First grad to lead UCCS-themed St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The first UCCS graduate, 84-year-old Arnold Taylor, will lead a contingent of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community supporters at the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day parade March 14 in downtown Colorado Springs.

Arnold Taylor, the first UCCS graduate, shared his 1966 commencement program
Arnold Taylor, the first UCCS graduate, shared his 1966 commencement program

The parade will begin at noon. UCCS will serve as the parade’s grand marshal in recognition of the university’s 50th anniversary.

Leading the contingent will be Taylor, a member of the class of 1966, along with his wife, Beth, and daughter, Denise. Plans are for the family to ride in a convertible of the era, according to Brad Bayer, executive director, Student Life and Leadership. The Taylors will travel from their home in Leawood, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City, Mo.

“The Taylors represent the legacy of the university,” Bayer said. “We are honored to have them as part of this celebration.”

Taylor, a graduate of the College of Business, is considered the university’s first graduate. His degree was conferred with honors June 10, 1966 at ceremonies held at CU-Boulder. Many of his classes were completed at what was known as the CU Extension Center, the beginnings of UCCS. CU Extension classes were held in various locations in Colorado Springs, including Colorado College, and offices were under a staircase at Palmer High School. In 1965, the bankrupt Cragmor Sanitarium became the future home of the university.

The Taylors will be preceded by a UCCS banner carried by Student Government Association representatives, a color guard by Army ROTC and the UCCS Pep Band. Following them will be the UCCS Legacy Builders, a group of 40 year or more faculty members, CU Regent Steve Ludwig, a UCCS student float and a UCCS bus wrapped in 50th anniversary logos.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to march in the parade and to attend a 10 a.m. pre-parade event at the Gallery of Contemporary Art, 121 S. Tejon. Following the reception, UCCS faculty and staff will gather at 11 a.m. on the east side of Tejon Street at St. Vrain. To make reservations for the pre-parade event, contact Sterlyn Clendenin, [email protected].

For a full schedule of parade events, visit


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