Tuesday, May 13, 2008


FORT COLLINS - Thirty years ago, Colorado Gov. Ritter graduated from
Colorado State University. He will return to his alma mater this
weekend to deliver remarks at the university's College of Liberal Arts
commencement at 7:30 p.m., May 17 in Moby Arena.

Ritter and four of his siblings attended CSU. The governor earned his
undergraduate degree in political science from Colorado State in 1978
from the College of Liberal Arts. His former political science
professor, John Straayer, taught Ritter when he was a freshman through
1974 and 1975. Today, Straayer continues to teach political science
full-time at the university and has become a well-known political
expert among national media outlets.

"Our governor's successful career is a testimony to the value of
public colleges and universities, and a solid liberal arts education.
His story is one of hard work, humanitarian values and extraordinary
public service - a story that may not have been possible in the
absence of institutions like Colorado State University," said Straayer.

"However, the bottom line is the success he has had in his career is
in part due to my teaching and his failures can be attributed to the
lectures he missed," joked Straayer.

As a student, Ritter played intramural football, winning at least two
championships. In one game, the governor broke his nose but continued
to play the entire game. He worked part-time as a work-study as part
of the campus cleaning crew and in construction as a pipe layer to
help pay his way through college.

The College of Liberal Arts plans to award 936 baccalaureate degrees
for the combined 2008 spring and summer commencement. Nearly 800
students will welcome Gov. Ritter back to his alma mater when he
addresses them this weekend. At CSU, each college and school hosts its
own commencement, unlike other universities that have one large
combined commencement.

In 1978, Colorado State University's total enrollment was 18,223
students including 3,708 in the College of Liberal Arts - then the
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Thirty years later,
the student population at CSU has grown to 24,700 students; the
College of Liberal Arts has nearly 4,500 undergraduate students and
more than 350 graduate students.

As the largest college at Colorado State, Liberal Arts has 12
departments and seven centers for scholarly research. Undergraduate
students are enrolled in 14 undergraduate majors, 20 minors, and a
variety of interdisciplinary study options. Students are taught by
more than 300 full-time faculty members.

His address and the entire ceremony will be broadcast via the Web at http://cope.colostate.edu/commencement/


News media are welcome to attend the commencement ceremony. For
interviews with CSU officials and students or to RSVP to attending the
ceremony, please contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or Kimberly.Sorensen@colostate.edu
. For interviews with Gov. Bill Ritter, please contact Evan Dreyer at
(720) 350-8370 or evan.dreyer@state.co.us.