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Grads complete one journey and start another at FLC Spring Commencement

FLC's Spring Commencement 2013 is April 27

DURANGO, CO – Saturday, April 27 is the culmination of the undergraduate college careers for more than 400 Skyhawk seniors. These students will make their way across the stage in front of family and friends to receive their degrees at Fort Lewis College’s Spring Commencement 2013.

Two ceremonies are planned to accommodate all of the graduates, the first at 8:30 a.m. and the second following at 11:30 a.m. Graduates and families should check and click on “Commencement Information” to see which majors are graduating in each ceremony.

This year’s Commencement Speaker will be Ms. Ann Rhoades. Ms. Rhoades built a successful career out of being a people person. From her time as vice president of the People Department at Southwest Airlines to her human resources consulting firm, People Ink, Ms. Rhoades has always focused on better serving those around her.

She studied business at the College of Santa Fe and earned an MBA at the University of New Mexico, beginning her career at MBank in Dallas, Texas. In the late 1980s, her industry changed from finance to flight, but her purpose remained fixed on people. As VP of the Southwest Airlines’ People Department, her job was to hire, train and retain the best quality employees during a time when Southwest was growing rapidly. Better employees translates to better customer service, and happy customers is what every company wants.

Her work building better employees continued at the Promus Hotel Corporation and JetBlue Airways before she decided to become her own boss. In 1999, she started People Ink, a firm that helps companies build employee cultures that attract quality people across a wide range of industries. She also co-founded CareLeaders, LLC, a company that seeks to improve service to patients engaged with the healthcare industry.

Despite what is a very busy career, Ms. Rhoades finds time to be active in community service. The list of service organizations to which she has belonged is extensive and includes groups such as the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Board, Safer New Mexico Now, Brigham & Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School Board, and the Albuquerque Community Foundation.

In order to share her wealth of experience and expertise, Ms. Rhoades is the author of Built on Values. Her book is a guide for individuals and organizations to build a culture that helps people grow and succeed based on values that fit within the organization.

Fort Lewis College extends its congratulations to all of the spring 2013 graduates! The graduation ceremonies will be streamed online at

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