Colorado State University Announces December Commencement Ceremonies on Dec. 20 and 21

Colorado State University will confer degrees on fall 2013 graduates at commencement ceremonies Dec. 20 and 21.

College ceremonies and ROTC commissionings will recognize 1,421 undergraduate and 409 graduate students. Nineteen students are candidates for distinction as summa cum laude, 39 as magna cum laude and 67 as cum laude.

Colorado State University will confer an honorary doctoral degree on Barry Goldfarb at the Graduate School commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. Dec. 14 at Moby Arena.

Commencement ceremonies, with the exception of the ROTC commissionings, will be webcast live at

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

Leann Saunders, president of IMI Global, Inc., an agricultural verification solutions company, and founder of the Where Food Comes From® food labeling program, will speak at the College of Agricultural Sciences commencement ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 21 at the Campus Recreation Center main gym. Where Food Comes From® can be found in a variety of locations across the U.S., including 19 Heinen’s Fine Foods stores in Cleveland and Chicago, and the Original Delmonico’s Steakhouse in New York City.

Saunders also is an active member of the United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Board of Directors — secretary/treasurer for the 2012-2013 year — and chair of the Traceability Working Group. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the International Stockmen’s Education Foundation.

Judson M. Harper, emeritus professor of chemical and biological engineering, will speak at the College of Engineering commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Campus Recreation Center main gym. Harper completed his degrees at Iowa State University in Chemical Engineering and Food Technology in 1963 and began his professional career in research and development at General Mills in Minneapolis. He joined Colorado State University in 1970 as head of the Department of Agricultural Engineering, where he facilitated the department’s expansion with the addition of chemical engineering degree programs.

From 1982 to 2000, Harper served as CSU’s Vice President for Research and Information Technology, where he oversaw and expanded CSU’s research activities and sought support for research and research facilities from both federal and private sources. Upon partial retirement in 2000, Harper was appointed Special Assistant to the President, and provided oversight of the development of large federal research facilities on campus, such as the Natural Resources Research Complex south of the Hilton Fort Collins, the CDC laboratory and the National Wildlife Research Center on the Foothills campus.

Upon Harper’s retirement, the Board of Governors honored him by establishing the Judson M. Harper Research Complex in the Foothills Campus with facilities for biomedical and infectious diseases research and a research startup incubator.

Olympic medalist Janay DeLoach Soukup will speak to the College of Health and Human Sciences at 7 p.m. Dec. 20 at Moby Arena. Born in Panama City, Fla., DeLoach Soukup was raised in a military family, regularly moving every few years as a young child and teenager. Her last stint of military life was in Alaska, where she had a successful high school track and field career in the long jump event, where she soared to set the state record of 19’5", which she still holds. With multiple scholarship offers, DeLoach Soukup chose CSU and spent the next five years as a long jumper and sprinter, and finished her collegiate career as a four-time NCAA All-American in Track and Field.

During this time, she earned two bachelor’s degrees – one in human development and family studies and the other in psychology – and a master’s degree in occupational therapy. In 2012, DeLoach Soukup won a bronze medal in long jump at the London Olympics. In 2013, she defended her USA National Indoor Track and Field Championship in long jump for a second straight year, making her a three-time champion. After recently capturing her very first USA Outdoor Track and Field Championship long jump title this past June, she has high hopes of becoming a world champion in the long jump and hurdles.

Vice President for Student Affairs Blanche Hughes will speak at the College of Natural Sciences commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Dec. 21 at Moby Arena. In her role as vice president, Hughes works with a division that includes 21 departments that collaborate with other units in the University to help CSU students and staff be successful. Hughes also teaches and advises in the Student Affairs in Higher Education Graduate Program. Before becoming vice president, Hughes spent six years as the associate vice president for Student Affairs, 11 years as the director of Black Student Services at Colorado State, and also served as a professor in the sociology department at Pikes Peak Community College for two years.

Hughes received her bachelor’s from Earlham College, and a master’s of education and doctorate in sociology from Colorado State. She enjoys teaching, mentoring students and staff, presenting on issues related to diversity, parent transitions and issues around managing work and family.

Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior Ken Salazar will speak at the Warner College of Natural Resources commencement ceremony at 8 a.m. Dec. 21 Campus Recreation Center main gym. Salazar is a partner in the global law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in the firm’s Regulatory and Government Affairs Department, is a member of the Strategic Response and Counseling and Environmental Practices, and is a member of the Energy and Cleantech Group.

Salazar served Colorado as a U.S. Senator from 2005 to 2009. Appointed the 50th Secretary of the Interior by President Obama in January 2009, Salazar served over four years, until April 2013, directing a vast agency responsible for managing the nation’s resources, including water, fish, wildlife, mining, public lands and national parks, onshore and offshore energy development on public lands, with primary responsibility for the federal relationship with American Indians.

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

Dec. 20

  • Air Force ROTC Commissioning, 8 a.m., Lory Student Center Theatre
  • Army ROTC Commissioning, 11 a.m., Lory Student Center Theatre
  • Graduate School, 3 p.m., Moby Arena
  • Health and Human Sciences, 7 p.m., Moby Arena

Dec. 21

  • Warner College of Natural Resources, 8 a.m., Campus Recreation Center, Main Gym
  • College of Natural Sciences, 9 a.m., Moby Arena
  • College of Agricultural Sciences, 11:30 a.m., Campus Recreation Center, Main Gym
  • College of Business, 1 p.m., Moby Arena
  • College of Engineering, 3 p.m., Campus Recreation Center, Main Gym
  • College of Liberal Arts, 5 p.m., Moby Arena
  • College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 6:30 p.m., Campus Recreation Center, Main Gym