Colorado State University Announces December Commencement Ceremonies on Dec. 16 and 17

Colorado State University will confer degrees on fall 2011 graduates at commencement ceremonies Dec. 16 and 17.

College ceremonies and ROTC commissionings will recognize 1,449 undergraduates and 495 graduate students, of which 82 are doctoral students. Thirteen students will graduate summa cum laude, 25 will graduate magna cum laude and 72 will graduate cum laude.

Colorado State University will confer an honorary doctoral degree on Peter Coors at the College of Business commencement ceremony at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17 at Moby Arena. A Colorado native, Coors follows a family tradition of making a difference in the lives of the citizens of Colorado through economic development, philanthropy work and a commitment to education. Through success in business, Coors has led his company’s corporate social responsibility program. As strong sponsors of educational institutions and social charities, Coors and the Adolph Coors Foundation have defined their success by impacting the lives of the less fortunate while maintaining a commitment to business success.

Commencement ceremonies, with the exception of the ROTC commissionings, will be webcast live. The ceremonies can be found at

Commencement speakers for this year’s ceremonies include the following.

Jay Jensen, associate director for Land and Water Ecosystems at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, will speak at the Warner College of Natural Resources commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom. Prior to working at CEQ, he served as the Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment in the U.S. Department of Agriculture where he had oversight responsibility for the U.S. Forest Service. Before moving back to D.C. in 2009, Jensen lived in Colorado where he worked for the Western Governors’ Association running their biomass energy program, and also worked as the Executive Director for the Council of Western State Foresters and the Western Forestry Leadership Coalition. He also has extensive capitol hill experience, capped by his time as the lead forestry advisor for the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, where he helped develop programs leading up to the 2002 Farm Bill.

Deborah Valentine, director of CSU’s School of Social Work, will speak at the College of Applied Human Sciences commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at Moby Arena. While director, Valentine and her colleagues founded the Social Work Research Center, the Center for Outreach and Life Long Learning, distance master’s of Social Work programs in Colorado Springs and Thornton, and a newly approved doctorate program in social work. In 2009, she was appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter to serve on Colorado’s Child Welfare Action Committee charged with making recommendations to reduce neglect, injury, and fatality rates of Colorado’s children. She received a $1.2 million federal grant to provide culturally modified, evidence-based interventions to children and families living in northern Fort Collins who have experienced trauma. She was honored with the Council on Social Work Education’s Presidential Award in 2007 and the 2009 Feminist Scholarship Award by the Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education.

Brian Jones, director of the premier national outreach program, the Little Shop of Physics at Colorado State University, will speak at the College of Natural Sciences commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Dec. 17 at Moby Arena. Each year, the Little Shop of Physics travels to over 40 different schools and presents hands-on science experiments to approximately 20,000 K-12 students. The Little Shop of Physics also presents teacher workshops, hosts an annual open house, and produces a television show in cooperation with the local Poudre School District. Jones spends a good deal of time studying how people learn and thinking about ways to make instruction at all levels more effective. He is a co-author of a recent Physics textbook from Addison Wesley, teaches undergraduate classes at CSU, and supervises the undergraduate teaching labs in the Physics Department. This year Jones was awarded the Robert A. Millikan Medal for Science Teaching.

John Salazar, appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper as the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture in 2011, will speak at the College of Agricultural Sciences commencement ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom. Commissioner Salazar, a sixth-generation Colorado farmer and rancher, was raised on a farm in the San Luis Valley where he and his five siblings shared a bedroom and had no electricity or running water. His experiences influenced his public career. He served on the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Forum and the Colorado Agricultural Commission before being elected as a state Representative in 2002. Salazar served three terms representing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District and was a member of the House Agriculture Committee. Salazar’s advocacy in Congress earned him recognition for outstanding service by the American Farm Bureau and the Golden Triangle Award from the National Farmers Union. He played a key role in passing the historic farm bill of 2008 and authored the rural broadband and specialty crop provisions.

Peter Coors, vice chairman of Molson Coors Brewing Company and chairman of MillerCoors, will speak at the College of Business commencement ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at Moby Arena. Coors is a native of the state of Colorado. Coors’ professional career in the brewing business follows a Coors tradition that has spanned more than a century and five generations of Coors family members. He has served in a number of positions at the company. In 2002, Coors was named Chairman, Coors Brewing Company and Chairman of Adolph Coors Company. Currently, he is Vice-Chairman of Molson Coors Brewing Company. In addition, in July, 2008, Coors was named Chairman of MillerCoors. His outside corporate board of director membership includes Energy Corporation of America. He is president and a trustee of the Adolph Coors Foundation and the Castle Rock Foundation. His numerous and diverse civic responsibilities include serving as a trustee and member of the executive board of the Denver Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and a member of the National Western Stock Show Association executive committee.

Subin Pinkayan, the chief honorary advisor to SEATEC (Southeast Asia Technology Company Limited) Group of Companies, will speak at the College of Engineering commencement ceremony at 4 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom. He served as the President of SEATEC from 1974-1985 and has been an advisor in the management of Thai consulting engineering firms engaged in numerous projects in Thailand and in Southeast Asia with emphasis on water resources development, environmental engineering, civil and structural design, and agroindustrial development. Subin has led a very active public life. He has served as Minister in the Royal Thai Government in the capacity as minister of Foreign Affairs, minister of Commerce, minister of University Affairs and deputy minister of Finance. He was a Member of Parliament from Chiangmai, Thailand. He has also been Vice Chairman of the House Standing Committee for Sciences, Technology, and Energy, served as advisor to the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, and Advisor to the Minister of Industry.

President Emeritus Dr. Albert C. Yates will speak at the College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremony at 4 p.m. Dec. 17 at Moby Arena. In August 2003, Yates retired from the presidency of Colorado State University after thirteen years, following a 35-year career in higher education as a professor and administrator. He led the university during a tumultuous period for higher education and Colorado, guiding it through both natural disasters and a decade in which the institution fully embraced its status and potential as a major international research university. His emphasis on strategic planning, values, civic responsibility, and institutional character helped to transform the institution and earned the respect of students, faculty, staff, alumni and state leaders. He called upon the campus community to “turn adversity to advantage” and thereby set the stage for a significant period of growth, achievement, and institutional success. The chemistry building at Colorado State was named Yates Hall in his honor in 2003. Following his tenure as CSU president, President Yates continued to be involved in the formulation of public policy through his many associations with public boards, commissions, and community leaders, including serving as an advisor to, and spokesman for, the Bohemian Companies in Fort Collins.

Following is a list of CSU commencement ceremony starting times and locations for each ceremony.

Dec. 16

– Air Force ROTC Commissioning, 8:30 a.m., Lory Student Center, North Ballroom
– Army ROTC Commissioning, 11 a.m., Lory Student Center, Rooms 203-205
– Graduate School, 3 p.m., Moby Arena
– Warner College of Natural Resources, 7 p.m., Lory Student Center, Main Ballroom
– College of Applied Human Sciences, 7 p.m., Moby Arena

Dec. 17

– College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 9 a.m., Lory Student Center, Main Ballroom
– College of Natural Sciences, 9 a.m., Moby Arena
– College of Agricultural Sciences, 12:30 p.m., Lory Student Center, Main Ballroom
– College of Business, 12:30 p.m., Moby Arena
– College of Engineering, 4 p.m., Lory Student Center, Main Ballroom
– College of Liberal Arts, 4 p.m., Moby Arena