Six Golden Grads celebrate 50 years since graduating

Since 2012, UCCS has honored Golden Graduates – alumni who graduated 50 years ago – and Silver Graduates – alumni who graduated 25 years ago – during Commencement ceremonies in May and December, respectively.

This year, UCCS will recognize six Golden Graduates, each of whom graduated from UCCS in 1974.

Read stories from each of the Golden Grads below.

Gayle K. Berardi | B.A., Political Science

After graduating from UCCS, Gayle went on to earn both her master’s in sociology and Ph.D. in political science from CU Boulder. During that time, she also studied in Germany and at UC Berkeley. Her teaching and research career would then take her to Texas and eventually bring her back to Colorado, where she retired from CSU Pueblo as Professor Emerita.

“UCCS had a immense impact on my life. The faculty provided me with the knowledge and guidance to pursue my graduate degrees. In addition, the personal attention I received provided me with a role model for my own teaching career. Most importantly, it was at UCCS that I met my husband. We just celebrated our 50th anniversary.”

During Gayle’s career, she was involved in community engagement that led to the establishment of the Center for Community Leadership and Development. Now in retirement, she’s embarking on her second career as an artist.

Robert R. Chandler | M.B.A.

After graduation and discharge from the Air Force, Robert landed a technical job with Shell Oil in Houston and called Texas home for more than four decades. During his career of over 30 years, he undertook many various technical and management assignments that allowed him to make good use of his UCCS degree.

“While living in Houston, I enjoyed traveling, biking, running marathons and raising two sons.”

Since Robert returned to Colorado Springs six years ago, he’s happily volunteered as a board member on two local nonprofits while also continuing his hobbies of biking, hiking and traveling.

“The biggest impact on my life was the interaction with my UCCS professors, especially Dr. J. Daniel Couger. Dr. Couger was an excellent mentor and good friend, so much so that I established several ongoing UCCS scholarships in his memory. I am also gratified to see that UCCS, in the 50 years since my graduation, has become the exceptional university it is today.”

Michael P. Lohman | B.S., Electrical Engineering

Michael attended the College of Engineering and Applied Science, where he earned his undergraduate in electrical engineering.

Ronald Martwick | B.A., Mathematics

Ronald graduated with not only his B.A., but an English minor and teaching certificate from the College of Education as well. He went on to teach high school for four years before becoming a software engineer for the Department of Defense for 40 years.

“My degrees and certificate enabled me to teach high school mathematics and then transfer to technical jobs. The computer programming courses I took at UCCS resonated with me and instilled in me a new way of analyzing problems. These courses provided the stepping stone to a software engineering profession, and having a minor in English and a love of writing provided me with ample opportunities as a tech writer in several positions.”

Retired for the last eight years, Ronald spent seven of those serving on both prayer and counseling teams in his church.

Tom Segady | B.A., Asian Studies and M.A., Sociology

Since graduating from UCCS, where he also met his wife (and former UCCS Student Body President!) Dr. Gayle Berardi, Tom went on to earn his doctorate from the University of Denver. He’s taught and conducted research at several institutions, including University of Denver, UCCS and the University of Pune, India.

“Although I have studied and taught at many universities since attending UCCS, I always consider it my academic home. I had wonderful professors in Dr. Bob Hughes, Dr. Marcia Westkott, Dr. Jay Coakley and Dr. Richard Dukes.”

Tom eventually retired from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas as Professor Emeritus.

Sue M. Sumter Williams | B.A., Psychology

“UCCS professors and instructors provided a great learning basis from which to build on for the future. The lessons were practical and appropriate to the real world, not just a requirement to quote lofty theories, and a regurgitation of facts and data.”

As an Air Force veteran, Sue attended UCCS under the G.I. bill and graduated with a psychology degree. Following this, she pursued a diverse range of roles in a variety of industries, starting by rising through the ranks at Western Airlines from agent to manager and earning a clergy degree during. Sue then transitioned to computing services work in Denver before joining the telecom industry. Her education continued alongside her career, with a master’s of a management science obtained from Regis University in 1999. Soon after, she joined the US Postal Service as a supervisor and eventually moved to their marketing department before her retirement in 2010.

“I was able to apply the principles of my psychology degree to every job and position I held after graduation. As a manager, in various industries, I am proud to say I was able to impart my UCCS knowledge and training to my direct reports, and assist them in their quest for success.”

In retirement, Sue has volunteered extensively and in 2016 she was inducted into the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution as the nation’s first DNA inductee. She remains active in the organization’s local chapter.

About the UCCS Spring 2024 Commencement Ceremony 

The UCCS Spring 2024 Commencement ceremonies will celebrate degrees conferred to more than graduates. More than 1,200 will attend the ceremony at the Broadmoor World Arena on May 10, 2024, along with family and friends. See the full Commencement program onlineView the livestreamed ceremony on YouTube.