Plans to celebrate UCCS 50th anniversary underway

A 16-member steering committee was recently named to begin the task of commemorating the university’s past and helping launch it toward the future.

The 50th Anniversary Committee recently met and was charged by Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak to begin thinking now about a celebration that will last throughout the calendar year 2015.

“It may seem odd to plan your fiftieth birthday party at age forty-eight,” Shockley-Zalabak said. “But this needs to be a year-long celebration that recognizes not only what the university has done but what it will do in the future, telling our community and our alumni that the best is still yet to come.”

UCCS was founded in 1965 with a combination of community and business leader efforts, most notably a push from Hewlett-Packard Corp. co-founder and Colorado native David Packard. From humble roots on the grounds of a bankrupt tuberculosis sanitarium and closely tied to CU-Boulder, UCCS has grown to almost 10,000 students and the ability to grant 36 bachelor’s, 19 master’s and five doctoral degrees.

Several committee members shared recollections of the university’s 25th anniversary celebration and copies materials from “UCCS 1965-1990: Celebrating Our Heritage – Shaping Our Future” were distributed to help campus newcomers.

“The speaker at our 25th anniversary celebration made a profound impact on me, personally,” Shockley-Zalabak said. “Hearing Shirley Chisholm speak made me think what I thought was impossible was possible.”

Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman elected to Congress. She served seven terms representing New York’s 12th Congressional District from 1969 to 1983 and became the first black candidate for President in 1972. As a legislator, she was worked to improve opportunities for inner-city residents, opposed the military draft, and supported spending increases for education, health care and other social services, and reductions in military spending. She died in 2005 at age 80.

Shockley-Zalabak encouraged steering committee members to think of speakers who might be invited to celebrate the university’s golden anniversary and to solicit ideas from colleagues about both speakers and other ways to commemorate the university’s anniversary.

Steering committee members are:

  •  Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak
  •  Mary Rupp, instructor, Kraemer Family Library
  • Kelsey Hunt, associate director, Information Technology
  • Anthony Cordova, director, Multicultural Office for Student Access, Inclusiveness and Community
  • Jennifer Hane, director of alumni relations, University Advancement
  • Megan Gallegos, university events and e-communication specialist, University Advancement
  • Susan Szpyrka, vice chancellor, Administration and Finance
  • Andrea Cordova, professional assistant, Office of the Chancellor
  • Megan Fisher, assistant vice president, CU Foundation
  • Martin Wood, vice chancellor, University Advancement
  • Tom Hutton, executive director, University Advancement
  • Karin Larkin, curator, Anthropology Department
  • Christina Jimenez, associate professor, History Department
  • Al Schoffstall, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Tom Napierkowski, professor, Department of English
  • Mary Coussons-Read, provost

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