Published: Dec. 18, 2015
Soon-to-be graduates line up for their recognition ceremony.
Sarah Gilchriese on the left, Alexandra Olivo on the right

With a thick blanket of snow outside, faculty, students and their families gathered in Macky Auditorium to celebrate their graduation from CU-Boulder. The ceremony recognized 130 graduates from the Department of Communication and journalism and mass communication program. 

Lori Bergen, founding dean of the new College of Media, Communication and Information, encouraged the graduates to always remember this day, surrounded by loved ones, friends and faculty members. “Everyone who is here today is here to honor your success, and so relish this moment and what it feels like to have succeeded and to have finished,” she said. “Remember what it feels like because as we honor you today we want you to have that sense many more times in your life.”

Top graduates at the ceremony included Sarah Gilchriese, a communication major who wrote her honors thesis on college sexual assaults, and Alexandra “Alex” Olivo, who blended her skills in creative writing and copywriting as she pursued her advertising major. (Sarah Gilchriese is on the left of the second image; Alexandra Olivo is on the right.)

Gilchriese, who hails from Castro Valley, California, wrote an honors thesis entitled “Organizational Discourse and Discursive Closure on College Sex Assaults: An Autoethnography About Filing a Title IX Complaint” and received her department’s academic achievement award. After graduation, she plans to continue her research and attend a master’s program in organizational communication.

Olivo, as both an English major focusing on creative writing and an advertising major focusing on copywriting, found that her academic interests frequently overlapped. “Copywriting be really creative, but also have a purpose,” she said. She put both those skills to work in the favorite advertisement she wrote at CU. “We are not a cult (join us),” reads the tagline on her Spam ad, playing off the canned meat product’s loyal following. After graduating and spending several months interning and traveling, the Boulder native plans to move to New York City and pursue a career in fashion and advertising.

View Pictures from the Ceremony | Watch a Recording of the Ceremony