Colorado State University Pueblo faculty, staff, students, community members, family, and graduates of the CSU Pueblo class of 2020 gathered on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m. to celebrate commencement virtually.
Participants were encouraged to join via Facebook Live, YouTube, and the CSU Pueblo website for a livestream ceremony. Senior CJ Richards led the ceremony with the national anthem featuring him singing in Hoag Hall.
President Timothy Mottet adorned in full commencement regalia, welcomed viewers with a pre-recorded address from Massari Arena on the campus at CSU Pueblo.
“We have much to celebrate today, our graduates and your students have endured and overcome numerous challenges to complete their degree programs. Our graduates have demonstrated their resiliency, their ability to solve problems, and their ability to adapt. They are navigating our rapidly changing world. They are living the mission of our university and we are incredibly proud of them.”President Timothy Mottet
Kacie Adair, president of Associated Students’ Government at CSU Pueblo, welcomed graduates and spoke about her experience at the university. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is a book by Dale Carnegie that Adair highlighted throughout her speech.“Instead of standing up here and talking about our bright futures or providing commentary on how we are going to overcome this awful year, and how strong we are to be graduating at such a scary time, I want to tell you about “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” said Adair.
Although the book contains over 30 principles, Adair shared only three with her fellow graduates of CSU Pueblo. The three principles she shared included remembering a person’s name, try to honestly see things from another person’s point of view, and finally to praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement.
During the ceremony, two graduates were mentioned specifically for the historical moment with the celebration of the first doctoral degrees awarded by CSU Pueblo. Dr. Kati Foechterle and Dr. Ronda Orndoff both earned a doctoral degree with the Doctorate of Nursing Practice in May of 2020.
Chancellor Tony Frank joined the virtual ceremony and shared his congratulations. “Perhaps more than any other class in our lifetimes, you graduate in an uncertain time,” said Frank. “But you also graduate in a time when we are learning remarkable lessons about resilience, innovation and community. CSU Pueblo graduates are models of determination and commitment even in the best years,” said Frank.
Frank dressed in regalia and shown with a CSU Pueblo backdrop during the ceremony, went on to praise the class of 2020. “You are the graduates that our world needs now and we could not be more honored than we are today to recognize all you have achieved,” said Frank.
“I know I speak on behalf of many of my colleagues here at CSU Pueblo, that we are incredibly proud of you and the academic work you’ve done to receive your diploma. We know many of you will enter the work world while others will pursue further degrees upon leaving our institution. We want to hear of your success and be part of it.”Mohamed Abdelrahman, Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs
The Provost always awards the first two degrees of the commencement ceremony, which includes the University’s Threlkeld Prize for Excellence, awarded to Morgan Mohalla, who graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science in biology, biomedical science.
Mohalla helped reestablish the Medical Science Society Club, was a research assistant in the Institute of Cannabis Research, and is a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served as a senior combat medic.
The second degree awarded is the Diane Blackwell President’s Leadership Award, given to Cameron Collins. Collins earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry.
He was one of the first student interns within the CBASE chemistry community to be promoted to a fellow for two years, served as the ASG senator for the College of Science and Math, and helped to establish the Winter Wonderland tradition while at CSU Pueblo.
The Colorado State University System Board of Governor’s Chair, Nancy Tuor joined the commencement address virtually as well. “Each of you has worked hard to arrive at this moment in your life, and each of you is deserving of the honors bestowed upon you during today’s ceremony,” said Tuor. She then went on to officially confer the graduates of the class of 2020 on behalf of the CSU Board of Governors.
Upon completion of each of the graduates’ names being read along with their degree earned, they were greeted by President of the CSU Pueblo Alumni Association, Taylor Voss.
Voss welcomed the 2020 class into the fellowship of the Alumni Association of approximately 46,000 graduates. Graduates were encouraged to move their tassels to show the conferral of their degree.