Spring commencement launches new beginnings

By Staff

Mortar boards and tassels symbolize the successful culmination of thousands of hours of studying, working and hoping by the approximately 2,100 students completing degree programs this spring at the University of Colorado Denver.

Graduates, their families and friends gathered with faculty and other university leaders and guests on the Auraria Field Saturday, May 14, to celebrate commencement.

Among the graduates this year were 847 students earning bachelor's degrees, 444 master's degrees, and six who completed doctorate degrees as well as 18 specialists in education. Notably, another 22 graduating students from the International College of Beijing (ICB) program participated.

Interim Denver Mayor Guillermo "Bill" Vidal, bachelor of science civil engineering ('72), received the 2011 University of Colorado Denver Alumni Appreciation Award. Vidal has said that as a child living in the Sacred Heart Orphanage in Pueblo, the idea of being mayor would have seemed like "an impossible miracle." Today Vidal is not only Denver's mayor (he assumed the office after John Hickenlooper became Colorado's governor) but he also has amassed an impressive record of accomplishments as a career civil servant advocating for sustainable regional growth and improved quality of life.

During a special College of Arts and Media (CAM) ceremony, David Shepard, a longtime film preservationist and one of the few great film archivists in the world, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his pursuit of preserving film.

Commencement for students at the Anschutz Medical Campus is Friday, May 27.