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Press Release

Former top Army doctor to address Metro State graduates

Ceremony Showcases College’s First Master’s Graduates Dec. 18

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

Posted: December 12, 2011

(Denver, Colo.) — Lt. Gen Eric B. Schoomaker, who recently retired as the U.S. Army Surgeon General, is the keynote speaker for Metropolitan State College of Denver’s Fall 2011 Commencement. More than 1,200 students are expected to graduate at the ceremony to be held on Sun., Dec. 18, at 2 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center.

Metro State continues a four-year graduate growth trend with its largest-ever fall graduating class: 1,256 candidates, exceeding last year’s record of 1,055 fall graduates. 

The Dec. 18 commencement marks the opening of another Metro State chapter – the first five students to complete their master’s degrees. Two graduates are receiving their Master’s of Professional Accountancy, and three graduates are receiving their Master’s of Arts in Teaching.  In fall 2010, 50 students enrolled in Metro State’s newly-created master’s programs.

Metro State remains a leader in the diversity of its students. Students of color represent 27 percent of fall 2011 graduation candidates, an increase of 2 percent over last year’s class. The age range is bracketed by 20-year-old criminal justice major Wendy Reyes and 66-year-old human services major Suzanne Riccio.

Transfer students make up 68 percent of the candidates. Women continue to represent 58 percent of the candidates, which is consistent with national higher education gender trends. The top five majors in order are accounting, management, criminology and criminal justice, psychology and biology. Thirteen percent of the graduates, or 161 students, are seeking teacher licensure. Veterans make up 3 percent of the graduates.

For more information on the commencement ceremony, go to


About the speaker:
In December 2007, Schoomaker was sworn in as the 42nd Army Surgeon General. He also has served as the commanding general at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and as commander of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command. Schoomaker graduated from the University of Michigan in 1970 with a bachelor of science degree and was commissioned as a second lieutenant as a Distinguished Military Graduate. Schoomaker has been awarded numerous medals, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal. For additional background visit Military Health System. 

About Metropolitan State College of Denver
With nearly 24,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans and enrolls the highest number of students of color among the state’s four-year colleges. The College now offers master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. It boasts nearly 72,000 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.