May 072010
Authors: CSU President Tony Frank

Dear graduates,

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation from CSU!

Having been on campus for the last few years, you’ve received a lot of long messages from me on one topic or another, and I’ll try to keep this one relatively short, at least by comparison. The thought I want to leave with you today is simple, but it’s as important as anything I’ve previously written to you. I can sum it up in three words: We need you.

You’ve earned this time of celebration. You’ve worked hard, you’ve struggled through challenges you never expected and you’ve achieved something that many people spend their lifetimes only dreaming about –– you’ve earned a college degree.

You deserve a lot of credit for this, and so do all the people who have helped you get here: teachers, family members, role models and friends. None of us succeeds entirely on our own; we all owe some kind of debt to those who believed in us, invested in us and challenged us along the way.

That’s why, once you’ve left CSU with your diploma in hand and joined the ranks of our alumni, we’re going to start asking you for help. We don’t do this to be annoying. We genuinely need your help to open doors, share your experiences and make education possible for the students who will come after you.

Next year, a resident Colorado undergraduate will pay about $5,250 in tuition to attend CSU for the year. The state of Colorado will contribute an additional $2,040. About 61 percent of that total will go to paying faculty and academic support. Another 12 percent will fund operations and maintenance costs. Thirteen percent will go to what we call “institutional support” –– meaning admissions, clerical staff, central administration, technology support, fund-raising, etc. And then we’ll put the remainder –– just more than 14 percent –– toward scholarships and student services.

But thanks to the leadership and involvement of our alumni, CSU has been able to make real, exciting progress over and above these essential expenses. Gifts from alumni allow us to seek out and hire top faculty from around the country.

They enable us to offer more and better scholarships to talented students. They make it possible for us to bring in world leaders as guest lecturers and to complete projects like our University Center for the Arts and the new addition to Rockwell Hall, which dramatically improve the learning environment in key programs.

Our alumni are CSU’s most passionate supporters and toughest critics. They know what they personally valued in their CSU experience, and they know what needs to be changed and improved. Many of our alumni come back regularly to campus as guest speakers or visiting scholars; they hire our students as interns or employees; and they cheer for the Rams, whether in the stands at Hughes Stadium or halfway around the world.

The term “commencement” signifies that the end of this phase of your education is not truly an end, but a beginning –– a foundation upon which you’ll build a life and career. It is also the beginning of your time as a CSU alumnus, and that’s a status that I hope you embrace with the full pride and respect it deserves.

We need the energy, spirit and knowledge that only our alumni can offer. None of us succeeds alone. Your university needs you, and we hope you’ll stay connected and involved from the day of your commencement onward.

Your graduation is, indeed, a beginning. Make the most of it, and take on your future with a sense of confidence and optimism.
We at CSU are proud of you, and we celebrate this achievement with you. Congratulations again to the Class of 2010!

Dr. Tony Frank

 Posted by at 5:08 am

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