On Saturday, May 2, the families and friends of Fort Lewis College’s newest alumni packed Whalen Gym for two Commencement ceremonies. A big day for every graduate, Saturday was even more special as the first graduates of FLC’s Master’s of Arts in Education, Teacher Leadership Option were honored as the College’s inaugural graduate class. Commencement speaker, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, noted the historic milestone in his address.
“Many of you have distinguished yourselves during your time here at Fort Lewis College, you’re finding ways to make a difference whether it’s here or in Washington D.C., where I have had the chance to meet with students from Fort Lewis,” said Senator Bennet. “Krista Karpel, a mainstay of Durango, has one of our most important – and most difficult – jobs. She’s a teacher. Krista teaches at Durango High School and is among the inaugural class of Fort Lewis’s graduate Teacher Leadership Program – a huge step for the school, by the way.”
“Just as you have made these contributions to your community, this community has, in turn, shaped you. I think you are very fortunate you chose Fort Lewis. Do you agree?” the Senator asked, to which the graduates responded with cheers.
FLC President Dene Thomas noted some of the College’s highlights as indicative of the quality of the education the graduates earned. She mentioned the regional competition win by the FLC Ethics Bowl Team, which was made up of students from philosophy, music, theatre, and gender & women’s studies. She cited the College’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, which was recognized as a Superior Chapter this past fall. Beta Alpha Psi is a national accounting honor society. Finally, President Thomas explained how the Fort Lewis College Chemistry Department is ranked in the top three public programs in Colorado in terms of undergraduates who go on to earn doctorates.
“Success is a tradition at Fort Lewis College – at the baccalaureate level and, now, for the first time, at the master’s level,” she said.
Congratulations to all of the newest Fort Lewis College graduates! Both Commencement ceremonies can be viewed online at www.youtube.com/flcdurango.