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Commencement brings joy
The commencement ceremony celebrates the culmination of years of hard work. It’s an exciting time, but for many students, it can also be a little frightening.


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Commencement brings joy — and a few jitters

This year, Colorado Mesa University will award approximately 1,050 degrees to more than 950 graduating students. On May 18, members of the class of 2013 will cross the stage in Stocker Stadium to applause from friends, family and supporters. The commencement ceremony celebrates the culmination of years of hard work. It’s an exciting time, but for many students, it can also be a little frightening.

“I’m nervous. I would say ‘terrified’ is closer to what I am right now,” said senior Brandon Baker, who will graduate with a bachelor of science degree in computer information systems. “I haven’t been accepted into a grad school yet, nor do I have a job for the summer, so it’s kind of up in the air. It’s scary.”

Senior Luke Jackson, who will receive a degree in business on Saturday, estimates he spent 25 percent of his final semester trying to get to the next step— a job.

His classmate Justin Skall expressed trepidations about entering the workforce. “I don’t have anything set in stone so it’s kind of like I don’t know where I’m going. My parents said, ‘You can’t really move back in with us, so you’d better get it figured out fast,’” said Skall.

The students may have jitters, but their professors are confident they have the skills they need to succeed outside of CMU.

“I think that those graduating today are leaving with not only the skill sets they’ve learned in their majors, but they’ve also learned to communicate through a variety of new methods,” said mass communication instructor Adam Cochran. “That will actually help them acquire jobs in fields that maybe didn’t even exist at the time they started as freshmen.”

Although the students are excited to graduate and ready to move on, Baker and Jackson said they’ll miss CMU’s welcoming, intellectual community.

“I like the campus’ relaxed atmosphere,” Jackson added. “Everyone has deadlines and projects going on, but they still put personal things before it. If you see someone in the hall, they’ll stop and talk even if they’re running late.”

The commencement ceremony provides graduates and their supporters an opportunity to reflect on their struggles and successes.

“[College has] been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. There have been a lot of times when I thought about giving up, but there have been high points. I’ve done a lot of networking and built relationships,” Jackson said.

“As much as I learned in my classes, I probably learned the most through my mistakes. It’s all about getting back up on the horse. That’s the reason I’m graduating— I got back up on the horse every time.”

CMU’s ceremonies are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. The commencement address will be given by U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner. •

Media Contact

Dana Nunn, Director of Media Relations

dnunn@coloradomesa.edu

970.248.1868 (o)

970.640.0421 (c)