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Press Release

Alumni honored for continuing College’s legacy

Posted: October 16, 2008

Some students graduate from college and rarely look back. Others carry the spirit of their college days with them throughout their lives. The latter applies to six Metropolitan State College of Denver alumni who have been recognized as 2008 Outstanding Alumni.

The Alumni Association and Office of Alumni Relations selected the recipients from a pool of nominees whose stories exemplify the association’s core values: giving back, making a difference, Metro State pride and work ethic.

Two alumni, deemed outstanding in all four areas, received the Distinguished Alumni Award. They are Rep. Joe Rice and Lola Salazar.

Rep. Joe Rice (’89, history) represents District 38 of the Colorado House of Representatives. A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, Rice has been deployed to Iraq three times on combat tours and to Bosnia-Herzegovina on a peace-keeping mission.

Lola Salazar (’89, elementary education) manages the Salazar Family Foundation, which provides funding to three educational nonprofits: the Denver Public Schools Foundation, the Jefferson Foundation and the Latin American Educational Foundation. She recently served on the Metro State Foundation Board. In 2004, the Salazars purchased the Regency Hotel and developed it into the first student housing community for Auraria students.

David Sandusky (’97, marketing) received the Giving Back award. Sandusky operates Your Brand, LLC, a company that helps entrepreneurs clarify their professional identities. Sandusky was a mentor in the 2007-08 Apprentice Challenge @ Metro State, an educational take-off on the popular reality TV show that brought Metro State students together with local business and nonprofit leaders.

Katherine Archuleta
(’71, elementary education) received the Making a Difference award. As senior policy advisor to Mayor John W. Hickenlooper, she focused on logistics for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Archuleta co-founded the Center for Regional and Neighborhood Action, the nonpartisan Latina Initiative, the Colorado Women’s Foundation and Mi Casa Resource Center for Women.

Deborah Waddill (’07, sociology) received the Metro State Pride award. Waddill received her bachelor’s degree at the age of 51. The first in her family to go to college, she had enrolled at a community college 22 years before, on the day her daughter started kindergarten. After earning her associate’s degree, she attended Metro State for a few semesters, then took an eight-year break. After returning to Metro State, she worked two jobs, maintained a nearly 4.0 GPA, and graduated at the same time her daughter graduated from college.

Wayne Marshall (’07, human services) received the Work Ethic award. Marshall is a technology orientation and mobility instructor at the Colorado Center for the Blind. Legally blind himself, he helps senior citizens adjust to vision changes and works with other clients on job placements and educational opportunities. Marshall operates a nonprofit organization, Me and My Dad, which helps single fathers and their kids through support groups and activities.


About Metropolitan State College of Denver

With more than 24,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans. Starting in the fall of 2010, the College is offering master’s degrees in accounting and teacher education, with plans to offer a master’s in social work in fall 2011. The College enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 67,500 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.