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CMU 2020 graduates: a letter from the future

Dear Class of 2020,

Picture this, the year is 2030, and we are reflecting on all that transpired ten years ago. Back then you left for spring break thinking you’d return to campus ending your college career the same way college graduates have celebrated for the last century. You didn’t know that you wouldn’t be coming back to campus at all that semester. You didn’t know you’d be graduating using virtual, remote technology. In the spring of 2020, you couldn’t have known you’d be the pioneers of something new and something that changed society. But you were.

Ten years ago, you thought you’d come back and join your professors and enjoy the unique experience of spring in western Colorado as you passed between buildings on your way to and from class. You didn’t know that you’d be the first CMU class to pioneer all online courses at CMU. You weren’t sure your professors were up to it. But they were. Back then, you were not sure you could do it. But you did.

Up until the year 2020, you learned about the world wars, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, 911 and the disruptive events from textbooks and lectures. You didn’t know at the time that you were actually living in history. You were experiencing the frontlines of a global, existential challenge. You didn’t know what you were made of back then. You volunteered at hospitals, sewed face masks, printed face shields, delivered supplies and food, and you supported one another. You persevered using the skills and knowledge gained by your education, and here today you are wiser for the struggle. You took responsibility for your safety and for those around you. You were Mavericks.

A decade ago, a pandemic swept the planet. Your generation for the first time learned what it was really made of. You proved that you were resilient. You completed your educations amid uncertainty. You earned your degrees and went on to make the world better by serving a higher calling.

By now in the year 2030, many of you are well into your careers. Memories of 2020 may have faded a bit. Don’t let them! Remember what you did. Remember who you were. Today many of you have families. Some of you are corporate leaders, humanitarians and volunteers. Some of you are tradespeople and engineers or architects and medical professionals. No matter where you are now, or what you’re doing, you all share a common ground. In 2020, together, you transcended a great challenge. And it made you better. Now you’re passing that knowledge and Maverick spirit forward just like those who came before you. History shows you made the necessary sacrifices. That was you then. This is you now. And the next generation will read and study about who you were and what you experienced and how you shaped the future world.

Ten years ago, I was the president of Colorado Mesa University. Looking back at the students of CMU in the year 2020, I feel as proud now as I was then.


Tim Foster Signature

Tim Foster

President, Colorado Mesa University


Written by Tim Foster