More than 480 Skyhawks walked in the Spring Commencement ceremonies on April 26 and 27, culminating their successful undergraduate education and adventure at Fort Lewis College. The ceremonies were held in Whalen Gymnasium, featuring performances by the Fort Lewis College Faculty Brass Quintet, the Yellow Jacket Drum Group from Ignacio, Colorado, and Katherine Sheamansmith, graduating senior and Music Performance major. Speakers included President Tom Stritikus, Provost Jesse Peters, Board of Trustees members Steve Short and Ellen Roberts, Student Body President Chance Salway, and Michael Martin, professor of History and Gender & Sexuality Studies and Faculty Senate President.
“There are few moments more inspiring than graduation," President Stritikus said. "We’ve learned so much from you about perseverance, grit, creativity and your own willingness to fight for your values. We won’t forget this. Each of you that stepped on this campus have left an indelible imprint on what it is, and we hope that you’ll always stay connected with us.”
Friday's commencement speaker was FLC alumna Jennifer Trujillo and on Saturday Colorado Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera addressed both ceremonies.
Excerpts from Ceremony I Commencement Address
You’re graduating in a world that can feel very polarized at the moment. The words that you advocate may be in direct contrast to those of another, but words have power. They can divide or they can unite, but they must be uttered. My advice to you today is that you use your words. I encourage you, continue to grow. Read, and talk and listen to the words of others. Commencement is the beginning, not an ending. Take what you have learned here and be a positive influence wherever you can, in any setting, in any scene, academic, entrepreneurial, social, or otherwise. Be careful and be cognizant with your words.
Words have power.
I’m willing to bet you’ve heard some beautiful words here at Fort Lewis. Our esteemed faculty offer their words of wisdom and not just in an archaic transmissional way of lectures from lecterns. That’s not our way at Fort Lewis. Our education is transactional. We learn, and we do, and we grow together. I’m certain as I look at the professors here that they inspired you, challenged you and truly got to know you. In the classroom and outside, on the practice field and in the gym, across these majestic mountains and in the lab, through research and presentations, you have developed positive relationships that will endure well beyond your time here. This is a special place filled with special people.
Dr. Jennifer Trujillo (English, ’93)
Excerpts from Ceremony II & III Commencement Addresses
Your graduation is a huge accomplishment and one you should celebrate and be proud of. The work ethic that got you to this point will serve you well as you go forward.
As I look out and see all of the bright graduates in critical fields, spanning education to anthropology, public health, to indigenous studies, from life sciences to the applied sciences, earth sciences, physical sciences, and more, I want to say I’m grateful that you’ve chosen these fields to build careers. Our state and our world need your brilliance to help teach our children, tell our history, keep us healthy, build our outdoor economy, protect our environment, and enrich our lives with culture and music, to build our science and engineering sectors, to develop new technologies, new treatments, and innovations. For many of you the sky is quite literally the limit.
As you venture out to make your mark on this great world, remember that it’s not the physical objects you possess or the number of likes you got on your last Instagram post that really matter, it’s the depth of your relationships, the memories you make, and the quiet moments with those close to you that really make a difference.
The more you put into life, the more you’re gonna get out of it. So, join organizations, get to know your neighbors, get involved, fight for causes that you really believe in, because along the way, you’ll gain knowledge and build relationships that will enrich your life in ways you never thought were possible. Be very thankful for your college education but don’t ever think of it as the culmination of your learning, because this is really only the beginning.
Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera
Watch Spring Commencement 2019 via Facebook
Commencement I (Friday afternoon)
Commencement II (Saturday morning)
Commencement III (Saturday afternoon)