This regalia hood was worn by the University of Denver’s twelfth Chancellor, Chester M. Alter (1906–2006).
Alter served as Chancellor at the University of Denver (DU) from 1953 to 1967. Chancellors and other high university officials’ regalia hoods are frequently purple, which suggests that this hood was not worn during Alter’s inauguration, and is likely either from his academic career prior to coming to the University of Denver, or some time after.
Alter taught at Harvard and Boston University before being recruited by the U. S. War Department to work on the Manhattan Project during World War II. The Manhattan Project was a research and development project that led to the production of the first atomic bomb. In 1953, Alter returned to academia when he was offered the position of Chancellor at the University of Denver.
During Alter’s term of office he initiated the construction of multiple buildings, including: the Boettcher Science Center (1963), Cherrington Hall (1965), the Mass Communications Building, (1961) the Business Administration Building (1968), the Law Center (1965) Johnson-McFarlane Residence Hall (1960), Centennial Residence Hall (1961) and Centennial Residence Towers (1963).
In 1961 Alter ended the University of Denver football program after his administration determined that expenditures on football were taking funding away from academic projects and intramural sports. In 1964, during the DU centennial celebration, Alter was honored with the Evans Award from the Alumni Association of the University.
The University of Denver dedicated the Chester M. Alter Arboretum on April 30th, 1999. The Arboretum was named for Alter to recognize both his work as the twelfth Chancellor of the University as well as his lifelong love of trees. Chester Alter passed away in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2006 at the age of 99.
Fisher, Steve. “A Life Well Lived,” University of Denver Magazine, Fall 2004, http://blogs.du.edu/today/magazine/a-life-well-lived.