Spring 2023 Graduates Celebrate at CommencementMay 23, 2023
For some students, support from the university’s donor and alumni communities made all the difference, helping them arrive at this special milestone with engaging and valuable touchpoints along the way. Even before arriving at CU Denver, some students received notes of encouragement from alumni through Milo Mail, a signature program that creates connections and community. They also had opportunities to meet personally with alumni for career advice and other tips thanks to the Alumni in Residence program.
Many students credited the transformative power of philanthropy in helping them reach their goals. While CU Denver’s generous community of donors helps elevate the holistic university experience by supporting programs, facilities, and faculty positions, students feel a very direct and personal impact through individual scholarships that help keep them on track.
“As a student who has always invested heavily in my education and every opportunity to expand my knowledge, I am proud to know that my hard work and efforts are being noticed,” said Rohan Nipunge ’23, a new Business School graduate (summa cum laude), in expressing his gratitude for the support he received from the Buckner Company Scholarship. “My journey has not been an easy one, and this gift only motivates me to continue working hard, trust my ability to achieve my lofty aspirations, and prioritize giving back to my community.”
Looking back over the university’s 50-year history, many remember CU Denver’s reputation as a graduate school. Over the years, the campus has broadened its scope, with more than half of the 2,250 graduating students receiving their undergraduate degrees this year. Of those, an impressive 52% were the first generation in their families to do so. Some will continue their educational journeys, like LeTierra Greene ’23, recipient of the Andrea Temple May Scholarship. Others will embark on or advance in their careers.
With two-thirds of CU Denver alumni remaining in the Denver metro area, most of this spring’s graduates are likely to contribute to the vitality of the Front Range for years to come. In this way, support from donors and alumni creates a ripple effect that benefits not only students and their families but whole communities, as well.
CU Denver graduates become integral to these communities in roles as diverse as the graduates themselves. Some might even lead them, as does Denver mayor Michael Hancock MPA ’95, who delivered this spring’s commence address. Hancock spoke about his upbringing in the Five Points neighborhood and challenged the graduates to think about where we are today as a society and about the opportunities they have to make a difference.
Originally scheduled to take place on the Tivoli Quad, the Spring 2023 commencement experienced a change of plans owing to heavy rains leading up to the big day. As the recent pandemic demonstrated, CU Denver can pivot when needed, in this case quickly moving the event to the Denver Coliseum and holding two ceremonies during the day to accommodate the venue’s size.
Moving the ceremonies inside did little to dampen the jubilant spirits of the graduates and their families, however. The graduates were all smiles as they spotted and waved to their friends and families in the stands as well as to the cameras that captured the ceremonies on video.
They also had the opportunity to hear CU Denver’s newly composed alma mater. Nearly 100 members of the university community, including a Grammy nominated singer/songwriter, played a hand in creating the song, which is grounded in the university’s sense of purpose and place.
The ceremonies closed with the Norlin Charge, a tradition that originated with President George Norlin in his address to the June 1935 University of Colorado graduating class. The charge, read at all CU commencement ceremonies, emphasizes the new graduate’s role as bearers of the university’s torch, the light that shines from all CU alumni and the collective power this represents through the decades.
View the ceremony for the College of Engineering, Design and Computing, College of Architecture and Planning, and Business School.
View the ceremony for the College of Arts & Media, School of Public Affairs, School of Education & Human Development, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
View more photos from the Spring 2023 Commencement Ceremonies.