DENVER - As she adjusted her cap with the help of her parents, Meghan Murphy felt the mixed emotions that well up in many graduates on commencement day.
"Next year I'm going to get my master's in social work, and so that's kind of nerve-wracking. I'll see if I can get in or not," said Murphy, who earned her bachelor's degree in psychology. "Other than that I'm excited. It's a new chapter, I guess."
Murphy joined nearly 800 fellow University of Colorado Denver graduates at 2011 Fall Commencement on Saturday morning at the Colorado Convention Center.
Scenes from Fall 2011 Commencement:
Chancellor Jerry Wartgow commended the graduates for their accomplishments, as well as their families for providing essential support. He also thanked the CU Denver faculty, saying "For your energy and dedication to the CU Denver community, for the large and small ways you show you care for the development and success of our students, we all extend our deep thanks and gratitude."
Provost Roderick Nairn introduced the faculty and staff award winners as well as the outstanding students in the Fall Class of 2011. He said the graduates, representing many states across the country and 18 other nations, represented "a microcosm of the world."
To the graduates who are veterans of military service, Nairn said, "We all owe them a debt of gratitude. We are proud to be awarding degrees in our Class of 2011 to 67 veterans, and to the first CU Denver student to receive a commission in the reestablished Army ROTC program on the Auraria Campus."
University of Colorado President Bruce Benson told the graduates that their degrees from our great university will "change your life forever." He told the graduates they will accomplish a lot more if they don't care who takes the credit, and that they should seize opportunities as they come along.
"If you have a life plan don't miss opportunities that may not fit exactly in your plan," Benson said. "People want leaders, so when you see a void, fill it. Be inclusive and open. Try to listen more than you talk, hire great people who are trustworthy and work as a team. ... Treat everyone with respect and remember that everyone has a place in this world. And always lead by example. Do the right thing not matter how tough it is. You will be rewarded."
Benson also urged the graduates to contribute to the community. "In the end, your honesty, your word, your reputation and integrity are all that you have, so don't lose them. And don't forget: The harder you work the luckier you'll get."
Antoine Boyd, who earned her bachelor's degree in film, theater and television from the College of Arts & Media, wore a colorful stole with her gown.
Anticipating the tight job market that awaits her, Boyd said, "I'm going to need a lot of luck, I know that. A lot of luck and determination. But I think I've been well prepared."
(Photo caption: Meghan Murphy, who earned a bachelor's degree in psychology, gets help from her father as she puts her cap in place for the Fall 2011 Commencement ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center on Dec. 17.)
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