The university celebrated fall commencement ceremonies Friday, December 8 and Saturday, December 9 in the Bank of Colorado Arena in Butler-Hancock Athletic Center. Keeping with tradition, the ceremony keynote addresses were delivered by distinguished graduates of the university.

Becky Safarik

Friday evening's speaker for the graduate ceremony was two-time alumna Becky Safarik '74, '75. Safarik has worked for the city of Greeley since 1978. She became community development director in 1983 and assistant city manager in 2012, overseeing building inspections, code enforcement, engineering development, natural areas, neighborhood resources, planning, urban renewal operations, and special districts and projects.

Community engagement programs guided by Safarik have received top honors from the International Chiefs of Police, the National League of Cities, the Colorado Chapter of the American Planning Association, Downtown Colorado Inc. and the Governor’s office. She earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Rehabilitation and Related Services from UNC.

Saturday speaker for the undergraduate ceremonies was alumna Paula Sherlock '71. Sherlock served as Jefferson County (Kentucky) Circuit Court judge and was chief judge of Family Court in Louisville, Kentucky, until her retirement earlier this year. She was selected as Judge of the Year by the Louisville Bar Association in 2015, the Women Lawyers Association in 2016 and the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys of Kentucky in 2014.

Judge Paula Sherlock

Law is a second career for Sherlock, who earned a bachelor’s degree in English from UNC. She has been a junior high and high school teacher, a high school and college counselor and was the dean of students at Southern Seminary College, a private college for women in Virginia, for 10 years.

Visit the university's Facebook page for photos from the celebrations.

About UNC's Fall 2017 Graduating Class

  • No. of students graduating: 844
  • No. of students earning bachelor's degrees: 543
  • No. of students earning graduate degrees: 301 (256 master's, 33 doctorates, 12 specialists)
  • Age range: Undergrad: 20-68; Grad: 23-60
  • Average age: Undergrad: 25; Grad: 33
  • Graduate's average GPA: Undergrad: 3.21; Grad: 3.80

Most Popular Majors:

  • Undergrad: Nursing, Business Administration, Psychology, Elementary Education, Sport and Exercise Science
  • Grad: Special Education, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Educational Leadership, Educational Psychology, Education, Teaching American Sign Language

Where They Are From:

  • 10 Countries Represented: United States, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Yemen
  • 42 States Represented, plus the District of Columbia: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York,  Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
  • 37 Colorado Counties Represented: Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Baca, Boulder, Broomfield, Chaffee,  Conejos, Delta, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Elbert, Fremont, Garfield, Grand, Jefferson, La Plata, Larimer, Lincoln, Logan, Mesa, Moffat, Montezuma, Morgan, Otero, Phillips, Pitkin, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Routt, Summit, Teller, Weld, Yuma