Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

850 receive graduate degrees on June 4


Some 850 graduate students received their degrees at DU's graduate Commencement on June 4.

The University of Denver’s Magness Arena was filled with eager and proud friends and family as 850 students received their graduate degrees on June 4.

The day’s speaker was Lewis Sharp, former director of the Denver Art Museum, who encouraged the graduates to pursue careers in nonprofits.

“Education is the single most valuable tool that can be bestowed on an individual, and you have taken advantage of this opportunity,” Sharp said.

Sharp shared his experience as curator of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and as director of the Denver Art Museum. He said his time at Denver Art Museum was intellectually challenging, and he was able to work with committed and engaged people in Denver. He emphasized the importance of having an impact on the community, conveying his satisfaction in transforming the Denver Art Museum into what it is today.

“I wish you all good fortune as you go out into world and hope some of your professional life also is in nonprofit sector,” he said.

Family and friends cheered as their loved ones crossed the stage and accepted their diplomas. Marlene Summerville flew in from Lansing, Mich., to see her daughter, Jennifer Schumacher, graduate with a master’s of business administration.

“It’s a celebration of all of it,” Summerville said as she pointed to her two grandsons and son-in-law. “I am a proud mother.”

Sara Schaffer received a master’s degree in international disaster psychology from DU’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology. Her father, Michael Schaffer, was in the audience to watch.

“It’s wonderful to see my daughter progress in the area she loves, to mature in her career,” he said.

In addition to handing out diplomas, Chancellor Robert Coombe awarded two honorary degrees. Sharp received an honorary doctorate of fine arts and Philip Winn, who helped found DU’s Bridge Project, received an honorary doctorate of public service.

The chancellor declared it a day of celebration and congratulated all of the graduates.

“I hope you will take pride in what we have accomplished together,” Coombe said.

You can watch a video of the entire ceremony.

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