Sep 272011
Authors: Courtney Riley

Imagine a scene of 90 floats parading through the heart of campus bringing CSU students, alumni, families and the Fort Collins community together in anticipation for a victory against San Jose State.

This is what Chancellor and Homecoming Grand Marshal, Joe Blake, said he envisions for the Homecoming parade this Friday at 4:30 p.m.

“(It’s going to be) a great hour and a half of excitement, enthusiasm and presentation of community on campus. It’s a focal point of time, space and enthusiasm,” Blake said. “It’s a special celebration of the campus and the community.”

Blake said he feels honored to have been selected as this year’s grand marshal by the Homecoming Steering Committee, which is made up of students, staff and community members.

“It’s a special time when we really focus on our students and alumni, and to be a part of that celebration is so exciting and so powerful,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it with a great deal of enthusiasm and relish, and this is a wonderful opportunity to be a part of something very special within the university.”

As chancellor of CSU, Blake oversees both the Fort Collins and Pueblo campuses, as well as the university’s online presence, CSU-Global Campus.

His passion for CSU is fueled by his belief that it truly is Colorado’s finest university.

“I am absolutely so proud of our alumni, of our students, of the parents of the students and their enthusiasm and their quality,” he said. “It is just a privilege to represent CSU as chancellor because of the quality and the character of these individuals and the great land grant tradition and the great presence we have in Colorado. We really are the most remarkable public institution in the state.”

This year’s homecoming theme, “Get Your Green on,” is perfect for CSU because the university has led that whole movement, he said. The theme “Get Your Green on” recognizes and celebrates CSU’s leadership in sustainable living.

“(CSU) started years ago in sustainability in our green and renewable energy that we have. It’s both real and metaphorical that we are who we are.”

Blake said he is excited to not only lead the parade, but also to attend other homecoming events, such as the alumni awards Thursday night and the donor recognition luncheon at the College of Liberal Arts Friday.

He’ll also be joining the Associated Students of CSU alumni after the parade to “welcome that wonderful community of leaders that CSU has had in the past from student leadership.”

“It’s (going to be) a great time, and I’m very, very enthusiastic about being there and this wonderful opportunity to be the grand marshal of it all,” Blake said. “(And after the game), we’ll be celebrating the then 4-1 Colorado State Rams.”

Entertainment editor Courtney Riley can be reached at

*What: Homecoming Parade

*Where: Begins at the intersection of Howes Street and Oak in downtown Fort Collins and ends at the intersection of Meridian Avenue and University Avenue

*When: 4:30 p.m. Friday

*Grand Marshal: CSU Chancellor Joe Blake

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