Colorado State University Commencement ceremonies take place Dec. 16-18

Note to Reporters: A feature package of inspiring graduates from each college at CSU can be found at

FORT COLLINS — Colorado State University will confer degrees on Fall 2016 graduates at commencement ceremonies Dec. 16-18.


College ceremonies and Army ROTC commissioning will recognize 1,558 undergraduate and 473 graduate students, including 72 doctoral students, and nine Army and Air Force ROTC Commissionees. Sixteen students are candidates for distinction as summa cum laude, 41 as magna cum laude and 59 as cum laude.


Commencement ceremonies, with the exception of the ROTC commissionings, will be webcast live. An interactive parking map is available here, and other information can also be found on the commencement website.


Speakers share insights with graduates


Brian Vogt will speak at the College of Agricultural Sciences commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Dec. 17 at the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom.


Brian Vogt has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Denver Botanic Gardens since April 2007. More than 30 years of community leadership, fundraising, organizational management, and cultural development proved invaluable during the Gardens’ recent capital campaign and creation of a Master Development Plan.


Under his leadership, more than 50 construction projects and more than $65 million was raised to build Mordecai Children’s Garden, a parking complex, the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center, Greenhouse Complex and most recently, the Science Pyramid, Ellipse Garden, and Hive Garden Bistro.


Vogt’s previous professional experience includes three Cabinet positions for the State of Colorado and President of the South Metro Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the Board of the American Public Gardens Association and is an active participant with many civic organizations in the Denver area.


Carol Dahlstrom Marshall, B.S. ’66, will speak at the College of Business commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Dec. 17 at the Moby Arena.


Carol Dahlstrom Marshall had spent two years in Colorado State University’s secretarial training program when the College of Business was founded. She immediately enrolled, knowing she needed a business degree for a better life. She was one of a handful of women in our first graduating class of 1966.


Marshall found gender discrimination common in business, where she had to take secretarial jobs despite her degree. She used her knowledge, experience, and contacts to move up the ranks with employers including Martin Marietta – becoming the first female hired in a salaried position at the company. She eventually became a certified public accountant and spent the majority of her career in financial management of large and medium-sized companies.


Knowing giving back is necessary for a full life, Marshall has volunteered for many organizations including Rotary and American Association of University Women. She served as president of the CSU Alumni Association and was instrumental in implementing a credit card affinity program which generated more than $1 million for CSU.


She also was president of the Adams Community Mental Health Board and its foundation. During her tenure, that board established a school where children with mental illness could attend classes and receive counseling in a safe environment.


Marshall currently lives in Castle Rock, with her husband of 49 years, District Court Judge Don Marshall. They have two children and five grandchildren.


Susan Benzel, program manager at Hewlett Packard/Hewlett Packard Enterprise, will speak at the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering commencement ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom.


Susan Benzel has worked at Hewlett Packard/Hewlett Packard Enterprise for more than 28 years and is currently the Execution Program Manager for The Machine, HPE’s first proof-point of a new architecture called Memory-Driven Computing. The Machine will reinvent the fundamental architecture of computers to enable a quantum leap in performance and efficiency, lower costs over the long term, and improve security.


In addition to working on The Machine, Benzel’s background spans many areas of high tech including test and measurement, network management software, Linux, Unix, and storage. She has had the unique opportunity to work in almost every aspect of product development including marketing, support, training, certification, documentation, business development, and research and development program management.


Benzel has had the privilege of working with HPE’s top customers, and has helped many business units develop their value proposition and future direction. She is an enthusiastic supporter of new college graduates at HPE, and wants all new graduates to understand the wide range of opportunities available to them.


Benzel earned her bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Colorado State University. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband of 27 years, Randy, and they have two incredible children, Marcus and Miranda. All four are proud Colorado State University graduates.


Daniele Thayer Croteau, magna cum laude candidate, will speak at the College of Health and Human Sciences commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at Moby Arena.


Croteau is graduating with a B.S. in apparel and merchandising, and dual minors in mathematics and business administration. As a student, she served the CSU chapter of Fashion Group International as president for two years, led the group’s Recycled Fashion Show, and presented her Honors research thesis at CSU’s Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creativity and at the International Textile and Apparel Association conference.


She was this year’s recipient of the Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award from the CSU Alumni Association. She is a Fort Collins native, and the third member of her family to graduate from CSU.


Katherine Harmon Courage, director of communications for the College of Natural Sciences at CSU, will deliver the commencement address at the College of Natural Sciences ceremony at 1 p.m. Dec. 17 at Moby Arena.


Katherine Harmon Courage is an award-winning science journalist, author, and editor, as well as director of communications for the College of Natural Sciences. She worked as a reporter and editor at Scientific American magazine in New York for four years before moving to Colorado to become a contributing editor and freelance writer. She joined the team at the College of Natural Sciences this past spring.


Courage’s work has been featured in The Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology, and she has written for The New York Times, Wired, Popular Science, National Geographic, Time, NPR, Nature, and many others. She is the author of the book Octopus! The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea (2013, Current/Penguin) and a forthcoming book about the human microbiome called Cultured (2017, Pam Kraus Books/Random House). She is the recipient of numerous national journalism awards and fellowships, including being a Harvard Medical School Media Fellow.


Courage received her master’s degree with honors in journalism from the University of Missouri and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors in English from Vassar College. She has worked in science writing and communication for nearly a decade. As the daughter of a science teacher and a computer network engineer, she is passionate about broadening the reach of science and improving science communication across all fields.


She lives in Longmont with her husband, a fellow Scientific American (and Vassar) alum, along with their dog and four chickens.


Charlie Grimwood, owner of Grimwood Strategies LLC, will deliver the commencement address at the Warner College of Natural Resources ceremony at 9 a.m. Dec. 18 at Moby Arena.


Charlie Grimwood is the owner of Grimwood Strategies LLC, a consulting company specializing in organizational strategy and performance improvement. He retired in 2015 from Salina Regional Health Center, Salina, Kansas, where he was vice president of regional development.


He serves as a chair on the Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science network, is a member of the Board of Trustees of Kansas Wesleyan University, and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Grimwood was president, campaign chair, and the 2004 "outstanding volunteer" for the Salina Area United Way and has a legacy of professional and community involvement in a wide variety of organizations.


In 2012, Grimwood was honored as Colorado State University Distinguished Alumnus and was also recognized the Charles A. Lory Public Service Award.  The award recognizes one individual each year that has exceptional and sustained leadership in the community, professional field, or personal commitments, and has given a significant contribution of time and talent to the University.


Grimwood received his bachelor’s of science in outdoor recreation from Colorado State University 1969, a master’s in administration from Central Michigan University, and a master’s in biology and a Ph.D. in ecology from Kansas State University.




Ceremonies will be livestreamed at the links provided on the CSU commencement website.


Friday, Dec. 16

  • Air Force ROTC Commissioning, 9 a.m., Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom (not webcast)
  • Army ROTC Commissioning, 10 a.m., Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom (not webcast)
  • University Honors Recognition Ceremony, 1 p.m., Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom
  • Graduate School, 3 p.m., Moby Arena
  • College of Health and Human Sciences, 7 p.m., Moby Arena


Saturday, Dec. 17

  • College of Agricultural Sciences, 9 a.m., Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom
  • College of Business, 9 a.m., Moby Arena
  • Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, 12:30 p.m., Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom
  • College of Natural Sciences, 1 p.m., Moby Arena
  • College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 4 p.m., Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom
  • College of Liberal Arts, 5 p.m., Moby Arena


Sunday, Dec. 18

  • Warner College of Natural Resources, 9 a.m., Moby Arena