Friday’s Tassel-Turners Celebrate Suffrage
By Debbie Crawford, Colorado Mountain College
When Colorado Mountain College leaders decided to cancel seven different spring commencement ceremonies this year, it was with a heavy heart.
“I always tell our students that this is my favorite time of the year,” said Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, president and CEO of the college. “This is a time when everyone who has supported that student in reaching an important life goal – their families, their friends, the faculty who have taught them and counselors and other staff who have guided them on their journey – get to cheer and celebrate with them.”
This year was to be even more special, a celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. The college had lined up an impressive slate of accomplished Colorado women to speak, one per campus: a state Supreme Court justice, a lieutenant governor, the heads of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and the Department of Agriculture, founder and CEO of a well-known outdoor products company, and directors of several powerful nonprofits. The speakers are all trailblazers and true pioneers in their respective fields.
The speeches were to be shared as part of a year-long celebration, through History Colorado and the Women’s Vote Centennial Commission, to honor the centennial of women’s suffrage and the doors of opportunity that opened following the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
But 2020 has turned out differently than anyone could have imagined. Every college and university in the state has been impacted by efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Classes have moved online; some students have moved back home while a handful of others stayed quarantined in their residential halls. And virtually every commencement ceremony in Colorado has been canceled outright or postponed.
Female Colorado Leaders to Speak
Even with the disruptions in everyday life, the original keynote speakers slated to talk eagerly agreed to participate, by recording their speech for the virtual ceremony. The speakers and the students they will honor (by campus) are:
- Jennifer McLaren, president and chief executive officer, Smartwool is the keynote speaker at Colorado Mountain College’s virtual commencement ceremony for CMC’s Leadville and Salida campuses. The virtual commencement website will go live at noon on May 15, 2020.
- Christine Benero, president and chief executive officer, Mile High United Way (Roaring Fork Valley ceremony including Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Spring Valley campuses)
- Lauren Y. Casteel, chief executive officer, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado (Vail Valley at Edwards campus)
- Heather Dugan, head of law enforcement, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CMC’s Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy)
- Kate Greenberg, Colorado commissioner of agriculture (Steamboat Springs campus)
- Monica Márquez, justice, Colorado Supreme Court (Rifle campus)
- Dr. Angie Paccione, executive director, Colorado Department of Higher Education (message from the CDHE to all graduates)
- Dianne Primavera, Colorado’s lieutenant governor (Summit County ceremony including Breckenridge and Dillon campuses).
How Does a Virtual Ceremony Work?
This month graduating students will receive a package in the mail, containing a mortarboard and tassel, a letter from the president, alumni swag and other surprises. Graduating students have been entering information and photos into an online form, which will populate the virtual commencement website at noon on May 15, 2020. The site will feature recorded speeches from the college president and Dr. Angie Paccione, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
Students can then watch the program tailored for their home campus. They will hear their keynote speaker as well as a student speaker from their campus. They’ll hear their name and the degree or credential they’ve earned, and the same for their classmates, read by an emcee from the campus. A member of the elected CMC Board of Trustees will confer diplomas and certificates, and the student speaker will return to the screen to lead their classmates in the turning of the tassels.
The website, once live, will be open to the public and will be on view at least through the summer. Graduates are encouraged to pull together “watch parties” of friends and family members and to post photos to #cmcgrad2020. Portions of the CMC commencement speeches will be incorporated into a video project for the “Bold Women. Change History.” initiative that is being organized by History Colorado and the governor’s Women’s Vote Centennial Commission.
“We have all found ourselves persevering through this unforgettable year,” said Hauser. “Here at CMC we have done all we can to ensure our students finish this academic year strong. And so many people – including these amazing guest commencement speakers – have worked hard so that we can celebrate our students’ achievements in a special and memorable way. We all wish the CMC class of 2020 the warmest congratulations, and the very best in their future endeavors.”
Writer Debbie Crawford is the Public Information Officer for Colorado Mountain College. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meeting Tonight on Re-paving of Harrison
Tonight May 13 at 7 p.m. is the first public meeting concerning the news sidewalks, stoplights and paving/re-stripping of Highway 24/Harrison Avenue. And you can do it from the comfort of your own home or phone! CLICK HERE https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82112628413 to join the Zoom Meeting for the Leadville Planning Commission: Meeting ID: 821 1262 8413. If you don’t have a Zoom account, it’s free but will take a few minutes to sign-up. You can also call into the meeting (346) 248-7799.
After tonight, there will be a regular weekly construction meeting starting on May 21 at 10:30 am on Thursdays on the $5 million construction project, also via Zoom Meeting. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89322152964. You can also call into these meetings at the same phone number: (346) 248-7799.
Catholic Mass Resumes on Sunday
This Sunday, Leadville’s faithful Catholic s will once again be able to receive communion as Mass services resume this weekend, albeit from different kind of pews – their cars! Father Rafael Rico-Torres, the Pastor at Holy Family Parish sent this note.
Please be advised of the following:
- Masses will be held beginning this coming weekend, May 16th & 17th. Masses will be held in the PARKING LOT, of St. Josephs (W. 2nd and James Streets). You will remain in your car, or you may step outside, following the safety distancing guidelines from each other.
- Ushers will be taking up the offertory collection during the appropriate time by going to each vehicle.
- The Mass schedule has been REVISED SLIGHTLY.
- Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
- Sunday, 8:45 a.m. (English) and 12 Noon (Spanish)
- For Receiving Holy Communion:
Please wait for instructions during Mass. Please be sure to follow the guidelines listed above for everyone’s’ safety. Thank You and God Bless You.
Neighboring Forests Seeing Abuse
White River National Forest officials reported high levels of public use on the forest last weekend, along with a number of concerning incidents. Forest officials are investigating an incident involving four people base-jumping from the cliffs above Hanging Lake that sent one to the hospital on Sunday. The trail to Hanging Lake remains closed, and off-trail travel is never allowed in this area.
“We never want to see people breaking rules and engaging in high-risk behavior, but it’s especially worrisome given the current situation,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “We don’t want to pull emergency officials away from focusing on the pandemic.”
Additionally, all ranger districts on the White River National Forest reported finding multiple unattended campfires over the weekend.
“This isn’t rocket science. Follow the area fire restrictions. If you can have a campfire, enjoy it safely and make sure it is completely out before you leave,” Fitzwilliams said. “It’s only a matter of time before one of these abandoned campfires sparks a larger fire.”
Several chains on seasonal Forest Service gates were cut over the weekend to gain early access. In other areas, people are driving around the gates. The seasonal closures to vehicles are in place to prevent disturbance to wildlife and damage to the roads. Other roads that are open but muddy suffered serious damage from motorized travel in several areas of the forest.
“Please stay off muddy roads. Be patient, these spring conditions will improve,” Fitzwilliams said.
Forest officials also remind the public to observe the 14-day camping limitations in areas open to camping, and to pack out their trash.
“Public lands are a tremendous resource available to us during these stressful times. But people need to be responsible and use common sense. We are all in this together,” Fitzwilliams said. The White River National Forest includes the neighboring counties: Eagle, Summit and Pitkin. If you see illegal behavior, please contact your local ranger district or sheriff’s office at 710-486-1249.