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Commencement: Something to Celebrate

On Saturday, May 22, 1,215 graduates will earn 1,347 degrees or certificates

Life is made up of joyous moments and its fair share of challenges. Overcoming those challenges is what the Maverick Spirit is all about — the last three semesters being a perfect example of this. Students, faculty and staff worked together to stay on campus living and learning. Due to the determination and effort of all Mavericks, CMU was able to safely have in-person commencement ceremonies for both Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 graduates and, now, will host its third in-person graduation during a pandemic. 

For nearly a hundred years, Mavericks have persevered proving their innovative, creative and determined spirit. On Saturday, May 22, 1,215 graduates will earn 1,347 degrees or certificates. Of those 1,215 graduates, almost 50% are the first in their families to graduate from college.

Last fall, when the majority of campuses across the nation went online, CMU opened its doors. “Not reopening campus will have a disproportionately negative impact on first-generation, lower-income and minority students — two-thirds of our student body,” said President Tim Foster in an email to campus. The impacts of this decision are demonstrated in the number and diversity of students graduating this weekend. 

Saturday will be Foster’s last commencement as president of Colorado Mesa University. His first was 17 years ago in the spring of 2004. He'll preside over a graduating class that has an average cumulative GPA of 3.34*, around 40 student-athletes and 18 international students from 14 different countries.

Without Foster’s leadership the trajectory of many students' futures may have looked very different.

This time of year is always a time to celebrate, but for many, this commencement will be that much more joyous. 


*The average cumulative GPA does not include grades from the Spring 2021 semester. At the time of publishing those grades have not been submitted.


Written by Kelsey Coleman