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Former president returns for commencement


By Chelsea Reese

Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia will return to bid his freshman class farewell at CSU-Pueblo’s 2011 commencement ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday May 7 at the Colorado State Fairgrounds Events Center.

Garcia, who became CSU-Pueblo’s president in 2006, helped increase enrollment and create a four-year graduation incentive program during his four years as university president, according to the CSU-Pueblo’s website. He was responsible for the creation of a three-building dormitory complex, a football and track stadium, a student recreation field and a student recreation center.

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The Massari Arena and the university’s library also underwent renovations during Garcia’s tenure, according to the website.

“I’m sure that he was very pleased to be asked because this university means a lot to him and he had a lot to do with the advancement that has taken place at the university in the last three or four years,” said Julio Leon, CSU-Pueblo’s interim president who is among the people taking part in the ceremony.

“It’s great. To me, the two best times of the year in a college or university are first when you start an academic year in the fall. The other time is commencement because you can see so many students finishing their college careers and beginning a new one.”

“Commencement means beginning,” Leon said, and he wants students to think of commencement that way, with regards to education.

“Don’t just assume that your education has finished, because there’s a lot of things to learn,” Leon said. “Be flexible and be prepared to learn new things.”