think Ralphie’s a male, she’s actually a female because they’re much easier to handle. Ralphie run across Folsom Field every football game at over 25 MPH and has to be escorted by volunteers from CU’s track and field team.

Ralphie running across Folsom Field.

3. CU Boulder is One of the Largest Schools in the Country

Housing over 35,000 students, CU Boulder is one of the larger universities in the country. It’s easy to understand why though. Students come from across the country for Boulder’s amazing weather, wonderful scenery, and awesome academics.

CU Boulder students.

4. You Can go Ghost Hunting!

Since CU is such an old campus, many of the buildings are home to some pretty spooky activity. The most famous ghost on campus is a girl who was murdered in Macky Auditorium in the 1950s. There are reports of people seeing her in the west tower of the building, but you’ll only know if you go find her yourself!

Macky Auditorium at night.

5. CU is Ranked #2 Most Beautiful Campus in the Country

According to “Times Higher Education,” CU Boulder is #2 on the list for most beautiful college campuses in the country. CU sits just at the base of the Rocky Mountains, making it stunningly beautiful no matter the time of year. No matter where you are on campus you always have a spectacular view of the mountains.

CU Boulder campus.

6. CU has Started many Zero-Waste Programs

The most notable zero-waste program CU Boulder has started is in it’s football stadium. CU began the first every zero-waste program in a major college football stadium in the country. Since then, the campus has began many other sustainable programs around campus such as composting in dorms and solar panels on buildings.

Solar panels on campus.

7. 2014 Best College Town in America

In 2014, GQ named Boulder the best college town in the United States. It’s no question why, though. CU Boulder is right near tons of restaurants, shops, and fun places to spend your time. On or off campus, there’s always something to do in Boulder.

Pearl Street Mall, a shopping center minutes away from campus.

Since CU Boulder is home to amazing views, interesting buildings, and great academics, it’s no wonder why students come from all over the country to attend. The buildings on campus are an awesome mix between historic and modern, and you can always find a place to study, grab lunch, or hang out with friends. CU also has lots of opportunities for fun activities like hiking in the Rocky Mountains, going to one of Boulder’s many delicious restaurants, or just hanging out in one of the buildings across campus. CU Boulder is one of the most fun, academic, and beautiful campuses in the country, and is definitely worth getting to know.


Author: Emma Blanken

Hi! My name is Emma Blanken and I'm a freshman. I am so excited to share all of the tips and tricks I have learned throughout the years. Happy reading:)

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