‘Pursue adventure,’ CMU graduates told

Marshall Anderson, center, pumps his fists and does a little dance Saturday as Colorado Mesa University’s Vice President for Student Services John Marshall, left, announces his name during commencement exercises at Stocker Stadium. Anderson received a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Most people who’ve attended college have considered, at one point or another, not attending college — dropping out for whatever compelling-at-the-time reason.

For Marshall Anderson, 21, that time arrived during his sophomore year at Colorado Mesa University.

“I got the itch to go travel,” he explained.

Before dropping out, though, he called his dad in Fort Collins and was persuaded to finish his business entrepreneurship degree early.

It was a decision that will lead him, however circuitously, to Ibach, Switzerland, in July, to intern at Swiss Army and begin experiencing the world in a way he’s long wanted to.

Anderson was one of 1,038 students heading out from Colorado Mesa University on Saturday morning, degrees in hand, with a world full of experiences and challenges and vistas arrayed before them.

“Today is not only a day to celebrate your success, it’s also a day to look around and gain a broader perspective on what you have accomplished,” said U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, keynote speaker at the commencementceremony.

Referencing his love of the outdoors, and as someone who has climbed some of the world’s highest peaks, Udall advised the graduates to pursue adventure: “We crave an adventure and every adventure pushes us one step farther than we’ve gone before,” he said.

“I strongly believe you periodically owe yourselves a view, a 360-degree view, from a summit of your own definition.”

He acknowledged that reaching the summit can be the great challenge of life.

Earlier in the ceremony Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster mentioned students who already had or will continue to surmount challenges just to be present Saturday morning in their caps and gowns at Stocker Stadium: students who’ve earned their degrees while raising children, students who’ve already distinguished themselves in their chosen fields, students bursting out of CMU already in pursuit of their dreams.

Foster’s recognition included:

■ culinary arts graduate Travis James for his determination to earn his degree;

■ kinesiology graduate Sam Phillips, who already has distinguished himself in the world of cycling and kinesiology research;

■  and physics graduate Tom Morrison, who will spend the next year working on a documentary about Mexico’s polluted Rio Grande de Santiago river called “Heal the Rio Santiago.”

Dan Robinson, president of the Colorado Mesa University Board of Trustees, reminded graduates that there were few among them who haven’t experienced moments of doubt or fear, but they have the ability to go out into the world and shine brilliantly.

“It is our turn to change an industry, to change our community, to change our country and even to change the world,” said Ariel Diamond, who served as president of Colorado Mesa University’s Associated Student Government and gave the student address Saturday.

“Dare to imagine where we can go. May your lives continue to be curious, to be innovative and to be filled with love.”


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