Colorado Mountain College

Colorado Mountain College canceled seven commencement ceremonies at its campuses this spring and replaced them with a virtual commencement scheduled for noon today.

Graduating students received a package in the mail containing a mortarboard and tassel, a letter from the president, alumni swag and other surprises, a CMC press release reported.

Graduates entered information and photos into an online form, used to populate the virtual commencement website,

The website will be open to the public and on view at least through the summer. Graduates were encouraged to pull together “watch parties” of friends and family members and to post photos to #cmcgrad2020 or

The site features recorded speeches from CMC President Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser and Dr. Angie Paccione, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Viewers can then watch a program tailored for each campus, including a different keynote speaker and student speaker for each campus. A campus emcee will read names of graduates and their degrees, and a member of the CMC Board of Trustees will confer diplomas and certificates before the student speaker leads classmates in turning their tassels.

Keynote speakers, all prominent Colorado women, were selected to honor the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. They include a state Supreme Court justice, a lieutenant governor and executives in government, business and nonprofits.

Speaker for the Leadville and Salida campuses is Jennifer McLaren, president and CEO of outdoor apparel company Smartwool.

Portions of the CMC commencement speeches will be incorporated into a video project for the “Bold Women Change History” initiative organized by History Colorado and the governor’s Women’s Vote Centennial Commission.

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