Honorary Degrees
Recognition of outstanding intellectual achievement in one or more of the following areas: intellectual contributions, university service, and/or public service.
University Medals
Recognition of those persons whose achievements and contributions are particularly associated with the university
Distinguished Service Awards
Recognition of achievements and contributions particularly associated with the state and/or nation.



Honorary Degrees

Marcy Benson (Doctor of Humane Letters)

  • Marcy Benson has applied her time and talents in a variety of honorable capacities, from serving presidents of the United States to volunteering at leadership levels in education, health care, the arts and civic activities.
  • She has demonstrated unparalleled leadership and commitment to CU, volunteering in many capacities including co-chairing two fundraising campaigns -- Creating Futures (2006-13) and Total Learning Environment-Beyond Boundaries (1996-2003) -- raising more than $1 billion. She has served as a member and chair of the CU Foundation’s Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, and the Development Committee for the University of Colorado Denver.
  • She helped to better the state of Colorado serving as an active community volunteer including her involvement with the Denver Zoological Foundation, the Denver Public Schools Foundation, Children’s Hospital Colorado Board of Directors, The Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Denver Public Library Commission and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.
  • Marcy Benson served as the first lady of CU for more than 11 years and, through her role, was instrumental in elevating CU’s engagement, philanthropic success and reputation. She has created a legacy of philanthropic impact.

Tilman "Tillie" Bishop (posthumous)(Doctor of Humane Letters)

  • Tilman “Tillie” Bishop served 28 years in the Colorado General Assembly and 38 years overall as an elected official, becoming the fourth-longest serving elected official in the history of the Colorado legislature, and the longest serving senator from Western Colorado.
  • He was president pro tem of the Senate for six years, served 10 years as chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee, served on the Legislative Audit Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Business Affairs and Labor Committee. Tillie Bishop was a Mesa County commissioner, a University of Colorado regent, a Colorado Mesa University trustee, and chairman of the Colorado Tourism Board.
  • Sixty-two percent of the 736 bills Tillie Bishop introduced during his time at the Capitol passed, including a 1979 bill that released ski areas of legal responsibility for skier injuries while also placing certain safety requirements on the ski industry. The bill became a model across the country.
  • He was named Legislator of the Year by 11 entities, received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado, and has a college campus and wildlife area named for him in Mesa County.
  • Tilman “Tillie” Bishop, died Sunday, June 16, 2019, in Grand Junction. He was 86.

Richard Monfort (Doctor of Humane Letters)

  • Richard Monfort has demonstrated philanthropic leadership and dedication to the state of Colorado – both personally and through Monfort Family Foundation – at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, the University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University. His gifts included $20 million-plus to cancer research at the CU Cancer Center and Children's Hospital Colorado.
  • He has served on numerous boards in higher education and hospital administration including UCHealth, University of Colorado Hospital and University of Northern Colorado. Richard Monfort served as chairman of the Colorado Economic Development Commission, which resulted in improved health and quality of life for individuals and families in urban and rural communities.
  • Including his investments such as in Coors Field, he has demonstrated the vision, drive and commitment to community required to create flourishing sports enterprises in Colorado and accelerate the economic development in LoDo and the Denver Ballpark District.
  • He has been recognized with accolades including the United Way of Weld County Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2008, and honorary degrees from Colorado State University and Johnson & Wales University.

Joanne Posner-Mayer (Doctor of Humane Letters)

  • Joanne Posner-Mayer graduated from CU’s Physical Therapy Program in 1973 and became an entrepreneur in the fitness market starting Ball Dynamic International and Fitball.
  • Now a dedicated philanthropist, her leadership and generosity have had an impact throughout Colorado with the establishment of the Posner Center for International Development. She has served as a trustee for the Colorado Ballet and supported the Be Beautiful, Be Yourself program of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and the Denver Art Museum.
  • Her dedication to the University of Colorado is evident, having served on the CU School of Medicine Physical Therapy Program's Scholarship Endowment Advisory Board, CU Denver’s Advisory Council for the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship, and the CU Foundation Board of Trustees.
  • She was integral in establishing an endowed diversity scholarship at the CU School of Medicine, and made a $2 million commitment to help create the first physical therapy endowed chair at CU Anschutz, which allowed the School of Medicine to recruit a highly successful leader in physical therapy.

Paul and Katy Rady (Doctor of Humane Letters)

  • Paul and Katy Rady are generous philanthropic leaders whose investments in the higher education in Colorado will pay dividends for decades to come.
  • Their impact has been significant and multifaceted across the CU system and higher education in Colorado. Examples include:
    • CU Boulder, more than $1 million for the Interactive Geology Project (2004-23, K-12 education and public outreach), as well as the previous EMARC research consortium (2008-12)
    • CU Boulder, $5 million endowed chair in Geological Sciences, 2018
    • CU Boulder, $5 million gift for Engineering, 2018 for capital support, 2018
    • CU Anschutz Medical Campus, two $1.5 million endowed chairs, 2017
    • Western Colorado University, endowed chair in geology, 2001
    • Western Colorado University, $80 million to establish the Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science
  • Their leadership and the philanthropy helped establish a new engineering partnership program in collaboration with Western Colorado University, Paul Rady’s alma mater, creating a productive and vibrant partnership between Western State and CU.

Distinguished Service

Rio de la Vista

  • For nearly four decades, Rio de la Vista has been active in spearheading initiatives devoted to the conservation and preservation of Colorado’s biodiverse wetlands, landscapes and cultural resources.
  • Her 40-plus year career in conservation includes positions as the director of the Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center at Adams State University, commissioner for Rio Grande Natural Area Commission, associate director for Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust, coordinator of the Rock Creek Heritage Project, and more.
  • Rio de la Vista’s approach to working with local communities in Colorado and the Mountain West is grounded in the tenets of approaching problems comprehensively. When she engages with people, communities and organizations, she balances and integrates ecological principles and ideals with economic realities, enabling her to work effectively with politicians, ranchers, scientists, funders and others.

Barbara Weiske

  • Barbara Weiske is a leader with vision, mastering collaborative skills and a sense of humility in leading the Auraria Higher Education Center 2009-19, managing growth among three different institutions of higher education demands.
  • She demonstrated an ability to bring competing factions together; to be tireless in her quest to overcome obstacles; and to be tenacious in moving local, state and federal bureaucracies to respond positively to crucial campus issues such as public safety, traffic and pedestrian conflicts.
  • Her leadership resulted in multiple – often unknown and untold – benefits to CU including her introduction of the Campus Neighborhood Concept, which transferred significant authority and responsibilities regarding campus design, construction and management from the Auraria Board of Directors to the University of Colorado.
  • She is highly regarded for her thoughtfulness, her gracious contributions to the unique and diverse legacy of the campus community, and her humble and enthusiastic service that strengthened CU Denver, the Auraria Campus, the city of Denver and the state of Colorado.

University Medal

Donna Boucher

  • Donna Boucher’s lifetime of dedicated service to the state, the University of Colorado and the Colorado School of Public Health has had a significant impact.
  • Her extensive contributions include serving on the Colorado School of Public Health Advisory Board, 2011-current, and as board chair 2013-17; the National Institute of Health Council of Councils Advisory Council, 2017-19; the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved 2003-05; the CITAP Denver Police Force-Strategic Planning Committee, Administrative Committee Chair January 2004 through September 2005; the Colorado State Mental Health Planning and Resource Council, Chair Resource Committee, member July 1994-1997; the University of Colorado Foundation Board of Directors 1989-96, executive committee, investment, nominations, and capital campaign; and the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business, Boulder campus, chairman 1987-89, Advisory Board member 1987-93.
  • She played a critical role as a member of the School of Public Health Initiative, Fitzsimons campus, in the CU, CSU and UNC collaborative startup committee 2005-07. She rallied key decision-makers for the creation of the School of Public Health, the first school of public health in the Mountain West, in 2008.
  • More recently, her support of the MPH program in Population Mental Health and Wellbeing and her ongoing work to raise public awareness of the challenges facing our society and our health care systems reflect the work and character that have provided Donna Boucher an enduring legacy.

Patricia Crown

  • Patricia Crown served for more than a decade on the Crown Family Philanthropies' Health and Human Services and Global Health Committees, and has been a longtime advocate and supporter of Project PAVE, a nonprofit that provides violence prevention education through school-based therapy and family advocacy.
  • In February 2019, she made a significant commitment to CU Boulder to endow the Renee Crown Wellness Institute. The institute will conduct research on the social and emotional wellness of children and youth, and will serve as a hub for research-practice partnerships to promote the wellness of young people and the systems and adults.
  • Her vision of supporting wellness in students, educators, schools and communities has led to invaluable partnerships that benefit Colorado and add to research and resources in the field of youth, family and school wellness.

Mary Krugman

  • Mary Krugman’s accomplishments include a distinguished career in nursing as a scholar and leader in clinical settings, and significantly furthering the excellence of nursing practice at the University of Colorado Hospital and CU Nursing.
  • She was a key leader in developing the University Health System Consortium, American Association of Colleges of Nursing Post-Baccalaureate Nurse Residency Program, now in 64 sites nationwide. Mary Krugman served on the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education, writing national residency program accreditation standards that resulted in the UCH program becoming one of the first in the nation to receive national accreditation.
  • She epitomized outstanding leadership in both the practice and academic environments as she continuously strived to blend partnerships between nursing service and the University of Colorado College of Nursing. Her contributions have a positive impact on professional nurse entry into practice and nurse retention at UCH and across the country.

Jeannie and Jack Thompson

  • Jeannie and Jack Thompson have contributed significant philanthropic gifts to all four CU campuses to name endowed programs, provide named capital spaces, support students and faculty, and more.
  • Jeannie Thompson is a tireless advocate for CU having served on the advisory board of the BioFrontiers Institute and its predecessor, the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology (CIMB). She has served on the CU Foundation Board of Directors, the CU Boulder Alumni Association Board of Advisors, the Center of the American West Board of Directors, and as an active member of CU Advocates.
  • Jack Thompson has been active as a board member for CU Boulder’s College of Arts and Sciences and its Center of the American West. He served as a professor of history at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University, and later as a professor and dean at both Northwestern and Oakton Community College in the Chicago suburbs.
  • Together, Jeannie and Jack Thompson are proud University of Colorado graduates and loyal CU supporters who have drummed up excitement for the ENT Center for Performing Arts at CU Colorado Springs; exposed others to the promise of medical research at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus; and supported the students at CU Denver in their fundraising efforts for the health and wellness building. They followed CU Boulder’s athletic teams, generated interest in the CU Boulder’s music programs and supported the BioFrontiers building and program.


Honorary Degrees

Jacob Jabs
Nominated by CU Denver Commencement: May 16, 2019

  • American Furniture Warehouse and Jake Jabs personally have donated tens of millions of dollars over the years to nonprofit organizations, with the company most recently ranking 6th among the Top Corporate Philanthropists in the 2017-18 Denver Business Journal Giving Guide.
  • Jabs has provided exceptional philanthropic support to name the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Denver Business School and the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Montana State University.
  • He is also highly involved with Easter Seals Colorado (ESC), providing financial and in-kind support to the organization for more than 35 years, and making an annual trip to the ESC Rocky Mountain Village Camp to spend time with the children served by ESC.

Stanley Ruttenberg
Nominated by CU Boulder
Commencement: May 9, 2019

  • Over a 9-year career at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., Stanley Ruttenberg was a program officer for the International Geophysical Year and executive secretary for the International Years of the Quiet Sun.
  • Over a 30-year period, he held positions at the National Center of Atmospheric Research and the University Corporation of Atmospheric Research, where he administrated the Global Atmospheric Research Program. Ruttenberg was a founder of the Cooperative University Programs, which evolved into the present-day UCAR Community Programs.
  • He held positions in many international scientific organizations, including secretary general of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics (12 years) and chairman of the International Council of Scientific Unions Panel on World Data Centers (six years).
  • He was president of the Colorado MahlerFest Board of Directors for 16 years and president emeritus for another 10 years, where he led the festival to international prominence.

Peter Zoller
Nominated by CU Boulder
Commencement: May 9, 2019

  • Peter Zoller developed foundational ideas in the 1990s that spawned the fields of quantum information science and quantum computation, with specific emphasis on real devices and applications.
  • He outlined the path for state-of-the-art designer experiments to engineer and create new quantum materials and optical communication links that had never been possible before.
  • Zoller published more than 400 scientific papers that have been cited more than 30,000 times, at a rate of 80 citations on average per paper.
  • He has been a tremendous mentor to students and postdocs, with 32 now holding Professorships around the world, some at the most prestigious institutions.
  • He had a significant impact to JILA and CU Boulder, with strong collaborative ties that have continued for several decades, and that have contributed substantially to the JILA research programs on the CU Boulder campus.

Distinguished Service

Judy Bell
Nominated by UCCS
Commencement: TBD

  • Judy Bell was president of the United States Golf Association (USGA) in 1996-97.
  • She was the first woman to hold that position and one of only two in USGA history.
  • Born in Wichita, Kansas, Judy played her first Broadmoor Invitational Tournament at age 11 and won that competition in 1957, 1958 and 1960.
  • She competed in 38 U.S. Golf Association events and joined the USGA Executive Committee in 1987.
  • Bell has been inducted into the Colorado Golf and the Colorado Sports Halls of Fame.
  • She served as a director of Bank One from 1982 to 1995 and operated Bell’s Deli as well as several other retail businesses in Colorado Springs.
  • Bell has served as a trustee of El Pomar Foundation since 1996.

Michelle Sie Whitten
Nominated by CU Anschutz
Commencement: May 24, 2019

  • Michelle Sie Whitten is the founder and executive director of Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
  • She was instrumental in founding the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome.
  • Whitten is a lifelong advocate for Down Syndrome research.
  • She organizes the annual Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show, which raised $2+ million in 2018.

University Medals

Dr. Robert H. and Nancy C. Allen
Nominated by CU Anschutz
Commencement: May 24, 2019

  • Robert Allen served as the head of the CU Division of Hematology and significantly expanded the faculty and research happening in the division.
  • In 1978, Allen developed the standard diagnostic test for B12 deficiency in the U.S. and around the world. This has been a crucial element in elucidating the genetics and biology of a series of inborn errors of metabolism that impact B12.
  • He expanded the Hematology Fellowship Program.
  • He and his wife, Nancy, are unprecedented philanthropic supporters and have endowed four chairs at CU.

Kathleen Murphy Beatty
Nominated by CU Denver
Commencement: May 16, 2019

  • Kathleen Murphy Beatty was the transformational dean of CU Denver’s (then Graduate) School of Public Affairs 1996-2008.
  • She was president of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration from 2008-09.
  • Beatty was named a Senior Fulbright Scholar for the Republic of the Maldives in 2013.
  • She is a community influencer and board member of numerous Colorado nonprofit organizations.

The Gordon Crawford Family
Nominated by CU Boulder
Awarded September 13, 2019

  • The Gordon Crawford family has been active advocates and longtime supporters of CU Boulder’s mission and initiatives.
  • They have fully endowed two scholarships for the benefit of CU Boulder’s Olympic student-athletes.
  • They are supporters of the Parent Fund, which provides student services at CU Boulder.
  • They have funded the Athletic Department's performance nutrition program, helping to transform the Athletic Department’s sports nutrition program into one of the most cutting-edge of its kind.


Honorary Degrees

Hernando de Soto
Nominated by: CU Boulder
Commencement: May 29, 2018, CU Boulder Special Ceremony

  • President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD) headquartered in Lima, Peru, and considered by The Economist as one of the two most important think tanks in the world.
  • Named by TIME Magazine in its May 1999 issue "Leaders for the New Millennium" as one of the five leading Latin American innovators of the century.
  • Renowned for his work regarding property rights for the poor in developing nations.
  • A supporter of CU, the "Hernando de Soto Initiative" is an integral part of the World of Business, a required course for all freshmen at the Leeds School of Business.

Richard Schaden
Nominated by: CU Boulder
Commencement: May 10, 2018, CU Boulder

  • Aviation and public interest trial attorney with more than 40 years of successful litigation and trial experience encompassing over 400 aviation accident cases.
  • An aeronautical engineer who pioneered the use of forensic engineering litigation in the aviation industry.
  • Made aviation safer by raising accountability standards for airplane manufacturers through litigation.
  • Co-founder of Quiznos and Smashburger restaurant chains.

Herman A. Shelanski
Nominated by: CU Boulder
Commencement: May 9, 2019, CU Boulder

  • A CU graduate with a Bachelor of Science in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from CU and a Master of Science in electrical and space systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.
  • The 40th Naval Inspector General for the U.S. Navy.
  • Served as executive leader in residence for the Harvard Kennedy School's Leadership Decision Making course and pioneered behavior sciences into military decision-making.
  • Has a distinguished 37-year Navy career commanding both an aviation squadron and the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, both of which earned the Battle Efficiency Award, the Navy's highest recognition for team performance.

Henry Strauss
Nominated by: CU Anschutz
Commencement: May 25, 2018, CU Anschutz

  • Established the Florence G. Strauss Indigenous and Integrative Medicine Collection at the University of Colorado Health Science Library and gives philanthropic gifts annually to sustain the collection.
  • Served on the Denison Memorial Library Leadership Council at the University of Colorado Health Science Center, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Development Council, and the CU Alumni Association.
  • Established the Henry Strauss fund in complementary alternative medicine, which supports a course in integrative health medicine.
  • Served as chair of the board of Congenco International, chair of the Colorado Real Estate Commission, regional director of the Small Business Administration, a member and former treasurer of the Metropolitan State College Foundation Board, a member of the Colorado China Council and the World Trade Center Board among many others.

Richard Traystman
Nominated by: CU Anschutz
Commencement: Awarded posthumously

  • Awarded Distinguished Professor at CU while training more than 100 fellows and students.
  • Published more than 475 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Received many national awards for his work including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, Excellence in Research Award from the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Excellence in Research Award from the Society of Critical Care Medicine, Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association, Robert M. Berne Distinguished Lecturer by the Cardiovascular Section of the American Physiological Society, and an Honorary ScD from Long Island University.

Distinguished Service Award

Jay Cimino
Nominated by: UCCS
Commencement: May 11, 2018, UCCS

  • President and CEO of the Phil Long Family of Dealerships.
  • Contributes philanthropically within the State of Colorado to communities including Trinidad, Pueblo, Denver and Colorado Springs supporting organizations such as Pikes Peak United Way, Care and Share, Food Bank of the
  • Rockies, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and the Marion House.
  • Created the Mount Carmel Veterans Service Center in Colorado Springs, providing wellness programs, transitional services and resources for veterans.
  • Co-founded The Home Front Cares, which provides immediate emergency assistance with home, vehicle and basic living needs for vets and soldiers.

University Medal

Kazunori Takato
Nominated by: CU Boulder
Commencement: May 9, 2019, CU Boulder

  • A 1973 CU graduate, the Tokyo chapter president of CU Alumni Association and a CU Boulder Alumni Association Director's Club member.
  • President and CEO of Chiyoda Rubber Co., which develops new products and technologies for the foam field.
  • Supports CU by offering internships to Asian Studies students at Chiyoda Rubber for 6 weeks in each summer.
  • Consistently hosts CU students, faculty and administrators who travel to Tokyo.

Mary Osborne
Nominated by: UCCS
Commencement: May 11, 2018, UCCS

  • A longtime supporter of UCCS, Mary and her husband Ed have made multiple contributions to UCCS beginning in 1997.
  • Provides advocacy and support in areas of women pursuing careers in accounting.
  • Instrumental in the development of the Aging and Family Development Centers.
  • Became the first woman full partner in a Colorado Springs CPA firm.


Honorary Degrees

Anna Sie
Nominated by: CU Boulder
Commencement: May 12, 2017, CU Boulder

Anna M. Sie is co-founder of the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation. The foundation’s mission “supports the sharing of knowledge amongst peoples and cultures throughout the global community, with an emphasis on Down syndrome, education, media, business, and technology.” The foundation has supported many educational and research institutions throughout Colorado and beyond, including the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, the Anna Maglione Italia Filmmaker Award at the Starz Denver Film Festival, the Sie Film Center in Denver, the Be Beautiful Yourself Fashion Show, the CU Boulder College of Music, the CU Boulder BioFrontiers Institute, and more. The Crnic Institute, the world’s first academic home for research and medical care for people with Down syndrome, is part of the CU Anschutz Medical Center, and has forged partnerships with CU Boulder and Children’s Hospital Colorado. In 2009, Anna and her husband were named “Man and Woman of the Year” by The Villager; in 2010, they received the prestigious Community Cultural Enrichment Award from the Mizel Museum; and in 2012, the CU regents awarded them University Medals for their support of CU, which continues today.

John J. Sie
Nominated by: CU Boulder
Commencement: May 12, 2017, CU Boulder

John J. Sie is considered by many to be the father of digital television. In 1989, he submitted to the U.S. Congress and the FCC the very first white paper on digital compression, which would dramatically change the landscape of television. He is the founder and former chairman of Starz Entertainment Group LLC and the Colorado-based Liberty Media Corporation. He is a member of the prominent Committee of 100, a national nonpartisan organization composed of outstanding American citizens of Chinese decent. With his wife, Anna, John co-founded the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation. The foundation’s mission “supports the sharing of knowledge amongst peoples and cultures throughout the global community, with an emphasis on Down syndrome, education, media, business, and technology.” The foundation has supported many educational and research institutions throughout Colorado and beyond, including the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, the Anna Maglione Italia Filmmaker Award at the Starz Denver Film Festival, the Sie Film Center in Denver, the Be Beautiful Yourself Fashion Show, the CU Boulder College of Music, the CU Boulder BioFrontiers Institute, and more. In 2003, he was inducted into the Cable Television Hall of Fame; in 2009, he received Asian Week Magazine’s Chinese American Hero Award; also in 2009, John and his wife were named “Man and Woman of the Year” by The Villager; in 2010, they received the prestigious Community Cultural Enrichment Award from the Mizel Museum; and in 2012, the CU regents awarded them University Medals for their support of CU, which continues today.

Jerry Wartgow
Nominated by: CU Denver
Commencement: May 13, 2017, CU Denver

Jerry Wartgow is an experienced veteran at all levels of education in Colorado and beyond. He has taught at secondary and postsecondary schools and universities; served as superintendent of Denver Public Schools; was founding president of the Colorado Community College and Occupational Education System; was executive director of the Auraria Higher Education Center; was deputy and acting executive director of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education; was director of research and evaluations at Governors State University in Illinois; was dean of students at the International School of Bangkok; was acting director of the Hong Kong America Center at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; was a resident and fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy; served on the Board of Directors of Western Governors University; co-chaired GreatSchools.net. At the University of Colorado, he twice stepped in to lead the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus at times when the campus was in immediate need of leadership. In his role as chancellor, he led efforts to rebrand the consolidated two-campus university; oversaw the completion of the 2011 re-accreditation process; presided over the expansion of facilities; and reinforced the university’s ties with high schools, community colleges, and the community. Examples include the Admission Promise with community colleges, the Boots to Suits program with the Denver Chamber of Commerce, many industry collaborations with the Business School, and record fundraising efforts for CU Denver. Jerry received the CU Regents Distinguished Service Award in 2004, prior to his two terms as a CU chancellor (2010-1012 and 2014-2015).

Distinguished Service Award

There were no 2017 Distinguished Service Awards.

University Medal

There were no 2017 University Medals awarded.


Honorary Degrees

Charles W. Hull
Nominated by: CU-Boulder
Commencement: May 7, 2016, CU-Boulder

Charles W. Hull (Doctor of Science) received a bachelor of science in engineering physics from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1961. He went on to invent the solid imaging process known as stereolithography -- the first commercial 3D printing technology -- spawning a new, dynamic industry in the United States. With the founding of 3D Systems Corp. in 1986, he initiated the 3D printing industry and continues to lead it today with leading edge innovations ranging from state-of-the art production of 3D printers to the first home-certified 3D printer -- the award winning Cube. He is named the inventor on more than 90 U.S. patents in the field of ion optics and 3D printing. He is also a strong advocate for education and training of youth in all aspects of this rapidly growing technology.

Tony Mendez
Nominated by: CU-Boulder
Commencement: May 7, 2016, CU-Boulder

Antonio J. Mendez (Doctor of Humane Letters) attended CU-Boulder in 1959 as a visual arts student in the College of Arts and Sciences. He left CU short of a degree for personal financial reasons. In 1965 he was hired by the Central Intelligence Agency as an espionage artist for the Technical Services Division. For 25 years, Tony worked undercover in some of the most important theaters of the Cold War. In 1980, he was awarded the Intelligence Star for Valor for engineering and conducting the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Iran during the hostage crisis. Tony won many other awards before his retirement in 1990. He authored three books, The Master of Disguise, Spy Dust and ARGO: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled off the Most Audacious Rescue in History. The last book was released before the film ARGO, which is based on Tony’s life and won an Oscar for Best Picture in 2012. Battling Parkinson’s disease, Tony is an active spokesman using his notoriety to raise funds for new treatments.

Polly Schaafsma
Nominated by: CU-Boulder
Commencement: May 7, 2016, CU-Boulder

Polly Schaafsma (Doctor of Science) received a master of arts in Anthropology from the CU-Boulder in 1962. She is one of the world’s foremost authorities on aboriginal rock art (pictographs and petroglyphs). The past 50 years, she has almost single-handedly professionalized the field of rock art studies in the greater Southwest and has had a major impact on rock art studies worldwide. She has authored and coauthored 10 books and 50 articles and book chapters in leading academic presses. She has presented 38 papers at various universities, academies and museums in the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Bolivia, Spain, France, Mexico and Scotland. She reads Spanish and French and has published papers in Spanish, French and Italian. Recently, nine of Polly’s colleagues published a 264 page tribute to her in the spring issue of the New Mexico Historical Review titled “Polly Schaafsma’s Indelible Mark.”

George Wiegers
Nominated by: CU Anschutz
Commencement: May 27, 2016, CU Anschutz

George Wiegers (Doctor of Science) is one of CU’s most valued philanthropic partners, volunteers and advocates. His early support of the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus made the world-class center a reality, and a vital part of the 22-member National Network of Depression Centers he seed-funded to change the face of mental health in the United States. He has continued to invest in the Johnson Depression Center, contributing more than $8 million to fund its mission of improving the lives of people with depression and mood disorders through clinical excellence, innovative research, community programs and education. In addition, he served for six years on the University of Colorado Foundation Board of Trustees and is founding chairman emeritus of the Johnson Depression Center Board of Directors. He is co-founder and partner of Wiegers Capital Partners in Denver.

Distinguished Service Award

Chris Wiant
Nominated by: CU Anschutz
Commencement: May 27, 2016, CU Anschutz

Chris Wiant received a Ph.D. in public administration from CU Denver in 1995. He is the founding president and CEO of the Caring for Colorado Foundation, a $175 million health foundation with the mission to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. As the first employee, he led the start-up of this health care conversion foundation including staffing, planning, board development and implementation of a grant-making process that has resulted in the award of nearly $100 million in grants since 2001. He played a pivotal role in the creation of the Colorado School of Public Health by building a consensus among health oriented foundations in Colorado to provide significant start-up funding for the school. He currently serves on the school’s advisory board.

University Medal

Mike Fryt
Nominated by: UCCS
Commencement: December 16, 2016, UCCS

Mike Fryt is both a UCCS Mountain Lion and CU-Boulder Buffalo, earning a bachelor of science in accounting from UCCS in 1977 and a juris doctorate from the Colorado Law School at CU-Boulder in 1980. He has served the university as a member of the CU Foundation Board of Trustees, UCCS Chancellor’s Community Ambassadors Board, UCCS Alumni Board and the UCCS College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board. Additionally, he is a donor and advocate to many university initiatives including the Colorado Law Dean’s Fund, UCCS College 50th Anniversary Scholarship Endowment, UCCS College of Business Scholarship Fund, UCCS College of Business Kirk Wilcox Endowment, and the UCCS Dwire Hall Renovation. He has been an active donor since 1984. As a retired senior vice president at Federal Express Headquarters in Memphis, Mike has been a long time leader at UCCS in the College of Business, where he is currently serving as an executive in residence.

Donald L. Johnson
Nominated by: CU Denver
Commencement: May 14, 2016, CU Denver

Donald L. Johnson received a bachelor of fine arts in interior architecture from CU-Boulder in 1962. He has provided transformational support to CU and the College of Architecture and Planning, including gifting one of the largest personal bequests to CU, worth $16.5 million at current value, of which $14.75 million will be split between the College of Music at CU-Boulder and the College of Architecture and Planning at CU Denver. In addition, Donald has donated significant annual gifts for scholarships and in support of CU’s most prominent academic programs. In 2011, he fundamentally reshaped the College of Architecture and Planning and the delivery of architectural education in Colorado.  Drawing on his business insight and leadership, he helped solve one of CU’s most intractable problems regarding the management of its architecture program split between Boulder and Denver. He helped steer CU to consolidating the college to one site, clarifying the difference between Boulder and Denver programs that could provide distinct choices for Colorado students. This resulted in a new B.S. in Architecture in Denver, bringing together, for the first time in Colorado history, undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture on one site. He currently serves on the CU Foundation Board of Trustees and on the CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning Advisory Board.

Kevin Kratt
Nominated by: UCCS
Commencement: May 13, 2016, UCCS

Kevin Kratt is a successful commercial real estate developer who transformed the west side of North Nevada into vibrant shopping area. Kevin worked closely with the university to align his development to be supportive and consistent with the university. The shopping complex is called University Village and includes UCCS banners. The retail businesses at University Village provide many convenient services to UCCS students, faculty and staff while employing more than 500 UCCS students.  He funded a scholarship program to support the commission and installation of student art along the North Nevada corridor, made a substantial donation to the new UCCS performing arts complex, and serves on many major UCCS committees and boards including the Chancellor’s University Ambassadors Program, the Regional Connect Board, the CU Foundation Board of Directors, and the leadership team to raise money for the UCCS’s new performing art’s complex.

Ron Weaver
Nominated by: CU-Boulder
Commencement: May 13, 2017, CU-Boulder

Ron Weaver earned a bachelor of arts in geology, humanities and mathematics in 1970 and a master of science in geology in 1976 from CU-Boulder. He built a distinguished career with CU-Boulder starting as an undergraduate student in the 1960s until his retirement in 2015. He is an expert in data acquisition, validation, storage and distribution. In 1980, Ron was hired into the role of lead data manager for the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and went on to become the principal investigator and manager for the Snow and Ice Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC). With Ron as P.I., the NSIDC DAAC has received more than $140 million since 1990. Throughout the years, he expanded the breadth and scope of the NSIDC Mission. He was a prime resource in transforming NSIDC into the internationally recognized organization it is today. He is an outstanding member of the university research and academic community and has brought in more funding than most faculty during the course of his career. He has mentored countless individuals at NSIDC and is very highly regarded by colleagues in the scientific community.


Honorary Degrees

John Darrah
Nominated by: CU-Boulder Campus
Commencement: CU-Boulder, May 9, 2015

John Darrah served as a research physicist and senior scientist at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory. He retired in 1999 as the Chief Scientist for the Air Force Space Command. He was instrumental in setting up the Strategic Defense Initiative, focusing on advanced and classified effects of both the radiation and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) of nuclear devices. He helped lead various engineering teams that assured resistant and uninterrupted C3 - Communications, Command, and Control between the President’s Airborne Command Centers. Much of his work remains classified and he still holds top secret clearance. In Colorado, he served on an advisory council for several presidents of the University of Colorado, starting with Arnold R. Weber in 1980. A specific measurable goal was to win competitive awarded space related research grants against MIT, Harvard, and Stanford, which CU does today. He also formed and led the Higher Education Task Force that developed the master plan for UCCS.

Richard Jessor, Ph.D
Nominated by: CU-Boulder Campus
Commencement: CU-Boulder, May 9, 2015

Richard Jessor is the longest serving active member of the faculty in CU history (1951-2009).

During that time he served as Chair of the Council on Research and Creative Work, as a member of the Boulder Campus Institute Directors Committee, as a member of the Chancellor’s Task Force on Interfacing the Campus and the Community, the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs Advisory Committee (VCAC), and on various Chancellor and Dean Search Committees as well as numerous Psychology Department Committees. The last five years he has served as Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Research Professor in Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS). He was a Full Professor in the Department of Psychology (1961-2009) and a founding member of the Institute of Behavioral Science for which he served as Director from 1980 to 2001. He retired in 2009 so that IBS could use 5 years of salary savings to help finance the new IBS Building, but continued to direct the Research Program on Health Behavior in IBS and was a member of the IBS Board until June, 2014. He has authored or edited more than 130 publications including eight books on adolescent and young adult development. His research has been cited 21,471 times. His research has focused primarily on the psychosocial determinants and developmental consequences of involvement in high risk behaviors by young people, including alcohol and drug use, risky driving, smoking, early sexual involvement, and limited academic involvement. His work has helped shape the field of adolescent development.

Dave Liniger
Nominated by: CU Anschutz Campus
Commencement: May 22, 2015

Dave Liniger founded of one of the most successful real estate enterprises in the world and is renowned throughout the nation and world as a leader of business. Dave, along with his wife Gail, are patrons of the arts, exemplars of civic virtue and strong supporters of higher education. Dave Liniger is nationally recognized as an expert in time management, sales training, recruiting and motivation. He has been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., Success and other leading publications. He has won many awards including the Special Achievement Award from the Council of Residential Specialists (CRS), The Warren Bennis Award for Leadership Excellence from the Global Institute for Leadership Development, the Inman News "People's Choice" Most Influential Real Estate Leader, he was included in Bloomberg Business Week's profiles of the 50 Most Powerful People in Real Estate, he was inducted into the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB) Hall of Leaders, the REBAC (ABR) Hall of Fame, and the International Franchise Association's "Hall of Fame". The Liniger’s recent gift of The Wildlife Experience facility, valued at $40 million and recently renamed the Liniger Building at CU South Denver, is both engaging and transforming CU's growth in the south metro area. The Linigers' generosity is making a high-value CU education more accessible for many.

Gail Liniger
Nominated by: CU Anschutz Campus
Commencement: May 22, 2015

Gail Liniger is the visionary co-leader of the Denver-based global real estate franchise she co-founded with her husband, Dave Liniger, in 1973. The company boasts a brand that is unrivaled, having grown to over 3,600 sales associates in 110 offices in Colorado, and more than 113,000 sales associates and 5,800 offices in 58 countries around the world. As evidence of the huge impact she has had on the real estate world, in 2013, Gail and Dave Liniger were presented with the Amazing Investor Award by the United States Olympic Committee. As a dedicated philanthropist, Gail Liniger is well-known for her community involvement and commitment to many organizations, specifically the Paralympics Military and Veteran Programs. She has championed worthy causes such as the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and has received the prestigious Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Founder's Award. The Liniger’s recent gift of The Wildlife Experience facility, valued at $40 million and recently renamed the Liniger Building at CU South Denver, is both engaging and transforming CU's growth in the south metro area. The Linigers' generosity is making a high-value CU education more accessible for many.

Diane Gates Wallach
Nominated by: CU Anschutz Campus
Commencement: CU Anschutz, May 27, 2016

Diane G. Wallach is a Manager and President of Cody Resources Management LLC, a real estate investment company that focuses on energy, agribusiness, and real estate. She also serves on the boards of Hat Creek Energy LLC (domestic oil & gas), Gates Capital Partners, LLC (diversified private equity), and Bear Creek Inc. (private trust company). Wallach's community  service includes current board positions on the Gates Family Foundation and the Gates Frontiers Fund, both private Colorado-based charitable organizations; IAALS (University of Denver's Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System); Cardigan  Mountain School and Co-Chair of the Community Advisory Board for the Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology. Wallach has also served on the boards of Children's Hospital Colorado, Colorado Outward Bound School, Denver Art Museum Foundation, and Colorado Zoological Trust. As board member on the Children's Hospital of Colorado Board, Wallach helped raise funds for the hospital's construction and oversaw its move to the Anschutz Medical Campus. As a trustee of the Gates Frontiers Fund, Wallach facilitated a $6.5 million gift that enabled the University to recruit Dennis Roop, PhD, from the Baylor College of Medicine and establish a "Program" and now "Center" in regenerative medicine and stem cell biology in memory of her late father, Charles C. Gates. Her leadership and generosity have resulted in the Gates Center now operating as the only comprehensive Stem Cell Center within a 500 mile radius, sharing its services and resources with an ever­ enlarging membership of researchers and clinicians at the Anschutz Medical Campus, as well as the Boulder campus, Colorado State University, the Colorado School of Mines, and business startups. Wallach helped spearhead and finance the Gates Biomanufacturing Facility designed to enable investigators to fully develop their discoveries and technologies here on the Anschutz Medical Campus with an eye toward the delivery of innovative therapies in Colorado and the region.

Distinguished Service Award

Chris Jenkins
Nominated by: UCCS Campus
Commencement: UCCS, May 15, 2015

Chris Jenkins is one of Colorado Springs' most visionary and passionate leaders. As the President of Nor'wood Development Group, Chris has leveraged his company to improve the quality of life for many people and organizations by providing free and discounted office space, donating land for various community projects, and developing a year-round community public market. Chris was part of the steering committee that developed the future vision for Colorado Springs Operation 6035. He continues that role by serving on the Regional Leadership Forum which oversees and helps carry out the 6035 plan. Chris chaired a 2012 Urban Land Institute Advisory Panel on developing the future of Colorado Springs. Chris led a major community effort to submit a proposal to the State of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade under the Regional Tourism Act. This tireless effort led to the most successful funding of any city to the tune of $120 million for the City of Champions program. Chris is or has been involved in almost every major organization in town. They include: Downtown Partnership, Fine Arts Center, Downtown Development Authority, Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, and the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Development Corporation  just to name a few. He is equally involved in many areas of helping develop the University.


Honorary Degrees

Joan Charlotte von Bartheld Balsells
Honorary Degree Doctor of Science, May 9, 2015
CU-Boulder Commencement

Balsells was a pioneer among women in engineering and business, a distinguished alumna of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU-Boulder, and a 1951 Aeronautical Engineering program graduate. Joan finished at the top of her class. Following a successful career at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Joan and her husband, Pete Balsells, began a small manufacturing business from their home which grew into a worldwide leader and launched a new industry. Bal Seal Engineering Inc. has a global presence and creates custom sealing, connecting and shielding solutions for a variety of industrial, medical and aerospace applications and has been awarded approximately 200 patents. In 1994, Joan and her husband’s business success provided the assets to initiate a fellowship program that funded students from Catalan, Spain, to pursue graduate studies at the University of California, Irvine. Through the Balsells Foundation, the program has expanded to include fellowship programs at CU-Boulder and UCCS. There are currently 36 Balsells fellows pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees at these three universities with the program having funded more than 130 past graduates since its inception. Joan lost a long battle with cancer in 1995, but her legacy lives on in Bal Seal Engineering Inc. and the Balsells Fellowship program.

Henry N. Claman, MD
Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters, May 23, 2014
CU Anschutz Medical Campus Commencement

Claman was educated at Harvard College and New York University College of Medicine. After internal medicine training at Barnes Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, and two years in the U.S. Army, he came to the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Henry's numerous contributions have been acknowledged by being named as a Distinguished Professor of the University of Colorado and by his receipt of the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award of the University of Colorado. Henry was a pioneer in immunology research. His discovery that there are two types of lymphocytes (T and B cells) set the foundation for major advances in the contemporary science of immunology. Henry 's scientific contributions in immunology are widely recognized and acknowledged by his receipt of several awards from national and international organizations, most recently the 2009 Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Award for unique contributions to immunologic sciences. Henry has long been involved in the humanities and the arts, both inside and outside the School of Medicine. Henry is the Founder and Associate Director of the Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program, the Founding editor of The Human Touch, a University of Colorado School of Medicine literary anthology, and the original organizer of the School of Medicine's Monday Noon Humanities Lecture series. Henry is the author of several published poems and a book titled "Jewish Images in the Christian Church" (Mercer Press, 1998). Henry has been a significant financial contributor to the educational and scholarship missions of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Henry has established an endowed Chair for the Head of the Department of Immunology and Allergy within the Department of Medicine and has made numerous additional financial contributions to the missions of the University's School of Medicine. Henry has a track record as a superior scholar and citizen, and has acknowledged expertise in the field of medical history and the arts and humanities. Henry has demonstrated that a well-rounded scientist/clinician/educator with special knowledge of history and the arts can apply principles and lessons from the arts to enhance the humanistic aspects of medical practice.

Lyda Hill
Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters, May 23, 2014
UCCS Commencement

Hill has accomplished many things during her lifetime. From her leadership roles in businesses and professional organizations to her philanthropic vision, Lyda is a woman who demonstrates the tremendous impact that one person can have in the lives of many. Lyda's generosity is known throughout the country and around the world. In her primary role, she is President of LH Holdings and the Lyda Hill Foundation. She also is a member of the Giving Pledge, an organization started by the Bill Gates Foundation in which members pledge to donate all of their financial assets to charity. At UCCS, Lyda launched the UTeach program with a major donation and also made major financial contributions to develop a Veteran's Trauma Clinic. Lyda pledged $50 million to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and donated $20 million to the Hockaday School. Lyda funded the creation of the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center in Colorado Springs and ensured that all revenue generated would be used to maintain the park's natural beauty. Lyda donated $1 million to National Public Radio in Dallas and significantly financed the rebuilding/renovation of the Fort Worth Stockyards. As a leader, Lyda is working to ensure that corporate leaders, and particularly women, continue to give back to their communities. Lyda has served as President of the World President's Organization. She has provided her vision and leadership to the Dallas Assembly, the Chief Executive Organization, the Citizen's Council of Dallas, the Garden of the Gods Foundation, the Colorado Thirty Group, and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Lyda is a member of the Committee of 200, which is a group of the world's most successful women who are corporate leaders and entrepreneurs. Lyda is a member of the International Women's Forum and recently accepted an invitation to join the Charter 100, a business organization for the top 100 women in America who build and foster a network of communication throughout the world. Lyda's business success and philanthropy have been recognized with a number of honors and awards including the Dallas Junior League Lifetime Achievement Award (2011), Outstanding Alumni at Hollins University (2009), and the University of Colorado Distinguished Service Award (2002).

Lanis “Lanny” Pinchuk
Honorary Degree Doctor of Science, May 9, 2014
CU-Boulder Commencement

Pinchuk was the College of Engineering and Applied Science's first Director of Engineering Development, Assistant Dean and Director of Alumni and Corporate Relations, and a longtime volunteer since his retirement in 1991. Lanny Pinchuk has been the ultimate "friend-raiser" and "fundraiser" on behalf of the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the broader University of Colorado. Annual private support for the College of Engineering and Applied Science has increased more than tenfold during his tenure. CU development and alumni relations have benefited greatly from Lanny's dedicated involvement over the past 30-plus years as a member of numerous department, college, campus and foundation boards; his generous financial contributions; and his relentless recruitment of volunteers, advocates and sponsors. Lanny has received the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, CU's Alumni Recognition Award, the President's University Service Award, the Minority Engineering Program's Distinguished Service Award, the College's Centennial Medal and the Robert L. Stearns Award for Extraordinary Service. When he retired in 1991, friends and alumni established an endowed undergraduate scholarship fund in his honor that has supported 54 students. Lanny is an incredible connector of people: He knows and remembers everyone, and seems to delight in introducing and sharing each person's strengths and interests. He is always on the lookout for opportunities to talk about the great things going on at CU, in the College of Engineering, and in the Aerospace Department. His pride in CU’s accomplishments makes it clear that he truly considers CU an integral part of his life.

University Medals

Bruce Schroffel
University Medal, May 23, 2014
CU Anschutz Medical Campus

Schroffel as the new President and CEO of University Colorado Hospital in 2006, inherited a facility mired in debt, with foundering bond ratings, and facing a risky move of the whole facility from Ninth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard to the campus of the former Fitzsimons Army Hospital. Through consistent hard work, remarkable vision, focus on key operational issues, and skillful identification, recruiting and hiring of talented staff, Schroffel oversaw a stunning financial turnaround for the hospital, a smooth transition to its new location, and the achievement of new standards of excellence in patient care and safety. UCH has ranked among the top 10 university teaching hospitals for the past three years, achieving the top spot twice. Schroffel’s commitment and ability to work positively and productively with the University of Colorado School of Medicine resulted in a true collaborative partnership not only with regard to patient care but also medical education and scholarship. Schroffel bears an immense commitment to patients, which extends to students, trainees and faculty of the School of Medicine. Daily, he walked the halls of the hospital, introducing himself to residents, medical students, faculty and nurses, and working to build a close relationship with his employees. Schroffel demonstrated his belief in the importance of positive and mutually respectful collaboration between the hospital and the School of Medicine by creating a major endowment within the hospital foundation for the School, as well as contributing to the Endowment for the Dean of the School of Medicine within the CU Foundation. In his new role as the CEO of University of Colorado Health, he has established an annual bottom-line profit distribution in support of the School's academic initiatives. His actions underscore what is consistently seen as a rare and unusual positive relationship between the leadership of a university teaching hospital and that of its affiliated medical school.


Honorary Degrees

Peter Balsells, an innovator and entrepreneur, in the 1950s invented the spring-energized PTFE (Teflon) seal, a high-performance connector now known as the Bal Seal. The successful utilization of that seal for the liquid oxygen system in the Atlas Missile led Balsells to a successful business and spawned an industry. Balsell’s company, Bal Seal Engineering Inc., employs more than 500 people at two manufacturing sites. The company has a global presence and creates custom sealing, connecting and shielding solutions for a variety of industrial, medical and aerospace applications. Balsell is a distinguished alumnus of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU-Boulder. He has provided top-notch graduate engineering education to more than130 Catalan students through the Balsells Fellowship programs he founded and funded in partnership with the Catalan government and three U.S. institutions (UC-Irvine, CU-Boulder and UCCS). Balsells has been awarded approximately 200 patents. (Honorary Degree Doctor of Science, May 9, 2015 CU-Boulder Commencement)

Gerald One Feather, Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters, May 10, 2013 CU-Boulder Commencement
One Feather, a former graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder, was elected Oglala Lakota tribal president in 1970, the youngest president in the tribe’s history. He is the founder of the Oglala Lakota College in Kyle, S.D.; a leader in the International Treaty Council at the United Nations; and the founder of Lakota Language and Cultural Education. One Feather forged the way for the creation of the Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Reservation to provide job training for police officers, probation officers, health care workers and teachers. He enlisted the support of the University of Colorado to establish a model for American Indian education that became a model to create 26 such colleges on reservations around the country. One Feather serves as a member of the Oglala Lakota College Board and on the graduate advisory committee. His support is integral in CU’s continued research on critical health needs and other issues on the Pine Ridge Reservation. One Feather has been Involved in the United Nations' work on indigenous rights worldwide.

Darrell G. Kirch, Honorary Degree Doctor of Science, May 24, 2013 CU Anschutz Medical Campus Commencement
Kirch, a Denver native, received his bachelor of arts and doctor of medicine degrees from the University of Colorado. He is a clinician and researcher and has held medical faculty positions at Penn State, the Medical College of Georgia, and George Washington University. Kirch has been the president of the American Association of Medical Colleges since 2006. He was CEO at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Penn State, where he created a unified medical school/hospital collaborative health system that has been a model for many academic schools of medicine. A prolific writer and public speaker, Kirch has published more than 125 articles and book chapters and made numerous presentations to medical, educational, scientific and advocacy organizations. He was an adviser to both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations.

University Medals

George Sissel, who earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering CU-Boulder in 1958, is former Chairman and CEO of Ball Corp. Sissel was instrumental in moving his company's headquarters to Colorado and promoting partnerships between Ball and CU that have greatly benefitted University of Colorado students, faculty, alumni and research. Sissel is a stalwart supporter of the university through his active role as an adviser and volunteer, and his major financial contributions across the CU system. His contributions include extensive and increased financial support and involvement by Ball Corp.; advisory board service and leadership at the CU-Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science and the CU Denver Business School; and the board of trustees/directors of the CU Foundation. (May 24, 2013 CU Anschutz Medical Campus Commencement)

Mary R. Sissel has been involved in key projects at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, primarily with the Center for Women’s Health Research where she served as a chair of the Community Advisory Board. As chair, she led the board’s fundraising effort to support the work of the director of the center while the endowed chair was being sought. The lead donor to this effort, Sissel had 100 percent participation from the board, raising more than $500,000. Sissel has been increasingly involved in the CU Anschutz Medical Campus through her work on the Creating Futures Campaign Committee. She has provided expert leadership to numerous boards of directors including The Denver Foundation, the Craig Hospital Foundation, the Women's Foundation of Colorado and, most recently, as a trustee of the University of Colorado Foundation. (May 24, 2013 CU Anschutz Medical Campus Commencement)

Michael K. Wirth graduated in 1982 from the University of Colorado Boulder with a bachelor's degree in chemical Engineering. Wirth is a lifelong Buffs and a staunch CU supporter. He has used his influence as executive vice president of Downstream and Chemical for Chevron Corp. to increase his company's annual contributions in support of CU scholarships, departments, programs, student groups and diversity efforts. He helped bring to fruition Chevron's gift of $500,000 for the Chevron Chemical Engineering Teaching Lab in the new Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building on the CU-Boulder campus. Wirth has been an adviser to the College of Engineering and Applied Science through his service on the Engineering Advisory Council and Resource Development Committee. He is described as a humble person with a passion for interacting with and supporting students and diversity. An alumnus and parent, Wirth gives generously of his time and money to support his alma mater. (May 9, 2014 CU-Boulder Commencement)

Distinguished Service Award

Tucker Hart Adams is a UCCS alumna who has contributed greatly to the state of Colorado, especially to southern Colorado. Her reputation is unparalleled in the Colorado business community because of her long-term service and foresight into creating a better business climate. In creating business strategies, Adams uses judgmental adjustments and explores whether a trend makes sense; not relying on modeling with a computer. She incorporates expert econometric research, statistical work and models, and applies what she has learned throughout the years to make adjustments for the outcomes. Tucker recently authored a report, Innovations in Aging, that provides critical data regarding the influx of senior citizens projected in the Pikes Peak region in the coming years. Adams served as president and CEO of the Adams Group for 21 years, president of the American Russian Collaborative Enterprises LLC for 16 years, director and principal of American Russian Collaborative Enterprises LLC in Moscow for 5 years, vice president and chief economist of the United Banks of Colorado for 10 years and adjunct professor for 21 years at the University of Colorado and Moscow State University. (May 24, 2013 University of Colorado Colorado Springs Commencement)

Todd Munson is committed to making a difference in the community. Munson gives generously of his time as well as financial support to many nonprofit organizations, including the University of Colorado Denver. Munson is president and Colorado market manager for J.P. Morgan Chase bank, where he oversees public affairs and market-based business. He serves as executive board member and treasurer of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, board member and co-chair of the Denver Economic Development Corp., board member and past chair (2010-11) of Goodwill Industries of Denver, board member and past member of the Mile High United Way, and served as chairman of the 2008 United Way Giving Campaign. Munson serves on the CU Denver Business School Board of Advisors. In 2011, Munson brought Jamie Dimon, J.P. Morgan Chairman and CEO, to Denver to speak at the Business School’s “Celebration of Success.” Dimon spoke pro-bono, helping the Business School raise more than $260,000 for student scholarships. Munson supports and contributes yearly to the Dean's Opportunity Fund at the school. He displays a passion for philanthropy and community giving and his record of involvement is a testimony to this. (May 18, 2013 CU Denver Commencement)


Honorary Degrees

Mohamed Al-Mady is an engineering and business visionary responsible for the leadership and development of SABIC, the world’s largest chemical company. As CEO of SABIC, Al-Mady is recognized as a pioneer in engineering management, including complex and capital-intensive implementation of multinational projects. He is renowned for his ability to navigate cultural differences and ethical challenges posed by business in a global economy.

James L. Gallogly received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) in 1974. He earned his law degree from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of the Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas bar associations. In his distinguished business career, Gallogly has become one of the world’s top corporate executives in the oil and gas industry. His contributions to the University of Colorado are also extraordinary, with his most recent gift to UCCS resulting in the school’s new events center being named the Gallogly Events Center in honor of his father.

University Medals

Susan Hagedorn, Ph.D. has been a long-standing and generous supporter of the School of Public Affairs’ Center on Domestic Violence at the University of Colorado Denver. Serving as one of their founding board members, Hagedorn’s passion for seeding social change through health education is evident throughout her career. Since retiring from her faculty position at the College of Nursing at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Hagedorn has become an accomplished documentary film maker. In addition to sharing her time and insight with the CU Denver, in 2009 Hagedorn pledged $750,000 to help take the Center on Domestic Violence to the next level.

Margot Ladwig Lane and the Lane Family have been longtime supporters of UCCS and passionate about the university’s commitment to its students and access to innovative health care. Lane and the John and Margot Lane Foundation have recently made a $4 million commitment for a new building and clinic on the UCCS campus to be named the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences. The center will combine the education and research capabilities of the university with the medical and clinical services of a federally funded health care clinic.

Anna and John J. Sie and the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation (AJSF) committed $22 million to improve the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, education, clinical care and advocacy. They also established the Global Down Syndrome foundation (GDSF), which aims to raise $12 million in support of this mission. The Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome were established with funding from AJSF and GDSF. The Sie Center has provided clinical services for 230 children and adolescents with Down syndrome.

George H. Solich has made numerous contributions to the University of Colorado and to the CU community. His service includes volunteering on committees and boards such as the University of Colorado Denver Business School Steering Committee; the Global Energy Management Program Advisory Council; and the CU Boulder Chancellor’s Campaign Cabinets. His generous financial support of CU includes gifts to the CU Boulder Basketball Practice Facility Fund, the Dal Ward and Football Coaches Office Renovation Fund, and the Football Locker Room Renovation Fund. He has given financial support to the CancerCure Fund at CU Anschutz Medical Campus and in May 2011 stepped forward with a large gift to help establish the CU Denver Business School Center for Commodities.

Distinguished Service Award

David C. Fajgenbaum founded a national organization of college students supporting college students grieving the illness of a loved one. After the death of his mother while he was at college, he organized the Actively Moving Forward (AMF) support network. Chapters were introduced at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and have spread across the nation. Fajgenbaum has given national presentations on bereavement and cancer prevention. He is currently a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania and received his doctor of medicine in May 2014.

Kile Morgan Jr., a leader in the residential real estate industry and in his community, is a champion of education and public service. Through the Morgan Family Foundation, Morgan and his wife have given more than $3.6 million to scholarships and charitable organizations benefiting education, children and health. Morgan’s philanthropy includes the endowment of three University of Colorado scholarships.


Honorary Degrees

Paul Frank Baum has made a number of fundamental contributions to mathematics. The Baum-Connes conjecture unified several distinct areas of mathematics and served as the impetus of research for at least a generation of mathematicians. Baum prepared eight Ph.D. students, a number of who went on to have distinguished careers in academy and industry. Baum was appointed an Evan Pugh Professor at the Pennsylvania State University, the highest honor that can be bestowed by the university on the faculty member. (Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Colorado Boulder Commencement – May 6, 2011)

Don Birkeland has worked as a consultant and adviser to top leaders from all over the world, including the king of Saudi Arabia, former television news anchor Tom Brokaw and “Three Cups of Tea” author Greg Mortensen. He worked as a professor for the University of Colorado Colorado Springs for more than nine years, starting in early 1971. He taught various courses in psychology, including organizational psychology. Birkeland held positions of chairman of the department of psychology and assistant dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. He is widely respected and valued for his contributions to his profession. He regularly visits UCCS and is in the process of assisting the campus in developing educational partnerships in the Middle East. (Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Colorado Colorado Springs Commencement – May 20, 2011)

Eleanor “Ellie” Newman Caulkins has greatly impacted various organizations including The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Graland County Day School, Opera Colorado, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the National Patron Program. Her hard work and enthusiasm for the arts, particularly the opera, were recognized by naming the opera house in downtown Denver after her. She is an avid and relentless advocate for a number of causes including education, youth sports, culture and health care. Her gifts and fundraising efforts have been vital to a number of community causes. (Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Colorado Denver Commencement – May 14, 2011)

Theodora (Theo) Emily Decker Colborn, has become a world leader in the environmental movement to educate people about the danger of trace chemicals in everyday products, food and water. Colborn’s outstanding intellect and her devotion to public service have been recognized nationally and internationally. She has published more than 70 scientific papers and the book “Our Stolen Future.” From Paonia, CO, Colborn is a strong voice for the people of Colorado in preserving the quality of life that the state has historically represented. (Honorary Degree Doctor of Science, University of Colorado Boulder Commencement – May 6, 2011)

Gerald Emil Grilly is a leader in journalism and publishing and the current president and CEO of The Denver Post. Since Grilly returned from retirement to take the helm, The Post has expanded its product portfolio to include digital and social media and niche publications along with its core newspaper product. Beginning in 1998, Grilly served as president and publisher of The Post. In 2001 and until he retired in 2006, Grilly was the executive vice president and CEO of MediaNews Group, responsible for over 50 daily and over 100 weekly and alternative publications. (Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Colorado Denver Commencement – May 14, 2011)

R.C. “Merc” Mercure is an icon in the Colorado business community. He was a co-Hfounder of Ball Aerospace and was co-founder of Colorado Venture Management. He oversaw the startup of over two dozen Colorado companies. Mercure served in several high-level faculty and administrative positions in the engineering school at CU-Boulder. He also served as the director of Technology Transfer for CU. Mercure is currently on the board of the Boulder Innovation Center for more than a decade. He has served as the chair of University Equity Holdings and currently serves on the CU-Boulder Engineering Advisory Council and the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Advisory Board. (Honorary Degree Doctor of Science, University of Colorado Boulder Commencement – December 16, 2011)

Bernard W. Nelson, M.D. was a dedicated and visionary chancellor of UCHSC from 1986 to1992. His leadership in the reorganization of the University of Colorado Hospital created an organization that became fiscally stable which made possible the subsequent development of the Anschutz Medical Campus. He formalized the affiliation between the university and The Children’s Hospital. He served in multiple board of director and trustee positions, was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the Board of Regents University Medal in 1992. (Honorary Degree Doctor of Science, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Commencement – May 27, 2011)

Juan A. Rodriguez has made outstanding contributions to the field of data storage. He holds nine key patents, which were key in developing data storage technology for IBM, Storage Technology Corp. and Exabyte. Rodriguez founded or co-founded four major companies in Boulder: Storage Technology, Exabyte, Datasonix and Ecris. Through these efforts, he has generated thousands of jobs and millions of dollars for the state of Colorado. Rodriguez has contributed generously to CU as a member of the Tech Transfer Office, E-ship Advisory Council, Deming Center Executive Board, College of Engineering Development Council, and Artist Series Advisory Board. (Honorary Degree Doctor of Science, University of Colorado Boulder Commencement – May 6, 2011)

David H. Shepard is an internationally acclaimed film preservationist working with archivists worldwide to introduce new audiences to the value of silent cinema. Shepard continues to restore and preserve early films for future generations with well over 1,000 films distributed and shown internationally from his film library. He has a distinguished academic career including 34 years at the University of Southern California and also was director of the Louis B. Mayer Film and Television Study Center. Shepard produced documentaries for commercial and public television including the CBS/Post-Newsweek series “American Documents” and the PBS series “Lowell Thomas Remembers.” He managed the theater and archive departments of the American Film Institute. Since 1983, he has been a voting member of the Academy Awards. (Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Colorado Denver Commencement – May 14, 2011)

Ted Turner is best known as the founder of CNN. Turner also brought his vision and creativity to conservation philanthropy, land stewardship and business enterprise. He has used his financial success and entrepreneurial determination to make the world a better place. In 1998, Turner founded the United Nations Foundation, with a donation of $1 billion. Currently, as a public citizen and conservationist, he personally lobbies members of Congress on the issues and travels the globe to persuade national leaders. Turner received the Wallace Stegner Award from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center of the American West. (Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Colorado Boulder – date to be determined)

Peter J. Wallison is a distinguished scholar in financial policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and co-director of the AEI program on financial market deregulation. Wallison is a distinguished attorney and authority on banking, securities and financial services law. He served as counsel to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller during the Ford administration, held the office of general counsel of the U.S. Treasury Department and served as White House counsel to President Ronald Regan. He has lectured frequently at the Aspen Institute and recently as the guest speaker at the Federalist Society of Denver. He is an appointed member of the Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee. (Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Colorado Boulder Commencement – May 6, 2011)

Richard G. Weingardt is recognized internationally as a structural engineer with a wide range of impressive projects to his credit. He is the chairman and CEO of the successful Denver-based consulting engineering firm that he founded over four decades ago and that bears his name. Weingardt’s reputation is global, and he frequently lectures internationally. He is a third-generation Coloradan who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is a member of the College of Engineering advisory committees for the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Colorado Denver. He is engaged in community activities and is committed to promoting community service. Weingardt received the CU Board of Regents Distinguished Service Award in 1998. (Honorary Degree Doctor of Science, University of Colorado Boulder Commencement – May 6, 2011)

University Medals

Gary Anderson is an alumnus of the CU-Boulder College of Engineering. His distinguished career in the engineering industry has spanned more than 30 years, and includes management positions at Storage Technology Corp., Honeywell and Optotech. Since his retirement in 2001, Anderson has been an active supporter of CU, serving on CU-Boulder’s Engineering Advisory Council as well as its chief fundraising advisory group, the Resource Development Committee. He also has served on the Engineering for Developing Communities Advisory Board and on the CU Foundation Board of Trustees (University of Colorado Boulder Commencement – May 11, 2012)

J. William Freytag is a successful entrepreneur and executive leader in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. He is former chairman and CEO of Myogen, a CU-based startup company. Freytag received his Ph.D. from Duke University Medical Center, has garnered five patents and authored more than 60 original scientific publications. As a passionate advocate for CU, he was instrumental in the success of the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology, which partners bioscience entrepreneurs with the University of Colorado. (University of Colorado Boulder Commencement – May 6, 2011)

Norris Hermsmeyer is a successful Boulder Realtor, Rotarian, veteran and renowned naval historian. He is responsible for several memorial recognitions of the USS Colorado throughout the state. A CU-Boulder alumnus, Hermsmeyer has served in a leadership capacity on many CU-Boulder committees, including the CU Alumni Board, CU Directors Club, and CU Friends of the Library Board. In 2002, he was recognized by the (Boulder) Daily Camera with a Pacesetter Award in the category of lifetime achievement. (University of Colorado Boulder Commencement – May 6, 2011)

Brian E. Lebowitz is a prominent Washington, D.C., attorney specializing in international and domestic tax matters. He recently presented CU-Boulder with the Brian E. Lebowitz Collection containing 19,000 volumes of first-edition, 20th century Jewish American literature. The gift is one of the largest of source materials made to CU-Boulder and will serve as the underpinnings of a teaching and research cluster in American Jewish literature and culture. (University of Colorado Boulder Commencement – December 16, 2011)

Mauritz A. “Mort” Mortenson, Jr. is a CU civil engineering graduate, former U.S. Navy officer and a leader in the construction industry. He is chairman of M. A. Mortenson Co., a construction corporation ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of the 200 largest privately owned companies in the nation. Mortenson is well-known for his philanthropic activities. His commitment to CU includes the establishment of the Mortenson Chair in Global Engineering, and endowing the renamed Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities, which is designed to support students in CU-Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. (University of Colorado Boulder Commencement – May 6, 2011)

Distinguished Service Award

David C. Baker is the CEO and president of FirstBank. Under his leadership, FirstBank has contributed more than $30 million to charitable organizations in Colorado. Baker also serves on numerous community and philanthropic organization boards, including Mile High United Way and Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. An alumnus of UC Denver, Baker is an active member of the UC Denver Business School’s board of advisors and is spearheading a fundraising campaign for the new UC Denver Business School building. (University of Colorado Denver School of Business – date to be determined)

James C.T. Linfield is a leading advocate for Colorado’s entrepreneurs in high technology sectors. A graduate of the Harvard Law School, he is currently a partner-in-charge of the Colorado office of Cooley LLP and represents biotech, medical device, information technology and clean technology companies. He is a leader in promoting the state’s research institutions, especially the University of Colorado, as engines of economic growth. He established the popular Biotechnology Opportunities Seminar Series at CU-Boulder and serves on the boards of CU’s Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology and the CU Foundation. (University of Colorado Boulder Commencement – May 6, 2011)

Richard B. Williams is a champion for American Indians students in their pursuit of education. He is the current president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund in Denver. Under his leadership, the fund has grown into the largest national Native American nonprofit organization. With an endowment of over $30 million, the fund supports scholarships for American Indian students attending tribally run and controlled community colleges. Prior to his current position, Williams was director of the Student Academic Service Center at CU-Boulder. (University of Colorado Boulder Commencement – December 16, 2011)


Honorary Degrees

John Archuleta is the president of JVA Inc., and founding partner of the National Bank of the Rockies. A University of Colorado alumnus, Mr. Archuleta established a partnership between Mesa State College and the CU-Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science to increase engineering opportunities for Western Slope students. He established the Salvador Archuleta Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory Fund and supported the Discovery Learning Center Building, the Ross B. Corotis Engineering Endowment and the Earn-Learn program in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. (University of Colorado Boulder Commencement - May 7, 2010)

Robert Berliner is a pioneer in biotechnology patent law and founding member of the intellectual property firm of Robbins, Berliner & Carson L.L.P. After several decades of practice in all aspects of intellectual property, he formed Berliner & Associates, a full-service intellectual property firm specializing in patent, trademark and copyright prosecution, licensing and litigation, both in the United States and worldwide. As a license negotiator, Mr. Berliner has close familiarly with the special needs of the University of Colorado’s patent portfolio, generously donating his time and expertise to assist in the formation and operations of early-stage companies. (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Commencement – Dec. 17, 2010)

Zuhair Fayez helped create a new idea for architecture in developing countries that fuses local cultural and architectural traditions with modern ideas of space and construction. He assisted in the creation of the first colleges for women in Saudi Arabia. After graduating from UC Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning, Mr. Fayez returned to his homeland to found and nurture what is now Saudi Arabia’s largest architecture and engineering firm and arguably the largest firm of its kind in the Middle East. (University of Colorado Boulder Commencement - May 7, 2010)

Michael S. Francis, PhD is a scientist, engineer and entrepreneur. He is known as one of the nation’s foremost experts in aerospace science. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, he rose to leadership positions at Lockheed Martin and continues to serve at a program developer and adviser in the areas of autonomy and unmanned systems at United Technology Corporation. Dr. Francis is a founding member of the CU-Boulder Department of Aerospace Engineering Science’s External Advisory Board. He has guided its strategic planning to poise the department as a national leader in the development of unmanned aircraft systems. (University of Colorado Boulder Commencement - May 7, 2010)

David Lacey, M.D. currently serves as the senior vice president and head of research for Amgen, the Fortune 500 biotechnology company. In working for Amgen, Dr. Lacey has made significant contributions to the biotechnology field and the patients it serves with the discovery of new medicines for treatment of chemotherapy side effects and osteoporosis. He was published before he completed his M.D., teaching and lecturing before completing his postdoctoral training and is among the inventors of six patents. As a result of witnessing many hurdles his son with cerebral palsy has faced, Dr. Lacey established a fund for undergraduate students with disabilities to lessen the financial challenges they face while furthering their education at UC Denver. (University of Colorado Denver Commencement – Dec. 18, 2010)

Greg Mortenson developed and implemented a successful model to build schools in rugged areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. His efforts during the last 16 years have resulted in the building of 131 permanent schools. Thousands of children are now able to go to school – two-thirds of them girls. Mr. Mortenson is the primary author of several bestsellers, including “Three Cups of Tea.” His insight on the how to bridge the divide between Western and Islamic cultures is required reading for highranking military leaders. (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Commencement – May 21, 2010)

University Medals

Lindsey Phelps, a recent nursing graduate, initiated “Bystander CPR” to Senior Vice President for Administration Leonard Dinegar in an emergency situation. Though the situation was not the usual type of nursing situation that she was educated to manage, her nursing background and leadership abilities gave her the knowledge and skills to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation to a person in crisis and continuing CPR until the paramedics arrived. The CPR she administered was effective, and a sign of an exemplary clinician. (University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus Commencement – May 28, 2010)

Distinguished Service Award

Evan Makovsky is a leader in helping change the landscape of downtown Denver. He has been in the real estate business since 1969 and was a major player in the massive downtown Denver facelift. He played a key role in the Skyline Urban Renewal Project and helped the small business who had to be relocated by pointing them to various programs the city and state had put into place. Mr. Makovsky is involved in various charitable activities and is an active member on the University of Colorado Denver Business School’s Campaign Steering Committee. (University of Colorado at Denver Commencement – May 15, 2010)


Honorary Degrees

John Barth is an American novelist, short-story writer and essayist known for the postmodernist and metafictive quality of his work. He is the winner of many literary awards, including the National Book Award and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Fiction. Educated at Johns Hopkins University, he has held professorships at Pennsylvania State University, the State University of New York at Buffalo and Boston University. Currently, he is a Johns Hopkins Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins. (University of Colorado Boulder Commencement - May 8, 2009)

Alexander Bogusky is an influential and creative advertising and marketing innovator, and a pioneer in the field of social marketing. His agency, Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, has grown from a regional agency to a global presence with some 800 employees. The agency is one of the world’s most lauded ad agencies, winning the Grand Prix at the Cannes International Advertising Festival and Ad Week’s agency of the year three times. The agency developed the American Legacy Foundation’s TRUTH campaign, the most successful antismoking initiative in history. (University of Colorado Boulder Commencement - May 8, 2009)

Patricia A. Gabow, M.D. is chief executive officer and medical director at Denver Health Medical Center. She is nationally and internationally recognized as having developed the best public integrated health system in the United States. With 16 years at the helm, she has guided Denver Heath to its status as a premier integrated health care system. (University of Colorado Denver – Anschutz Medical Campus Commencement - May 22, 2009)

Josette Sheeran is a journalist and executive director of the United Nations World Food Program. A University of Colorado at Boulder alumna, she is a former undersecretary of state for economic, business and agricultural affairs. Previously, she worked as a journalist and managing editor at the Washington Times in Washington, D.C. (University of Colorado Boulder Commencement - May 7, 2010)

University Medals

John Farrington, M.D. is a retired internal medicine physician and fundraiser, who received a bachelor’s degree and a medical degree from the University of Colorado. A former assistant clinical professor of medicine at University of Colorado Denver, he is president of the UCD Medical Alumni Association. Farrington is credited with revitalizing the board’s efforts to engage alumni in the support of the School of Medline, particularly during its move to the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. (University of Colorado Denver – Anschutz Medical Campus Commencement - May 22, 2009)

Louis Johnson is an attorney and trustee of the Kane Family Scholarship Foundation. He is former legal counsel for Colorado Springs School District 11 and an assistant city attorney for Colorado Springs. He is also a trustee of the Kane Family Scholarship Foundation, which provides 10 comprehensive, merit-based scholarships to UCCS and Pikes Peak Community College. (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Commencement - May 22, 2009)

Janet Mordecai is a registered nurse and nursing education philanthropist who established a Rural Health Nursing Endowed Chair at UCD. She also established the Mordecai Palliative Care Research Funding at the UC Denver School of Medicine. (University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus - May 28, 2010)

Glenn Williams is a dedicated educator, athletic scholarship philanthropist and the consummate fan of UCCS Division II women’s softball. He has been a teacher, principal and college administrator for more than 30 years. Williams was appointed as a Fulbright professor and an adviser to the government of Sri Lanka. As vice president of Eastern Illinois University, he served as a representative to the Chinese government. He is the first donor in UCCS history to endow a scholarship in women’s athletics. (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, special ceremony, March 18, 2009)

Distinguished Service Award

Tamara Door is president and chief executive officer of the Downtown Denver Partnership, which is dedicated to addressing Denver’s development, environment, public policy, transportation, and housing initiatives. She is also vice chair of the Auraria Higher Education Center’s board of directors. Among other accolades, the Girls Scouts named Door one of its Woman of Distinction, and the Colorado Black Chamber conferred upon her its Strategic Partner Award. (University of Colorado Denver – Downtown Campus Commencement - May 16, 2009)


Honorary Degrees

William E. “Bud” Davis (UCB)
William E “Bud” Davis began his higher education career at CU as alumni director, head football coach, and assistant to the dean of men. Since then, he has been president of Idaho State University, president of the University of New Mexico, chancellor of the Oregon State System of Higher Education, and chancellor of Louisiana State University. Dr. Davis is perhaps best known at CU for his 1965 book, Glory Colorado! Volume 1: A History of the University of Colorado, 1858–1963, described as “the primary historical resource for the university.” His second volume covering the rest of CU’s history was published in 2007.

David L. DiLaura (UCB)
David L. DiLaura developed and championed the use of computing to transform lighting design calculations from simple estimations of illuminance to highly sophisticated algorithms. This innovative research has revolutionized the field of lighting design and manufacture. Since its inception in 1981, Mr. DiLaura has been the guiding force behind CU-Boulder’s illuminating engineering program, one of only four in the United States and regarded as top-ranked by most experts, both in academia and in industry.

Martin Isepp (UCB) Martin Isepp is an accomplished pianist and opera conductor throughout the world. For more than 15 years, he has conducted master classes at the College of Music, University of Colorado Boulder. Mr. Isepp was Head of Opera Training at the Julliard School, New York from 1973-1977. He became the first Head of Music at the National Opera Studio in London. Since 2005, he has been on the vocal faculty of the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. He is currently Head of Music at the OparaAkademie of the Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen.

Long-Sheng Ma (UCB) Long-Sheng Ma is widely regarded as a world leader in laser spectroscopy and frequency measurement technology. A physics professor at the East China Normal University, Long-Sheng Ma first came to JILA as a visiting scholar in 1981. Since then, he has been a frequent visitor to JILA as well as to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures located just outside Paris. As a result of these collaborations, Long-Sheng Ma has made numerous decisive contributions in his field.

Thomas F. Marsico (UCB) Mr. Marsico is a distinguished alumnus of the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the founder, chief executive officer and chief investment officer of Marsico Capital Management. He established the Cydney and Tom Marsico Family Foundation, focusing on youth services, education, homelessness and housing. Mr. Marsico is a long-time supporter of various programs at the University of Colorado, including academic chairs and athletics.

Sister Helen Prejean (UCB)
Sister Helen Prejean began her prison ministry in 1981 when she dedicated her life to the poor of New Orleans. Since then, she has become one of the world’s most influential human rights advocates. In 1993 Sister Helen wrote Dead Man Walking, considered the most important book published in America on the subject of capital punishment. The book was made into a movie starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon. Dead Man Walking was made an opera that was performed by the CU-Boulder College of Music in 2007.

David Wilson, Jr. (UCB) David Wilson, Jr., is an innovator in the development of mechanical devices that aid in the exploration of space. He is best known for his breakthrough developments in the field of aerospace and industrial tools including the design and deployment of specialty tools for seven NASA missions. Mr. Wilson is CEO and president of Wilson Aerospace LLC and American Power Tool Corporation. He has designed assembly tools in the fields of automotive, nuclear, and electronics technology. He holds eight patents and more are pending.

Dale Hatfield (UCB)
Dale Hatfield has had a four-decade-long influence on public policy in the telecommunications industry. His government service has included senior policymaking roles at the Office of Telecommunications Policy in the Office of the President, the Federal Communications Commission, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Mr. Hatfield is one of the individuals who has made CU’s Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program nationally recognized. He served as interim director and helped the program land key faculty members. He lent his support to an ITP program that promotes interest in public service.

University Medals

Norman Brownstein (UCB)
Norman Brownstein is a distinguished alumnus of the University of Colorado and its Law School. He has successfully advocated for the university with the U.S. Congress, the Colorado Legislature, and other governmental entities. His work has resulted in millions of dollars in research funding directed to the university. Of particular note is his support of CU’s Anschutz Medical Campus, Law School, academic programs, and athletics programs. Mr. Brownstein is nationally recognized for his experience in real estate law, commercial transactions, and public policy advocacy. The National Law Journal named him one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.

Peter Mannetti (UCD – Downtown Denver Campus)
Mr. Mannetti is a visionary who built Qwest Wireless from the ground up. In 1997, he successfully introduced the Nation’s only “One Number Service”, winning the 1999 Financial Times Global Award for Innovation In Network. In 2000, he won the first worldwide Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). Mr. Mannetti is an active and contributing advisory council member at the UCD Business School’s Bard Center for Entrepreneurship.

Peter B. Teets (UCCS) Following his education at the University of Colorado and after receiving his master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Peter B. Teets served as Lockheed Martin Corporation’s president and chief operating officer and in several key positions within the US Department of Defense. To honor and memorialize their son, David, who graduated from UCCS with a master’s degree in electrical engineering, Peter and Vivian have established an endowed scholarship for electrical engineering students at UCCS. Additionally, the College of Engineering and Applied Science is honored to have the David E. Teets Electrical Engineering Wing at the UCCS campus.

Distinguished Service Award

Patrick Thompson (UCD - Anschutz Medical Campus)
Dr. Patrick Thompson is a distinguished alumnus of the University of Colorado at Boulder and the CU School of Medicine. Following the completion of his medical training at the University of Colorado, Dr. Thompson began his medical practice in Fort Morgan and soon realized the importance of providing quality health care to rural Coloradans. This lifelong commitment culminated in the recently created Endowed Chair for Rural Health at the CU School of Medicine, the first endowed chair for rural health in the nation. As a trustee of the A.F. Williams Family Foundation, Dr. Thompson spearheaded a series of contributions and endowments over a period of three decades.


Honorary Degrees

Priscilla Bosin Ellwood (UCB)
Archaeologist and Curator; Researcher of ceramics and authority on prehistoric ceramics in Colorado and the Plains and Southwestern regions; and outstanding volunteer for more than 30 years at the University of Colorado Museum, including work as a research associate.

Howell M. Estes III (UCCS)
Retired Air Force 4-Star General; Led CU’s Advisory Committee on Tenure-Related Processes; served on the U.S. Congressional Commission to Assess U.S. National Security Space Management and Organization; Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Aerospace Corporation; and is a member of the Board of Directors of Analytical Graphics.

Samuel Gary (UCDHSC)
Philanthropist; Chairman of the Gary-Williams Company; Chairman of the Piton Foundation focusing on education and poverty; supports CU’s Centers of the Graduate School of Public Affairs; recipient of innumerable awards for his business success and his philanthropic vision.

Theodore C. Ning, Jr. (UCDHSC)
Urologist; co-founder of The Friendship Bridge, applying and furthering advanced healthcare practice into third world countries; combines busy clinical practice with significant contributions to international public health and education services.

University Medals

Mark Foster (UCDHSC) CU Denver Professor Emeritus of History; philanthropist; vintage baseball league enthusiast and manuscript editor; he established the Mark Foster Faculty Research Endowed Fund to promote excellence in faculty research in the History Department.

Distinguished Service Award

Mark Johnson (UCDHSC)
Urban designer and landscape architect; collaborated on Stapleton Redevelopment Plan, The Children’s Hospital Redevelopment plan, and Commons Parks Projects; impacts the fields of planning, architecture, urban design and landscape architecture through his design work, lectures and policy statements and contributions towards the restructuring and rethinking urban living not only for CU but also Colorado.

William Mooney (UCB)
Actor and professional storyteller dramatic monologues and historical reports; author and co-author of stories for children and adults; ABC and PBS television performances; director of operas, musicals and plays. Wrote and performed in a film about Morris Frank, the founder of The Seeing Eye – used in the work of that organization.

David Palenchar (UCCS)
Senior Vice President for Operations, El Pomar Center; President/CEO, Colorado Springs World Arena and Pikes Peak Center; Chairman, Colorado Springs Sports Corporation contributing to the world of amateur sports competition by bringing the State Games of Colorado and of America to Colorado; and Chair of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce.

Thomas Saponas (UCCS)
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs alumnus; philanthropist and non-profit sector fundraiser; Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Agilent Technologies (retired, 2003); National Nanotechnology Initiative program of the National Academies evaluation committee member; and established the Saponas Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Neal Thomas (UCDHSC)
One of the founding members and past president of the National Veterans Training Institute (NVTI) Alumni Association; veterans’ benefits and services activist, ensuring continued funding for the NVTI; and conflict resolution mediator on a pro bono basis.


Honorary Degrees

John Anderson (UCD)
Pioneer in Solar Energy with outstanding contributions in issues of sustainability and energy integration; architect who designed Front Range Community College and the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI).

Jim Collins (UCB) Author of best-selling business books “Built to Last” and “Good to Great”; Renowned speaker on management and organizational topics; hired and mentored numerous UCB business students.

Robert J. Graebner (UCB)
Geophysicist and seismic researcher; instrumental in the development of digital recordings of seismic data; hold two patents; worked at GSI (Texas Instruments) for 45 years; served in key positions including corporate Vice President.

Robert Clifford Gunning (UCB)
Eminent mathematician; author of more than 50 books and papers in mathematics; fundamental contributions to study of Riemann Surfaces.

Dr. Charles Snead Houston (HSC)
High altitude medicine/researcher; American Mountaineering exploration; Navy flight surgeon; pioneered research on early artificial heart.

Mary Rippon (UCB) (posthumous)
First woman to join the faculty at the University of Colorado (1878-1909); first woman to teach at any public university in the United States; served as unofficial Dean of Women at CU; chaired the Dept. of Modern Languages and later Dept. of German Language and Literature.

Roy Romer (UCD)
Former treasurer and governor of the state of Colorado; served on the National Educational Goals Panel; established the Western Governors' University; Vice-chair of Democratic Leadership Council; presently the Superintendent of Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District .

Daniel Valdez (UCD)
Legendary figure in Latino art forms, cultural traditions and social history; composer, performer and actor; co-wrote, performed in and produced La Bamba , the film.

Gilbert F. White (UCB)
Established the Natural Hazards Center on UCB campus; helped to reshape Geography as a discipline to encompass natural hazards; developed a paradigm for flood plain management across the globe.

Betty Woodman (UCB)
World renowned ceramic artist and lecturer with works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Prof. emeritus University of Colorado , Fine Arts; has been called one of the most significant American ceramic artists of the past one hundred years.

University Medals

John Bliss (UCD)
Former Vice President of Budget and Finance at the University of Colorado; 30 plus year career in public finance and budgeting; thorough background and expertise in Colorado's higher education financing.

Joyce Cashman (HSC)
Currently is the INTERIM President and CEO of the University of Colorado Hospital; instrumental in changing the Hospital culture of how service is provided to patients.

Thomas James (UCCS)
Chaired the Development Cabinet at UCCS and the UCCS Beyond Boundaries Capital Campaign; charter member of the Chancellor's Roundtable; community leader.

Thurston E. Manning (UCB)
Former Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculties at the University of Colorado ; former chair of the American Music Research Center Advisory Board.

Dwayne Nuzum (UCD) (posthumous)
Former Chancellor of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs campus; Past Executive Director of Colorado Commission on Higher Education; served as Chair of Dept. of Planning and Design at UCD, and Dean of the College of Environmental Design at UCB.

Lorraine Spears (UCD)
34 years of service as a staff member at UCD to the School of Education and Human Development; Staff Council member.

Distinguished Service Award

Mary Gearhart (UCD)
Expert on environmental and infrastructure engineering; instrumental in developing innovative site closure strategies and long-term operations and maintenance programs; currently chairing UCD Engineering Leadership Council.

Douglas L. Polson (HSC)
Member of the University Hospital Board of Directors and Chairman of the Audit and Finance Committee; instrumental in creating a new campus at Fitzsimons.


Honorary Degrees

Dennis C. Brimhall
CEO and President, University Hospital; developer of new inpatient and outpatient pavilions at Fitzsimons; visionary who identified opportunity in Fitzsimons base closure.

William J. Hybl
Chairman and CEO of El Pomar Foundation; President Emeritus United States Olympic Committee; former U.S. Representative to the General Assembly of the United Nations, and former member of Colorado House of Representatives.

Marcia E. Lattanzi Licht
Recognized leader who has made exceptional intellectual contributions and advancements for end-of-life care; author of multiple books on end-of-life care for both consumer and professional care providers.

Karl Stark Pister
World renowned engineering scientist and academic statesman; developed a worldwide reputation for novel material models in nonlinear continuum mechanics and constitutive theories.

David Owen Tryba
UCD graduate and award-winning preservationist who has contributed significantly to enhancing downtown Denver by restoring its historic buildings.

University Medals

Mark Addison
UCB alumnus; developed fund raising process for the proposed Visual Arts Complex; former member and Chair of the CU Art Museum Advisory Board as well as philanthropic support toward the purchase of eleven works of art for museum.

Warren Bateman
Generous benefactor of the mathematics department at University of Colorado Denver; established the Lynn Bateman Memorial Teaching Fellowship Award for outstanding graduate teaching assistants.

Mary Lee Beauregard
UCD alumnus; former director of HSC Office of Public Affairs; member of the Board of Trustees and Board of Directors, University of Colorado Foundation; noted for exemplary service to CU.

Sharon Berthrong
UCCS alumnus; former member of the CU Foundation’s board of directors; member of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Advisory Board; chair of the Karen Possehl Women’s Endowment fund.

Doris J. Biester
UCHSC alumnus; President and CEO of The Children’s Hospital; led efforts for feasibility study to examine the building of a new hospital on the Fitzsimons campus that is scheduled for completion in 2007.

John E. DeLauro, M.D.
UCB and HSC alumnus; current (outgoing) chair – CU Foundation Board of Trustees; established medical scholarship funds at UCHSC; former member UCHSC Development committee.

Robert Stuart Graham
UCB alumnus; retired UCD employee of 33 years; established the Robert Stuart Graham Scholarship Fund and Graham Family Fund Scholarship.

Distinguished Service Award

Howell M. Estes, III
Four star General and Commander-in-Chief of NORAD, U.S. Space Command, Air Force Space Command; brokered the MOU between Air Force Space Command and UCCS to educate the space cadre; former Deputy Chief of Staff for operations in the Gulf War.

John “Jack” Githens, M.D.
HSC Prof. Emeritus of Pediatrics; helped to establish and develop the Colorado Sickle Cell Disease Treatment and Research Center; continuous service for 55 years to the School of Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics.

Ron Henderson
Co-founder and artistic director of the Denver Film Society, Starz FilmCenter and Starz Denver International Film Festival; co-founded the Denver Film Society and is in an active partnership with the University of Colorado Denver and Health Sciences Center College of Arts & Media.

J. Wayne Hutchens
UCB alumnus; president of BankOne Colorado; trustee of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science; served as Vice President and Treasurer of the University of Colorado Foundation; involvement with consolidation plans of UCDHSC.

Judith B. Wagner
Community/business leader who helped in the creation of The Center for Women’s Health Research at Fitzsimons; founder and director, The Women’s Bank of Colorado.


Honorary Degrees

Frederick C. Battaglia, M.D. (Science, UCHSC, May 28, 2004) UCHSC professor emeritus and former Chair of pediatrics for 14 years; fetal physiology research pioneer and national/world leader in pediatrics.

Bruce D. Benson (Humane Letters, UCB, Dec. 17, 2004) UCB alumnus; petroleum geologist, businessman and philanthropist; Foundation Director Coleman Institute; chaired Beyond Boundaries capital campaign raising $1.026 billion dollars for CU; Governor’s Blue Ribbon panelist; member of CCHE.

Vine Deloria, Jr. (Humane Letters, UCB, Dec. 17, 2004) UCB alumnus and former professor; nation’s preeminent American Indian scholar and advocate; former director, National Congress of American Indians; authored Custer Died for Your Sins.

Warner L. Imig (Humane Letter, UCB, May 7, 2004) UCB professor emeritus; former dean, College of Music, UCB; founded music department at UCD; composer, choral director.

David R. Laube (Humane Letter, UCD, May 15, 2004)
Executive in Residence, UCD School of Business; 17 year CIO executive at US West; Chair, UCD Business Advisory Board; gov. appointed to Colo. Commission for Science & Technology.

Gasper Lazzara (Humane Letter, UCHSC, May 29, 2004) Funded HSC’s Center for Oral Facial Health at Fitzsimons; founder and chairman, Orthodontics Centers of America; philanthropist.

John McConnell (Science, UCB, May 7, 2004) Director and founder of Western Colorado Math and Science Center; encouraged UCB College of Engineering and Applied Science to mentor K-12 students on the Western Slope.

Rachel Bassette Noel (Humane Letter, UCB, May 7, 2004) Former University of Colorado Regent; Denver Public School Board member and school named in her honor; inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame; Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award.

Bruce E. Shepard (Humane Letter, UCCS, May 21, 2004) Community/business leader highly dedicated to UCCS’s Reach Your Peak Scholarship program. Former president, Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce

University Medals

William and Sara Caile (UCHSC, May 28, 2004) UCB alumnus; community leaders noted for exemplary service to the University of Colorado.

Jean F. Hemphill (UCD, May 15, 2004) Former associate director, UCD/Auraria library (47 years); longest continuous UCD faculty member.

Joyce Chapman Lebra (UCB, Dec. 17, 2004) DECLINED- March 15, 2004 UCB professor emeritus; leader in the history of modern Japan and the history of India; known for her diversity of scholarly work.

Charles G. McCord (UCB, May 7, 2004) Past CU Foundation president; raised $272 million for the University of Colorado.

Bruce Paton, M.D. (UCHSC, May 28, 2004) Former acting dean, School of Medicine; director, Given Institute; founding member, Wilderness Medical Society.

Karen L. Possehl(UCCS, May 21, 2004) Colorado Springs community leader; founder of Karen Possehl Women’s endowment scholarship program for non-traditional women.

Leo C. Riethmayer (UCD, May 15, 2004) UCB professor emeritus; founded the Graduate School of Public Administration; mayor of Boulder 1956-1960.

Kathleen Salzberg (UCB, Dec. 17, 2004) Internationally renowned arctic and alpine researcher; developed the scientific journal Arctic and Alpine Research, bringing national recognition to the University of Colorado.

Distinguished Service Award

Sally Hopper(UCHSC, May 28, 2004) DECLINED, February, 2004 Children and women’s issues advocate; former member University Hospital Board of Directors; former state senator.

Clyde Ollen Martz (UCB, May 7, 2004) UCB professor emeritus, School of Law; Natural Resources expert; founded Natural Resources Law Center; held multiple U.S. cabinet positions.

W. Gerald Rainer, M.D.(UCHSC, May 28, 2004) UCHSC alumnus; nationally and internationally renowned Cardiovascular and Thoracic surgeon.

Jerry Wartgow (UCD, May 15, 2004) UCD alumnus; superintendent of Denver Public Schools; past president, Colorado Community College system; past executive vice president of AHEC.

Joseph C. Woodford (UCCS, May 20, 2004) Board chair, Leadership Pikes Peak; chair of the board of Pikes Peak Urban League; board member Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and Pikes Peak Comm. Foundation.


Honorary Degrees









University Medals




JAMES, FRANKLIN J. (posthumously)



Distinguished Service Award




Honorary Degrees






University Medals







Distinguished Service Award







Honorary Degrees









University Medals







Distinguished Service Award