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As temperatures drop, Mavericks stand up to receive degrees

CMU braves winter weather to honor graduates

Colorado Mesa University students and faculty persevered during the Fall 2020 semester overcoming a global pandemic to maintain an open campus and in-person learning. On Friday, December 11, CMU continued displaying indomitable spirit by defying winter weather advisories and conducting a series of outdoor commencement ceremonies honoring those students who earned college commendations.

“There is not storm or temperature that is going to stop us from honoring the people who earned these degrees and certificates,” said CMU President Tim Foster. "We have said all along that if community health partners were able to assist us in designing a COVID-safe ceremony that CMU would proceed with honoring our graduates, and that is exactly what we are going to do today.”

Each participant in the ceremony, including guests, faculty and staff are required by health experts to demonstrate a negative COVID test prior to entering the outdoor stadium where the graduation events will be held. The commencement was divided into two separate ceremonies each hosting around 200 graduates to reduce the number of people in the outdoor stadium at any one time.

Despite challenges presented by the pandemic, CMU will graduate 549 Mavericks with 50% of those receiving degrees or certificates as the first in their family to attend and graduate from college. 

Foster emphasized this statistic as being central to CMU’s culture and mission.

“Graduating college is no easy task for anyone. Those who are the first in their family to graduate overcame significant barriers in multiple areas of their life to arrive on this day. This is one reason we are committed to this ceremony rain, sleet, hail or snow,” said Foster.  

Of the total commendations being awarded 577 are degrees and four are certificates.

While each student is limited to two in-person guests, friends, family and loved ones interested in watching the event can stream the ceremony beginning at 11am and again at 2pm MST.


Written by David Ludlam