Video by Ron Bend/CSU Video
The look of surprise – and joy – on Ryan Blocker’s face told the story.
Standing on his front porch on a sunny Thursday was none other than CAM the Ram, flanked by Heather Daniels, director of admissions at Colorado State University. They were armed with a CSU yard sign and a message:
“Welcome to CSU! We’re excited that you’re going to be a Ram!”
“This is awesome,” said Blocker, a 2020 graduate of Fossil Ridge High School. “I honestly cannot wait to get started at CSU.”
Blocker is one of more than 400 recent high school graduates in Northern Colorado who were visited at the end of May by members of CSU admissions staff. Green signs with the hashtag #colostatebound were provided for students to display in their front yards. On this day, however, a lucky few got the added bonus of a visit from CAM.
Daniels and her staff distributed signs to recent graduates in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, Severance, Wellington, Laporte, Timnath, Berthoud, Bellvue, Livermore, Milliken and Johnstown. The idea of the signs was hatched to send a message to graduates who have yet to commit to a college that CSU is ready to welcome them in the fall.
“My favorite reactions have been by the parents, who are so excited and so proud of their students,” said Daniels, who was joined by admissions staffers Megan Miller and Cathy Braunlin on the outing. “This has been a nice way to celebrate these students since most of them didn’t get to have traditional graduation ceremonies. It’s been fun to spread a little hometown pride.”
All in the Ramily
Blocker’s decision to attend his hometown university probably didn’t surprise many of his friends. After all, his dad, Chris Blocker, is an assistant professor of marketing in CSU’s College of Business, and staying close to his family while studying computer science in the College of Natural Sciences was appealing.
And he wasn’t the only member of a “CSU family” visited Thursday. Anna McGinley, who graduated from Heritage Christian High School in Fort Collins, is the third of the six McGinley children to attend CSU, behind Josh and Jonathan, who received their bachelor’s degrees in business in 2011 and 2013, respectively.
“I did look at some other schools, but in the end CSU was the best place for me,” she said, adding that she plans to study equine science. “I’ve always loved horses, and CSU has one of the best programs in the world.”
CAM and Daniels also visited Elizabeth Lux, who graduated from Colorado Early Colleges High School in Fort Collins. She plans to study apparel merchandising in CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.
“I’m so excited to go to CSU,” she said. “It’s going to be amazing, and I can’t wait for fall.”
As for Daniels, she’s hoping the yards signs encourage other area graduates to come to CSU.
“As I’ve been driving around the different neighborhoods and seen all the graduation signs from the different high schools, I’ve been tempted to go knock on their doors and say, ‘Hey, do you want to come to CSU?’” she said, laughing. “I haven’t done that yet, but I’ve wanted to.”