Colorado Mountain College holds commencement ceremonies May 6 and 7
Prominent keynote speakers will address CMC’s graduating students at seven locations
For the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado Mountain College’s in-person commencement ceremonies on May 6 and 7 will be open to the public. Although graduates could invite a limited number of guests last year, it will feel much more like a return to normal this year.
Students from all 11 CMC campuses will receive bachelor's and associate degrees, certificates of occupational proficiency, High School Equivalency, General Education Equivalency and workforce diplomas.
At CMC Spring Valley, four commencement ceremonies will include graduates from the Aspen, Carbondale, Spring Valley and Glenwood Springs campuses. The Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy’s ceremony is at 1 p.m. May 6 where Colorado State Rep. Leslie Herod will address CLETA graduates.
A pinning ceremony for Spring Valley’s nursing graduates is 9 a.m. on May 7, followed by two graduation ceremonies for certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree graduates at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Colorado Teacher of the Year Autumn Rivera, who is an adjunct faculty member with CMC’s teacher education program, will provide the keynote presentation.
U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, who serves as the representative for Colorado’s 2nd congressional district, will give the keynote address at the main ceremony of the CMC Breckenridge and Dillon campus on May 6. Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, president and CEO of Colorado Mountain College will give the keynote address at the nurse pinning ceremony that will begin the day at 10 a.m. at the Breckenridge campus, followed by the main commencement ceremony for all graduates at 5 p.m. at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge.
At CMC Steamboat Springs, a nurse pinning ceremony will take place at the campus at 3 p.m. on May 6. The next day, keynote speaker Kathryn Redhorse (Lakota/Navajo), executive director of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs of the Lt. Governor’s Office, will address the class of 2022 during a 10:30 a.m. ceremony on May 7 at the Steamboat Grand Hotel.
CMC Leadville’s keynote speaker will also be Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, president and CEO of Colorado Mountain College, who will address the class of 2022 at 4 p.m. on May 6. Commencement will be held on the Leadville campus.
The CMC Vail Valley campus will celebrate commencement at 5 p.m. on May 6 with keynote speaker Melina Valsecia, Eagle Valley Community Foundation executive director. She will address the class of 2022 at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek.
CMC Salida’s commencement for the class of 2022 will be held at the SteamPlant Event Center at 10 a.m. on May 7. Salida local Angel Rowell will give the keynote address. Rowell sits on the CMC Salida Advisory Board where she was instrumental in the annexation of Colorado Mountain College’s district into Salida. She is also president of the Salida Business Alliance.
At CMC Rifle, keynote speaker Deirdre Macnab, a rancher from Rio Blanco County and president and co-founder of the Meeker Mustang Makeover. She has worked for decades in protecting voting rights, environmental issues and juvenile justice.
A ceremony for high school concurrent enrollment students is at 11 a.m. at the Rifle campus, and at 12 p.m. is a graduation for those earning High School Equivalency and workforce diplomas. The campus’s fire science graduation will be held at 2 p.m.
For more information and for details on each commencement ceremony, visit CMC 2022 graduations.
CMC 2022 commencement speakers
Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser - CMC Breckenridge and Dillon / CMC Leadville
Since 2013, Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser has served as president and CEO of Colorado Mountain College, a dual mission, public institution enrolling 15,000 students annually at 11 campuses. Hauser currently chairs of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission and is a member of the El Pomar Northwest Regional Council, the Vail Valley Foundation and American Council on Education boards of directors. She earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from UCLA and her bachelor’s from the University of Arizona.
Colorado State Rep. Leslie Herod - Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy - CMC Spring Valley
Since her election in 2016, Colorado State Rep. Leslie Herod, representing House District 8, has sent 68 bills to the governor’s desk addressing criminal justice reform, mental health and substance abuse, renewable energy, youth homelessness and civil rights protections. The first Black LGBTQ woman elected to serve in Colorado’s General Assembly, some of her signature legislation includes improving educational opportunities for children and adults in Colorado prisons and creating supportive learning environments for K-12 students.
U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse - CMC Breckenridge and Dillon
Congressman Joe Neguse represents Colorado’s 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives. When he was first elected in 2018, he became the first African American member of Congress in Colorado history. The son of parents who immigrated from Eritrea in east Africa, Neguse graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder, where he also earned his J.D. Bills he has introduced include the Affordable College Textbook Act and competency-based education legislation.
Deirdre Macnab - CMC Rifle
Deirdre Macnab is a rancher in Rio Blanco County and president and co-founder of the Meeker Mustang Makeover, an event that pairs trainers and wild horses in an annual competition. She is involved with river issues, regenerative agriculture, and solar energy and serves on a number of Colorado nonprofit boards. She is a past state president of the League of Women Voters, and has worked for decades in protecting voting rights, environmental issues and juvenile justice.
Kathryn Redhorse - CMC Steamboat Springs
As executive director of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs of the Lt. Governor’s Office, Kathryn Redhorse (Lakota/Navajo) focuses on promoting visibility and acknowledgment of Tribal Nations. At the commission, Redhorse facilitates communication between the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the other 46 historic tribes of Colorado, American Indian/Alaska Native organizations, state agencies and affiliated groups. Redhorse’s ongoing goal is to positively impact the lives of Colorado's American Indians and communities statewide.
Autumn Rivera - CMC Spring Valley
Autumn Rivera grew up north of Gypsum and has been a sixth grade science teacher at Glenwood Springs Middle School for the past 10 years. She is also an adjunct faculty member with CMC’s teacher education program. Rivera earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in teaching secondary science from Colorado College, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs.
Angel Rowell - CMC Salida
Angel Rowell and her husband Nik moved from their corporate jobs in Minnesota to Salida in 2018, and developed the Discovery Pass, a smartphone-based local business discount app. Rowell sits on the CMC Salida Advisory Board where she was instrumental in the annexation of Colorado Mountain College’s district into Salida. She is also president of the Salida Business Alliance.
Melina Valsecia - CMC Vail Valley at Edwards
In addition to her role as Eagle Valley Community Foundation’s executive director, Melina Valsecia has been the executive director of Neighborhood Navigators of Eagle County and has managed Mobile Cultural Resource Alliance. A native Spanish speaker, Valsecia grew up in Argentina and received her undergraduate degree in Paraguay. Valsecia moved to Eagle County in 2007 and earned a master’s degree in public health and a national certification in health education.