Burns School History

Celebrating 75 Years

The Burns Book looks back on 75 years and can be viewed as a virtual book. A virtual book works very much like an actual book. It allows you to click the edges of pages to go forward and backwards. You can click the arrows on the left or right or the thumbnail images below to navigate through the pages as well. The index will provide an overview. You can zoom on any of the pages by clicking within the page.

Our History

The Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management was founded in 1938 as the Building Industry and Real Estate BIRE Program. In 1947, the program was renamed the Department of Real Estate and Construction Management (RECM). On May 6, 1997, the program was officially named the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management.

Offering undergraduate, graduate degree and executive master’s degree programs, the Franklin L. Burns School is one of the largest schools within the Daniels College of Business and the only school of its kind in the nation.

We’re proud of our long legacy at the forefront of the real estate and construction management industries.

Our Namesake

Our school is named after Franklin Lane Burns, who was acclaimed as Denver’s premier home builder in the 1940s and 1950s.

Burns was born in Denver on August 1, 1914. He graduated from East High School and attended the University of Southern California and the University of Denver as a premed student. In 1940, he took over Burns Realty and Trust (established in 1899) after the death of his uncle.

A visionary, Franklin Burns was one of the first builders to bring affordable housing to lower-income families. He built houses for returning WWII veterans whose prices were in line with tight budgets. He offered FHA financing. And he stood behind the quality of his product with a written construction warranty.

In 1997, Burns personally donated five million dollars to the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver to establish the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management. Franklin Burns passed away on August 10, 1998—83 years, almost to the day of when he was born.

Frank Burns’ wife, Joy Burns, has continued the legacy of support for the Burns School since her husband’s death. She has also served the University as former head of the DU Board of Trustees and currently remains an active member.

Each year at the Burns School Women of Enterprise (WE) Forum, the Joy S. Burns Woman of Enterprise Award is given out to a professional woman in the real estate or construction industry who has reflected the values of contributing to her industry and her community, as well as a history of helping women progress professionally within that industry.