UNC Holds Commencement Ceremonies May 4-5

Don Meyer, Tim Wirth

Read profiles of several graduating students who made a difference at UNC.

Facts about the class of spring 2012

The University of Northern Colorado held ceremonies marking the 122nd spring commencement May 4-5 on campus.

The Graduate School ceremony to award specialist, master's and doctoral degrees was at 7 p.m. Friday, May 4, in Butler-Hancock Hall, south of the intersection of 14th Avenue and 20th Street.

About 250 spring graduates were expected. Another 142 students expected to complete degree requirements this summer were also included in the spring ceremony. UNC doesn't offer a summer commencement ceremony.

Tim Wirth, former U.S senator from Colorado, was the featured speaker. Wirth, who also served in the U.S. House of Representatives and held appointed positions in the U.S. Department of Education during the Nixon administration and the State Department in the Clinton administration, currently is the president of the United Nations Foundation and the Better World Fund.

On Saturday, May 5, UNC alumnus Don Meyer addressed about 1,100 spring and 360 summer graduates and their friends and families during the undergraduate ceremony that began at 10 a.m. at Nottingham Field, intersection of 17th Avenue and Reservoir Road.

Meyer, a standout baseball and basketball player for the Bears, earned his bachelor's degree in 1967 and a master's degree in 1968. After graduating, he began one of the most successful men's college basketball coaching careers in history, earning 923 wins before retiring in 2010 from South Dakota's Northern State University.

Meyer came into the national spotlight in 2008 for the inspirational story of determination and work ethic that enabled him to return to his coaching job just eight weeks after suffering multiple life-threatening injuries in a car accident. Among them were a mangled lower left leg that had to be amputated after three surgeries to try to save it and internal bleeding that required emergency surgery and also revealed inoperable cancer of the small intestine and liver.

Distinguished faculty and student leadership awards were also presented during the ceremony.

About the Spring 2012 Graduating Class (As of April 25)

  • No. of students graduating: 1,324
  • No. of students earning bachelor's degrees: 1,081
  • No. of students earning graduate degrees: 243 (204 master's, 8 certificate/specialists, 31 doctorates)
  • Age range: Undergrad: 20-63; Grad: 23-63
  • Average age: Undergrad: 25; Grad: 34
  • Average GPA: Undergrad: 3.24; Grad: 3.81
  • Average length of time to graduate (undergrad): 4 years/11 terms
  • Top 5 majors (by degrees awarded): Undergrad: Interdisciplinary Studies, Business Administration, Psychology, Communication Studies, Sport and Exercise Science; Grad: Special Education, Music, Sport and Exercise Science, Clinical Counseling, Nursing
  • International Countries Represented (students earning UNC degrees): 9 (Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom)
  • Countries of exchange students (at UNC, graduating from home countries): 17 (Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom)
  • States Represented: 29 (AL, AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OK, PA, SD, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WY)
  • Colorado Counties Represented: 35 (Adams, Arapahoe, Baca, Boulder, Broomfield, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Delta, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Elbert, Fremont, Garfield, Gilpin, Gunnison, Jefferson, Kit Carson, Lake, La Plata, Larimer, Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, Morgan, Otero, Park, Phillips, Pitkin, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguache, Sedgwick, Summit, Teller, Washington, Weld, Yuma)

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