FLC celebrates its Fall 2023 Commencement
Hundreds of family members and friends attended FLC's Fall 2023 Commencement, which included the presentation of a Native American honor song by The Sawmill Singers.
DURANGO—Create your own path. Find and embrace your community. Never stop learning. But always show up for yourselves.
That is what keynote speaker Elizabeth Cartier, associate professor of Management at the Katz School of Business told graduates during this year's Fort Lewis College commencement ceremony held at the Whalen Gymnasium.
“When we show up for ourselves, we show up for everyone. When we show up for ourselves, we can do anything,” she said. “I am hoping, in sharing my stories with you, that you each realize how important you are and how important it is to show up for ourselves first.”
Hundreds of family members and friends attended this year’s ceremony, which included the presentation of a Native American honor song by The Sawmill Singers. The land acknowledgment was shared by the 2023-24 Hozhoni Ambassador First Attendant Jordyn Begay.
In his opening remarks, FLC President Tom Stritikus called students to reflect on what they have learned about themselves, about life, friendship, and about the difference they can make in the world.
“On this occasion, I find myself reflecting on what I've learned from all of you,” he said. “Over the last week, I've had the pleasure of watching you on the stage, on the field, and just talking to you across campus. It's truly an honor to call you Fort Lewis College graduates.”
Stritikus acknowledged the work of Indigenous faculty, staff, and students to help “bring clarity around what it means for us to have a history as a federal Indian boarding school.”
“As we continue to engage in this process of healing, we find strength in the words of ASFLC Senator and Tohono O’odham and Akimel O’odham citizen Matt Miguel, and I quote him: We didn't forget who we are. We didn't forget our culture. We are still here.”
“And today, as you walk across the stage, we celebrate the hope, strength, and resilience that you represent.”
Mary Rubadeau, president of the board of trustees, also addressed the students.
“As you leave this stage with your diploma in hand, surrounded by the hope and confidence that fills this gym, please remember to take good care of yourself,” she said.
“Set lofty goals but stay flexible and adjust for those inevitable headwinds that are going to come. Keep connected with your Skyhawk family and strive to make a difference in this world. We know these are not small requests, but we believe in you, and we know that you are up to the challenge. Congratulations and best wishes, graduates of 2023.”
Students received Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Arts in Education degrees, and certificates.
A recording of the ceremony is available on Facebook.
Listen from graduates as they summarize their experience at Fort Lewis.