On Saturday, May 12, the College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University bestowed bachelor of science degrees on 524 undergraduate students, making it the largest class in the college’s history. An additional 148 students of the college will receive their B.S. this from the college summer.
The rainy spring weather outdoors could do little to dampen the enthusiasm inside Moby Arena, as the students from eight departments and 12 majors walked across the stage to receive their well-earned diploma covers and to shake hands with CSU President and University System Chancellor Tony Frank, Dean of the College Jan Nerger, and their department chair.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the college’s founding, Nerger noted. And “for 50 years, our college has been committed to proving the highest quality education for our undergraduate and graduate students,” she said. This dedication was in evidence by the hundreds of students graduating that day, including many University Honors Program, national honor societies, cum laude, dual major and first-generation students.
This year’s commencement speaker was Molly Bloom, daughter of Psychology Professor Emeritus Larry Bloom and author of the book Molly’s Game, which was recently adapted for film by Aaron Sorkin. Bloom recounted her adventures running a large, high-stakes poker ring, which led to her arrest by the FBI and a federal indictment. Through the experience, she realized that there was more to life and to true success than material gains. When faced with an opportunity for immunity on the condition she turn others in, she refused, forfeiting all of her assets and facing the possibility of a prison sentence. She realized this was the only way she could truly continue feeling free. “Maintain fearless conviction,” she said to the graduates. “Seek to make your life about something bigger than yourself – because the fate of our world depends on you.”
This message resonates with the University’s Principles of Community: “inclusion, integrity, respect, service, social justice.” As Dean Nerger noted, “you need to take our five principles with you wherever life leads you. It is your responsibility – it is all of our responsibilities.” The graduates recessed to the song “This is Me,” emphasizing the importance of inclusion and diversity.
The college also bestowed graduate degrees on 151 candidates at the University’s Graduate School commencement ceremony on Friday, May 11.