The College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University celebrated the graduation of 222 undergraduate students at the fall 2017 commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 16.
Friends and family from near and far gathered in CSU’s Moby Arena to mark attainment of bachelor of science degrees in: applied computing technology, biochemistry, biological science, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, natural sciences, physics, psychology, statistics, and zoology. CSU Vice President for Research Alan Rudolph was also in attendance.
Alumnus Dr. Brent Keeler (‘74, physical science) was this term’s commencement speaker. Keeler earned his M.D. from the University of Colorado and went on to serve as a resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Exampla St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver. In his career, he delivered more than 5,000 babies and was chief of staff at the Medical Center of Aurora as well as president of the Colorado Medical Society. He and his wife Marianne (’73, biological science) have been instrumental in creating the college’s Women in Natural Sciences program.
Keeler spoke from his experience as a physician and as a citizen, noting how small actions can make a tremendous difference in the lives of others. What might seem like a small thing to us can bring tremendous impacts for others, he noted. And he urged the graduates to keep this in mind. “Strive for those big things, those lofty goals,” he said. But remember that along the way, “one little thing you do for someone else can be more powerful than you can imagine.” So when asking the question, “should I step back or step up? I suggest to you that the better choice is almost always to step up.”
Dean of the College Jan Nerger closed the ceremony with insights tied to her work in the field of color vision research and to the world of art. She found an important lesson in examining the paintings of Claude Monet. His abstractness deepened and his colors shifted as his own eyes were clouded by cataracts. But after he had those cataracts removed, his paintings returned to a more delicate texture and his original color palate. The takeaway, she said, is that “we all perceive and react to the world we live in through our own lenses and filters.” Remembering this can help us to “look beyond the filters of others [and] approach life through lenses of confidence, grace, and celebration.”