Contact: Tom Hutton , (719) 255-3439 or (719) 351-6519

WHO: An estimated 1,200 students will graduate from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs this spring. Most UCCS students are from southern Colorado and 70-80 percent will stay in Colorado following graduation. They are the region’s future workforce.

WHAT: About 850 members of the UCCS class of 2011 will participate in formal commencement exercises. The graduates and their families will be addressed by UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak and CU President Bruce Benson. The CU Board of Regents will confer a record 19 doctoral degrees at the ceremony including 14 Doctorate of Nursing Practice degrees.

WHEN: 10 a.m. Friday, May 20. Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend but should arrive early to avoid traffic congestion in the area

WHERE: Colorado Springs World Arena, 3185 Venetucci Blvd. Please call (719) 351-6519 for assistance with parking and for access to the students.

WHY: A record 19 doctoral degree recipients, including 14 nurses who earned Doctorate of Nursing Practice degrees, will graduate. This doctoral degree prepares nurses to provide high-quality primary health care, often for specific at-risk populations and in rural areas, and for teaching the next generation of professional nurses. Whether these graduates move into teaching or primary health care, both are vital to solving the shortage of nurses in Colorado and helping the U.S. reform its health care system.

In addition to the doctoral degrees, 682 students will receive bachelor’s degrees, and 141 will receive master’s degrees.

UCCS has the fourth largest enrollment of graduate (master’s and doctoral degree-seeking) students in Colorado.

Possible commencement-related features

Mom to take her place at UCCS commencement

UCCS students, faculty to wear soda bottles to commencement

Former faculty member to receive university’s highest honor

HOW: Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend commencement ceremonies. For parking assistance or access to the graduates at the World Arena, please contact Tom Hutton, (719) 351-6519.