The swelling universe of CU Boulder alumni surged toward 300,000 May 9 with the commencement of more than 8,600 students, the largest number to seek graduation in one year.
The Class of 2019 included 6,595 undergraduates and 2,024 graduate and professional school students, or 8,619 in all, according to preliminary figures.
These newest alumni are off to work in nearly every conceivable industry, many at marquee enterprises, among them ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs, Google, NBC and Tesla. Some are starting their own companies (see page 9), others are pursuing advanced study.
Serene Singh (PoliSci, Jour), CU Boulder’s first woman Rhodes Scholar, is headed to the University of Oxford. Claire Lamman (Phys, Astro), 2019’s outstanding Arts & Sciences graduate, is off to Harvard.
“When the impostor syndrome knocks on your door, punch it in the face,” 27-year-old commencement speaker Savannah Sellers (Jour’13) of NBC News said at Folsom Field, where an abbreviated ceremony unfolded amid falling snow and flying snowballs. “You guys are entering a world where young people are the ones making the things we use. Building companies from the ground up. Changing the narrative in D.C. Creating completely new forms of technology.”
A Washington Post report about the snowy ceremony picked up a term spread by Matt Duncan (Bus’92) of CU’s social media team: ‘Snowmencement.’ In 1882, CU’s first graduating class had six members. Today, about half of alumni live in Colorado. California, Texas and Washington have the next largest Buffs populations. Representing them all is the CU Boulder Alumni Association, led by Assistant Vice Chancellor Ryan Chreist (Kines’96) and board chair Colin Finch (PolSci’05), who recently succeeded Tom Shepherd (Bus’78). “I’ve run into Buffs all over the world — on the street in Florence, Italy, at the airport in Tokyo, even on a trail in the jungles of Peru,” Chreist said. “There’s an immediate connection every time.” The odds of a chance encounter are better than ever.