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Colorado State University Pueblo to Celebrate 500 graduates on Saturday with 10,000 in attendance 

Release Date: May 12, 2023

Gena Alfonso

Director of Marketing/PIO

Marketing, Communications & Community Relations


The Colorado State University Pueblo ThunderBowl will be at capacity on Saturday for the university’s commencement ceremony which begins at 8:30 a.m. The class of 2023 will be cheered on by 10,000 family members, friends, and loved ones, while more than 500 graduates receive their diplomas.

“Commencement is one of the most meaningful days for our campus community,” said CSU Pueblo President, Dr. Timothy Mottet. “Graduation is an opportunity to celebrate our students and their families and to reflect on the big adventures still to come. We are so incredibly proud of the dedication each student demonstrated to achieve these academic milestones.”

CSU Pueblo alumna, co-host of The Five and co-anchor of America’s Newsroom, Dana Perino, will deliver the commencement address. She Is a New York Times best-selling author. Her titles include, And The Good News Is: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side; Let Me Tell You About Jasper: How My Best Friend Became America's Dog; and Everything Will Be Okay: Life Lessons for Young Women (from a former young woman). 

Perino earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications, with minors in Spanish and political science, from the University of Southern Colorado. As a student, she was involved in the speech team and hosted and produced multiple shows for the local PBS affiliated campus television station. Perino holds a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois. She will become the second recipient in CSU Pueblo’s history to receive an honorary doctorate. The doctorate was recommended by a CSU Pueblo faculty committee and was approved by the CSU System Board of Governors. The doctorate will be awarded in a private ceremony on Saturday evening. 

Jocelyn Sanchez will receive the first diploma as the 2023 recipient of the Threlkeld Prize for Excellence. Sanchez is a third-generation ThunderWolf and will graduate summa cum laude (4.0 grade point average) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Education. She is a four-year Kane Family Foundation scholar and has served as a student ambassador at the university since August 2021.

The second diploma will go to Jose Chavez, winner of the Diane Blackwell President’s Leadership Award. Chavez will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and media communication with a minor in Chicano Studies. Chavez has been an active member of the Student Engagement and Leadership team, the Latinx Student Union, Prism, and other student clubs and organizations.  

Immediately following the ceremony, students and their guests are invited to attend “Celebrate” events scheduled across campus. The commencement “after party” events will include free food, cash bars, live music, and much more. Ballet Folklorico and DJ Tara Beatz will be performing at The Patio, located on the south side of the Occhiato Student Center. The CSU Pueblo Jazz Ensemble will perform on a new campus space, The Rooftop, located outside of Hoag Hall above the Art and Music building. The ThunderTruck will be at the McKinney Pavilion, located outside the Hasan School of Business. Celebration locations and selfie spots will be open until 3 p.m.

Tickets to attend the ceremony in-person are now on a waitlist. The commencement ceremony and address will be streamed online at

For more information about commencement, visit

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