Colorado Mountain College to hold commencement ceremonies May 5, 6 and 8
Notable keynote speakers will address graduates at 12 ceremonies
April 13, 2023 – Colorado Mountain College will celebrate students from all 11 of its campuses throughout the college’s region when it holds 12 commencement ceremonies May 5, 6 and 8.
Reflecting CMC’s dual mission and mix of degree offerings, students will receive bachelor's and associate degrees and certificates of occupational proficiency, in addition to high school equivalency, general education and workforce diplomas.
CMC Spring Valley at Glenwood Springs
Three commencement ceremonies at CMC’s Spring Valley campus will recognize the achievements of Roaring Fork Valley students from the college’s Aspen, Carbondale, Spring Valley and Glenwood Springs campuses. All ceremonies will be held at CMC Spring Valley’s Outdoor Leadership Center and Field House, 3000 County Road 114, Glenwood Springs.
Spring Valley CLETA commencement
The Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy will lead off the ceremonies at CMC Spring Valley with its commencement at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 5. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser will address CLETA graduates.
Weiser was sworn in as the state’s 39th attorney general in 2019 and is currently serving a second term. At the Department of Law, he has prioritized work to protect public safety and support the effective recruitment, retention and training of peace officers.
Prior to his current role, Weiser held positions at the University of Colorado Boulder for 11 years, including serving as the dean of the School of Law. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Swarthmore College and his J.D. from the New York University School of Law.
Spring Valley nurse pinning and graduation
A pinning and graduation ceremony for Spring Valley’s nursing graduates will be at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 6 with CMC President and CEO Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser giving the keynote address.
Hauser has been the president and CEO of Colorado Mountain College for nearly 10 years. Prior to CMC, Hauser held executive positions at the Kauffman Foundation, Metropolitan State University of Denver and the Daniels Fund. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and earned her master’s and Ph.D. degrees from UCLA and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School of Business.
Spring Valley main commencement
The main ceremony at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 6 will include graduates from the Aspen, Carbondale, Spring Valley and Glenwood Springs campuses. Gregory Moore, former editor-in-chief of The Denver Post, will give the keynote address.
Moore is the executive editor of The Expert Press that works with CEOs and other top executives to create expert commentary. During his time as editor-in-chief of The Denver Post from 2002 to 2016, the newspaper won four consecutive Pulitzer Prizes. Before joining The Denver Post, he had been managing editor of The Boston Globe, where he worked for 16 years. Moore graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science. He is a trustee of, among others, the University of Denver and the Boettcher Foundation.
CMC Breckenridge and Dillon
Breckenridge nurse pinning and graduation
Sara Dembeck, associate chief nursing officer at Vail Health, will provide the keynote address at the nurse pinning and graduation ceremony at 10 a.m., Friday, May 5 at the Breckenridge campus, 107 Denison Placer Road in Breckenridge.
Dembeck is the associate chief nursing officer at Vail Health. She received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Michigan and her master’s degree of nursing, executive practice and healthcare leadership from the Research College of Nursing in Kansas City, Missouri. Among her honors are Director of the Year at Swedish Medical Center in 2015 and a nomination for the Nightingale Luminary Award at Swedish Medical Center.
Breckenridge and Dillon main commencement
The Breckenridge and Dillon campus’s main commencement ceremony will be held at 5 p.m., also on Friday, May 5, at Beaver Run Resort, 620 Village Road in Breckenridge, with the Honorable Ed Casias giving the keynote address.
Summit County Court Judge Casias is a Denver native who practices in Breckenridge. He attended Manual High School and received his undergraduate degree from Colorado College. The judge received his law degree from Ohio State University College of Law. Prior to taking the bench, he was the assistant district attorney for the Fifth Judicial District. Judge Casias has served on community boards including Summit County Head Start, Summit County Youth Baseball, 10th Mountain Lacrosse, Summit County Community Care Clinic and The Summit Foundation. Currently, Judge Casias is a student at CMC Breckenridge, working toward an associate degree in outdoor education.
CMC Leadville’s keynote speaker Jackie Miller is the executive director of Great Outdoors Colorado. She will address the class of 2023 at 1 p.m., Friday, May 5, at the Climax Molybdenum Leadership Center gymnasium on the Leadville campus, 901 Highway 24 in Leadville.
Miller has served GOCO for over 15 years in various capacities from program manager to director of programs and in her current role since 2021. Miller received her bachelor’s degree from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont and was instrumental in launching Generation Wild in 2015 to motivate youth and their families in Colorado to get outdoors.
CMC Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs nurse pinning and graduation
CMC Steamboat Springs will hold a pinning and graduation ceremony for its nursing students at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 5 at the Steamboat Springs campus, with UCHealth Chief Nursing Officer Kelly Gallegos giving the keynote address at the Steamboat campus, 1275 Crawford Ave. in Steamboat Springs.
Gallegos joined UCHealth-Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs from San Luis Valley Health where she served in leadership and management positions, from director of clinical excellence at San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center to administrator at Conejos County Hospital. Gallegos earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center and her MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute.
Steamboat Springs main commencement
The following day, Saturday, May 6, the main commencement ceremony will be held at the Steamboat Grand Hotel Ballroom, 2300 Mt. Werner Circle in Steamboat Springs, at 10:30 a.m. Carlos Fernandez, the director of the state of Colorado for The Nature Conservancy, will give the keynote address.
Fernandez has been the state director for The Nature Conservancy in Colorado since 2015. He and his team recently developed an ambitious five-year strategic plan to tackle Colorado’s most pressing environmental challenges, with a particular focus on climate change action and on diversity, equity and inclusion.
Prior to his current role, he served as the conservancy’s Southern Andes conservation program strategies manager in Bariloche, Argentina. Fernandez is a native of Argentina and earned his law degree from Mendoza University before completing a graduate law degree at Georgetown University.
Rifle main commencement
At CMC Rifle, the main commencement ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 5. Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation, will give the keynote address.
Kramer has come full circle with the organization: She was selected as a Boettcher Scholar in 1993. A University of Colorado Boulder graduate, Kramer was an honors student at the Leeds School of Business and completed her executive MBA at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business. She is considered an expert in the scholarship selection process and serves on several boards including Philanthropy Colorado and YPO Colorado.
Rifle concurrent enrollment (CEPA) commencement
At 6 p.m. on Monday, May 8, high school concurrent enrollment, or CEPA, students who have earned college certificates will celebrate with a ceremony at the Rifle campus. Giving the keynote address will be U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Samantha Blea, a Rifle High School alumna and CEPA graduate.
Blea graduated from Rifle High School with her diploma and an Associate of Science degree in general science in May 2007 through CMC’s CEPA program. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Engineering in space operations from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Blea has served as one of the Navy’s first maritime space officers.
CMC Rifle is at 3695 Airport Road in Rifle.
Helen Drexler, chief executive officer of Delta Dental of Colorado, will give the keynote address at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 5 to the CMC Vail Valley at Edwards class of 2023. The ceremony will be held at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek. The college is preparing to launch a new dental hygiene education program at the Vail Valley campus with support from the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation.
As CEO of Delta Dental of Colorado, Drexler has more than 30 years of progressive management experience and is deeply versed in all aspects of the health insurance industry. She served as chair of the board of directors of Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado and currently serves on the national board of directors of Dental Lifeline Network as well as on the board of Mile High United Way. In 2020, she received the Most Admired CEO award from the Denver Business Journal.
CMC Salida’s commencement for the class of 2023 will be held at the SteamPlant Event Center, 220 W. Sackett Ave. in Salida, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 6. Jackie Miller, executive director of Great Outdoors Colorado, will give the keynote address.
Miller will also give the keynote address at Leadville’s commencement ceremony. She will address the class of 2023 there on Friday, May 5. (See CMC Leadville.)
For more information and details on each commencement ceremony, visit CMC 2023 graduations.