Students ceremoniously toss their hats at the close of last year's April Commencement.

Students ceremoniously toss their hats at the close of last year's April Commencement.

United States Senator Mark Udall will offer the Commencement Address at the Fort Lewis College Spring Commencement on Saturday, April 28, 2012, in Whalen Gym. To accommodate the large number of graduates and their family and friends, there will be two Commencement ceremonies, one at 8:30 a.m. and the second at 11:30 a.m. Sen. Udall will speak at both ceremonies.

Senator Mark Udall
Senator Mark Udall

Senator Mark Udall was born in 1950, in Tucson, Arizona, but has spent his entire adult life in Colorado.  After graduating from Williams College in 1972 with a degree in American civilization, he moved to Colorado to work with the Colorado Outward Bound School.  He was a course director for 10 years and later served as executive director from 1985 to 1995, cementing a bond with the outdoors that infuses his work today.
 
Sen. Udall has represented Colorado in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives since 1999, having been elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008.  Udall’s assignments on the Armed Services, Energy and Natural Resources, Intelligence and Aging committees in the Senate give him a platform to address issues important to Colorado.
 
In the Senate — as he did in the House — Udall’s position on the Armed Services Committee allows him to look out for his state’s military interests.  He has traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and was also an early proponent of lifting the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” prohibitions on openly gay service members.  Last year, he fought for legislation to help spur the Pentagon’s renewable energy development to curb its reliance on oil, reducing costs and saving American troops’ lives.  His positions as chairman of the National Parks Subcommittee and co-chairman of the Senate Outdoor Recreation Caucus make him well-positioned to protect our natural Western heritage and encourage people to get active.
 
True to his well-known ethos, “You can disagree without being disagreeable,” Udall is also known for reaching across party lines to solve problems. His inclusive and bipartisan approach has led to legislation promoting the development of Colorado’s renewable energy and high-technology sectors, stabilizing jobs in ski country, and responsibly developing our energy resources.  He even led the effort to have members of both houses of Congress end the longstanding custom of sitting divided by political party on opposite sides of the room during the President’s State of the Union address, starting a new tradition in modern Senate history for bipartisan seating that had its second anniversary earlier this year.

Learn more about the April 28th Commencement ceremonies.

Learn more about Senator Mark Udall.