2018 Spring Commencement set for May 11-13

Colorado State University expects to confer degrees on more than 5,000 graduates at Spring 2018 commencement ceremonies May 11-13.

College ceremonies and ROTC commissionings will recognize 4,165 undergraduate and 1,203 graduate students, including 79 doctoral students, 138 Doctors of Veterinary Medicine, and 915 master’s degree recipients, and 41 Army and Air Force ROTC commissionees. Fifty-two undergraduates are candidates for distinction as summa cum laude, 113 as magna cum laude, and 141 as cum laude.

Outstanding Grads

Meet just a few of the truly remarkable students graduating from Colorado State University during Spring Commencement.

Those expected to earn degrees in Summer 2018 will also be honored at the May Commencement, including 767 undergraduates – five summa cum laude, 12 magna cum laude, and 13 cum laude – and 458 graduate students, including 100 doctoral students.

Two honorary doctorates will be awarded on Friday, May 11: Thomas H. Bailey will be honored during the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine ceremonies at 8 a.m., and James Kennedy will receive his degree during the Graduate School commencement at 3 p.m.

The ceremonies will be held in Moby Arena and the Lory Student Center. An interactive map for locations and parking is available at maps.colostate.edu. Commencement ceremonies, with the exception of the ROTC commissionings, will be webcast live.

Speakers share insights with graduates

Tina Larson Portrait
Tina Larson

Tina Larson, vice president of technical operations for Achaogen, will deliver the commencement address for the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, 11:30 a.m., May 11, at Moby Arena.

Tina M. Larson is senior vice president of technical operations at Achaogen, a biopharmaceutical company committed to the treatment of multi-drug resistant infections. Prior to Achaogen, Larson spent 20 years at Genentech and Roche in development and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals for unmet medical needs. She has held

local and global leadership roles, spanning technical development, manufacturing, engineering, supply chain, quality assurance, and business operations.

The medicines she has contributed to target a spectrum of serious illness including cancer, heart attack, stroke, cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, and drug-resistant bacterial infections. Larson was recognized nationally in 2012 by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association as a Rising Star.

Larson has been a proud alumnus of Colorado State University since she graduated in 1996 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, and she currently serves on the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board.

Larson enjoys spending time with her husband, Tobias, another CSU alum, and their daughter Kendra. She is also slowly writing a book and is known to contribute an occasional blog to HuffPost.


Kim Jordan portrait
Kim Jordan

Kim Jordan, co-founder of New Belgium Brewing, Inc., and secretary of the  Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System, will speak at the College of Health and Human Sciences commencement ceremony at 7:30 p.m. May 11, at Moby Arena.

Kim Jordan, co-founder, chair of the board, and former CEO of New Belgium Brewing, has developed expertise at the intersection of business, the environment, and community to create one of the most respected craft breweries and innovative businesses in America.

Her lifelong commitment to developing healthy communities has informed New Belgium’s culture through progressive policies like employee ownership, open-book management, and philanthropic giving. Now as the Executive Chair, she serves as a link between New Belgium’s management group and its Board of Directors.

Kim and her two sons launched the New Belgium Family Foundation in 2013 to express their commitment to social and environmental impact through philanthropy.



Molly Bloom portrait
Molly Bloom

Molly Bloom, author of Molly’s Game, will speak at the College of Natural Sciences commencement ceremony at 8 a.m., May 12, at Moby Arena

Molly Bloom is best known for her memoir, Molly’s Game, which was adapted into an award-winning film of the same name. Bloom’s memoir chronicles her journey from world-class Colorado skier to college student to Los Angeles waitress to building and operating the largest and most notorious private poker game in the world.

Bloom grew up in Loveland, and her father, Larry Bloom, is a professor emeritus of psychology at Colorado State University’s College of Natural Sciences. While Bloom was training to ski as a preteen, she was diagnosed with severe scoliosis and underwent surgery that doctors said would end her athletic career. A year later, fully recovered, she was back on the slopes. She later joined the U.S. Ski Team and at 21 was ranked No. 3 in North America in moguls.

But her Olympic dreams would go unrealized as she left the team to pursue other projects. Bloom was finishing her degree in political science from the University of Colorado Boulder and in the process of applying to top-tier law schools when she started what she thought would be a year sabbatical in L.A. Shortly after she arrived, she became an accidental entrepreneur and quickly built an exclusive, high-stakes underground poker game. What happened next is where her story truly begins.

Bloom is now focused on building a network for female entrepreneurs. For years, she built a billionaire boys’ club; now she’s creating a community for women to nurture their ambitions by providing them with opportunities to collaborate and grow their businesses.


Tom Hilbert portrait
Coach Tom Hilbert

Tom Hilbert,  head coach of the CSU Rams volleyball team, will speak at the College of Agricultural Sciences commencement ceremony at 11:30 a.m., May 12, at Moby Arena.

The Colorado State women’s volleyball program has become synonymous with consistent winning under the guidance and tutelage of Head Coach Tom Hilbert, who finished his 21st season with the Rams and his 29th overall as a collegiate head coach in 2017.

Under Hilbert, who was inducted into the CSU Athletics Hall of Fame as the Hall of Honor recipient in 2006, the Rams have developed into one of the top programs in the nation, qualifying for the NCAA tournament all 21 seasons. With 10 Mountain West Coach of the Year awards and 14 Conference Championships to his credit in the leagues’ 18-year history, it is clear why Hilbert’s program has risen to the top of the league and as a perennial Top-25 team.

Other accomplishments include coaching 11 AVCA All-Americans and 12 Mountain West Player of the Year athletes; holding the record as the winningest coach at CSU, and the winningest Division I head coach in any sport in Colorado.

Hilbert graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing, and later added a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Idaho.


John Ikrad portrait
John Ikard

John Ikard, former CEO of FirstBank, will deliver the commencement address at the College of Business ceremony at 7 p.m., May 12, in Moby Arena.

John Ikard graduated from Colorado State University in 1979 with a bachelor of science in psychology and earned his MBA from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. He began his 35-year career with FirstBank in 1981 as a management trainee, and went on to serve as President and CEO for 17 years before retiring in 2017. He led the company to become the third largest privately held bank in the country with more than $19 billion in assets. Even in the depths of the banking crisis and economic downturn that spanned from 2008-2011, Ikard maintained more than a decade of consecutive profits having kept the company away from subprime loans.

Ikard built a culture of strategic philanthropy and community involvement resulting in FirstBank donating more than $57 million to charitable organizations during his tenure. The company was the second-largest corporate contributor in Colorado between 2014 and 2016 and was recognized by the Denver Post for six consecutive years as a Top Workplace.

Ikard is currently the chairman for Colorado Concern, one of the state’s most influential business and political groups; he serves on the Colorado Children’s Hospital Board of Directors, and is a board member for Women’s Foundation of Colorado. He also served as chairman for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce from 2008 to 2009, served on the Colorado State University Board of Governors from 2009 to 2011, and was chairman at the American Bankers Association from 2014 to 2015. Ikard was recognized by American Banker as the Community Banker of the Year in 2010. In 2013, he received the William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award from CSU and the Boy Scouts “Vale La Pena Award” for service to Hispanic and Latino youth.


Robbie Myers portrait
Robbie Myers

Roberta “Robbie” Myers, former editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, will deliver the commencement address at both College of Liberal Arts ceremonies at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., May 13, at Moby Arena.

Robbie Myers is a College of Liberal Arts alumna who graduated in 1982 with a degree in political science. While at CSU, she was also a member of the diving team. In 2017, Myers retired from her position as the Editor-in-Chief of ELLE magazine in New York City after 17 years. She will remain at American Elle owner Hearst, consulting for David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines.

Prior to her experience at ELLE, she worked at several other magazines such as Mirabella, InStyle, Tell, Seventeen, and Rolling Stone.

Myers grew up in Florida, where she was co-captain of the swim team at Plantation High School, and attended Colorado State University on a diving scholarship. She moved to New York City shortly after and started her career as an assistant for Rolling Stone magazine.

Subsequently, she worked under artist Andy Warhol at Interview magazine and then moved onto Seventeen and InStyle, but it was her work with a little-known venture called Tell, between the publishing company Hachette-Filipacchi and broadcast network NBC, that landed her the job at ELLE.

Myers is known for championing serious journalism in women’s magazines. She has been the vice president of the American Society of Magazine Editors and has received multiple awards for her contributions to journalism over her career. She resides in New York with her husband, Frank Michielli, a partner at architectural firm Michielli + Wyetzner, and their two children.


Complete CSU commencement ceremony starting times and locations; ceremonies will be livestreamed at the links provided on the CSU commencement website.

Friday, May 11

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Program, 8 a.m., Moby Arena
  • Air Force ROTC Commissioning, 8 a.m., Lory Student Center Ballroom CD (not webcast)
  • Army ROTC Commissioning, 10 a.m., Lory Student Center Ballroom AB (not webcast)
  • Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, 11:30 p.m., Moby Arena
  • University Honors Recognition Ceremony, 1:45 p.m., Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom
  • Graduate School, 3 p.m., Moby Arena
  • College of Health and Human Sciences, 7:30 p.m., Moby Arena

Saturday, May 12

  • College of Natural Sciences, 8 a.m., Moby Arena
  • College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 9 a.m., Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom
  • College of Agricultural Sciences, 11:30 a.m., Moby Arena
  • Warner College of Natural Resources, 3 p.m., Moby Arena
  • College of Business, 7 p.m., Moby Arena

Sunday, May 13

  • College of Liberal Arts I, 9 a.m., Moby Arena
  • College of Liberal Arts II, 1 p.m., Moby Arena