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Press Release

Congressman Polis to Address Record Number of Spring Graduates

May 15 Commencement Showcases More Than 1,600 Success Stories

Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: May 5, 2011

(Denver, Colo.) — U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulder) has been selected as the keynote speaker for Metropolitan State College of Denver’s Spring 2011 Commencement. More than 1,600 students are expected to graduate at the ceremony to be held on Sun., May 15 at 9 a.m. on the Auraria Campus Athletic Fields.

Celebrating its 45th anniversary, Metro State continues an eight-year graduate growth trend with its largest-ever spring graduating class: 1,625 candidates, exceeding last year’s record of 1,615.

Metro State remains a leader in the diversity of its students. Students of color represent 23 percent of spring 2011 graduation candidates, an increase of 5 percent (64 students) over last year’s class. The age range is bracketed by 20-year-old special education major Alayna Antoinette Festi and 66-year-old psychology major Lavinia Burk.

Transfer students make up 69 percent of the candidates. Women continue to represent 60 percent of the candidates, which is consistent with national higher education gender trends. The top five majors in order are criminology and criminal justice, biology, psychology, behavioral science and management. Fourteen percent of the graduates, or 219 students, are seeking teacher licensure.

For more information on the commencement ceremony, go to

About the speaker:
Congressman Polis, a longstanding leader in addressing education issues, believes education is the only meaningful, long-term stimulus initiative communities can make to invest in and reinvigorate the American economy. He was elected to the Colorado Board of Education in 2000 and was the youngest chairman in the history of the board. During his six-year tenure, Polis strongly advocated school reform and enhancing educational opportunities. For additional background visit


About Metropolitan State College of Denver
With more than 24,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans. The College now offers master’s degrees in accounting and teacher education, and will offer a master’s in social work starting fall 2011. The College enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 69,000 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.