CU congratulates spring 2011 graduates

Next week, thousands of students will be walking down the path to Folsom Field to mark the beginning of life as a CU graduate.

The commencement ceremony is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on May 6, with the founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Steve Ells, as the guest speaker during the event.

Ells, a CU graduate, was chosen by the Senior Class Council. He graduated from CU in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts.

According to a university news release, Ells opened the first Chipotle in Denver in 1993. Under his leadership the company has expanded over the last decade to nearly 1,100 restaurants. Ells recently made his debut on prime time television as a judge on the show “America’s Next Great Restaurant.”

President of the Senior Class Council, Katherine Pedroza, a 22-year-old senior marketing major, said she could not be more thrilled to have such a successful figure in today’s world come to address the graduating class.

“One of the things I think most of us can benefit from Ells is by identifying how he incorporated the lessons and values he gained from college into his career today,” Pedroza said. “I believe that he is an individual who is able to represent our graduating class entirely.”

The senior class is not the only one looking forward to Ells’ presence on campus. Alex Bollman, an 18-year-old freshman international affairs major, said he thinks Ells would be a good candidate to promote success and determination.

“CU’s academic merit is not among the top Ivy League schools,” Bollman said. “I think that having someone who is as successful as Steve Ells who graduated from CU shows students that no matter what school or background you come from, if you are determined you can make a name for yourself and become successful.”

According to a university news release, this year’s spring graduation will see about 5,897 students receiving their degrees, with 4,593 bachelor’s degrees, 884 master’s degrees, 164 law degrees and 256 doctoral degrees.

Jennifer Ruddle, a 22-year-old senior double majoring in MCD biology and anthropology, said she will be one of the many graduates attending the commencement ceremony. She also said she is grateful for what CU has been able to give her during her undergraduate years.

“Both my parents, grandparents and brother will be here on that day,” Ruddle said. “The greatest take away from my four years here is the chance I had recognize the opportunities I had and taking hold of them.”

The ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. There are no tickets required.

For additional information on the event, visit

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Adelina Shee at

CU Independent

The CU Independent, or CUI for short, is the student news outlet for the University of Colorado at Boulder. We cover news, sports, politics, opinion, arts and entertainment and more. Our mission is to provide news and commentary that's for students and by students — about the things we care about.

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