Tom Hutton 262-3439

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO — More than 800 members of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs class of 2002 are expected to participate in CU-Colorado Springs 28th commencement Friday, May 24 at the World Arena.

The program begins at 10 a.m. The class of 2002 includes 1,362 people who completed coursework in August 2001, December 2001 and May 2002. It is the largest graduating class ever, exceeding the previous record set in 2001 when 1,227 students graduated. About 800 students are expected to participate in the ceremony. Guests of the graduates are expected to fill the World Arena to capacity.

CU-Colorado Springs Chancellor Pam Shockley will welcome the graduates and provide the commencement address. CU President Elizabeth Hoffman will provide remarks.

During the commencement program, three special awards will be given to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the university and surrounding community. Additionally, they will be honored Thursday at a dinner at the Garden of the Gods Club. Also on Thursday, the graduates and their families will be included in on-campus receptions hosted by the individual colleges that make up the university.

Those who will be honored Thursday night include:

Bruce E. Shepard, Colorado Springs, University Medal; Lyda Hill, Dallas and Colorado Springs, Distinguished Service Award; State Sen. Andrew “Andy” McElhany, R-Colorado Springs, Alumni Legislative Award.

Shepard is a long-time community leader, businessman and university supporter. He will be recognized for his support of the university’s Reach Your Peak scholarship program.

Through his personal contributions, and his efforts to encourage others to contribute, 80 CU-Colorado Springs students benefit from the scholarship program.

Shepard will receive the University Medal.

Hill is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, philanthropist and a champion of the Pikes Peak region.

In a collaborative effort with the City of Colorado Springs, Hill led efforts to build the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center. Proceeds from the center go to the Garden of the Gods Foundation and more than $500,000 has been contributed to the improvement of the park.

Hill’s philanthropy has also benefited the Pikes Peak Library, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Colorado Mountain Reclamation Society, the De Tocqueville Society of Pikes Peak United Way and CU-Colorado Springs.

Hill will receive the Distinguished Service Award.

McElhany is an ardent supporter of CU-Colorado Springs, supporting the campus’ recent expansion and improvements and leading support for other higher education issues.

Representing El Paso and Teller counties in the 12th District, McElhany served three terms in the Colorado House before being elected to the Senate in 2000. He has worked on such issues as welfare reform, transportation, government efficiency and tax reform.

McElhany will receive the Alumni Legislative Award which is presented by the CU-Colorado Springs Alumni and Friends Association.

For more information about commencement, including profiles of selected graduates, visit the commencement web site,

CU-Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in northeast Colorado Springs is the fastest growing university in Colorado, offering 25 bachelor’s degrees, 17 master’s and two doctoral degrees. The university consists of the colleges of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Nursing, Education and the Graduate School of Public Affairs.