UCCS conferred 600 degrees to students from the Class of 2022 during the Summer/Fall 2022 Commencement ceremony, held at the Broadmoor World Arena.
UCCS awarded 6 doctoral degrees, 110 master’s degrees and 483 bachelor’s degrees to graduates of the summer/fall 2022 semester during the December 16 event, hosted at the Broadmoor World Arena. Graduates and their families celebrated alongside UCCS faculty, staff and students.
Venkat Reddy, Chancellor of UCCS, Todd Saliman, President of the University of Colorado system, and Susan Wheelan, Distinguished Alumna Speaker, addressed graduates during the ceremony.
“Graduates, you rose above every single setback you faced,” UCCS Chancellor Venkat Reddy said in his address. “You demonstrated courage and resilience, and you did not give up on your dreams. Your triumph today is not just that you have succeeded in the face of difficulty — it is that you are stronger and better equipped to take on any obstacle that may come your way.”
“As you graduate today, you will go back out into the world – using the work of your minds and your hearts to make it a better place.”
“The world is both wonderful and weird,” said Todd Saliman, President of the CU System. “And you’re not just ready for it, you’re ready to shake it up. You’ve learned the power of empathy. The power of understanding different perspectives. The power of diversity in all its forms, and the power of hard work. You’ve learned how to pivot when things don’t go as planned, which is a lot of the time, and how to adapt to a new normal.”
“Here’s the second thing I want to share with you,” he continued. “There’s no such thing as “normal.” There’s only how things are right now. Just as we’re always changing, growing and evolving, so is the world around us. The only constant is change, as they say. And you know how to find your footing on this ever-shifting landscape, no matter how off-kilter it may feel.”
“By working hard, building your skills, thinking creatively and being prepared to pivot, I’m confident you’ll make your corner of the world a little more wonderful and a little less weird – for yourselves and for all of us,” President Saliman finished. “And finally, one of the greatest things I’ve learned over the years: weird can be wonderful too.”
Distinguished Alumna Speaker Susan Wheelan spoke about the importance of developing an adaptive mindset that will allow graduates to overcome any challenges they may face along their journeys.
“Inevitably, along your path, challenges are waiting for you,” she said. “Push through and always figure out what lesson you can take away from those periods of your life. Every single experience, positive or negative, provides us with knowledge and growth. It might hurt, and you will shed some tears. And maybe cuss along the way. But always get back up and dust yourself off.”
The ceremony included a celebration of 17 Silver Graduates, members of the Class of 1997 who celebrated 25 years since their own UCCS graduation.
To close the ceremonies, CU Regent Sue Sharkey delivered the traditional Norlin Charge to graduates. The charge dates back to CU Boulder president George Norlin’s delivery of the June 1935 Commencement ceremony. The words of the Norlin Charge are now read to the graduating class each year at each of the four CU campuses, as a reminder that graduates will carry their experiences at the university with them forever.
“Commencement does not mean, as many wrongly think, the breaking of ties and the beginning of life apart,” reads the charge. “Rather, it marks your initiation in the fullest sense into the fellowship of the university, as bearers of her torch, as centers of her influence, as promoters of her spirit.”
“The university consists of all who come into and go forth from her halls, who are touched by her influence and who carry on her spirit. Wherever you go, the university goes with you. Wherever you are at work, there is the university at work.”