Alumnus Placido Gomez to give Commencement Address

Saturday, May 14
Plachy Hall Gym
10 a.m. – Undergraduate Commencement
1:30 p.m. – Graduate Commencement

The Commencement Address for this year’s undergraduate ceremony will be given by Placido Gomez, Adams State class of 1975 and 1976. Currently a visiting professor of law at the University of La Verne College of Law, he previously served as vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Placido Gomez
Placido Gomez

Gomez received his LL.M. from Yale Law School, his J.D. from the University of New Mexico Law School, and a bachelor’s in elementary education and master’s in guidance and counseling from Adams State.

Gomez was also a tenured member of the faculty at the Phoenix School of Law, St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, and Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston. He also teaches for the American Indian Law Center at the University of New Mexico School of Law in Albuquerque, and serves as an appellate judge on the Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals and a Pro Tem Judge of the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

He received several honors in association with his active role in the education of minority students. While at Yale, he was instrumental in establishing the James Thomas Lecture Series, an annual program that brings young minority law professors to the Yale Law School campus. In April 2001, he was honored at the University of New Mexico School of Law with the Fighting for Justice Award for his commitment to the legal education of minority students and his work with indigent and under-represented groups in the criminal justice system.

President’s Message

We are looking forward to Adams State University Day at the Capitol on February 19. For the first time in our history, we will take Adams State to Denver so legislators have the opportunity to understand more about our institution. On Thursday evening, February 18, we will have a reception for legislators. We appreciate our sponsors who helped make this reception possible: Arnold & Marguerite Salazar, Partnership Investments, and SLV Behavioral Health.

This year’s General Assembly is important to us in many ways. As the budget is being debated, we stand to lose about $300,000 from our allocation or gain as much as $1.1 million. Imagine any other entity trying to plan for the next fiscal year with this much potential fluctuation without knowing the outcome. We have to be ready to educate lawmakers on the importance of Adams State University to the San Luis Valley and to our students.

Our recently completed Economic Impact Study is just one way we are telling our story. The study reveals that every Colorado tax dollar invested in us results in an 11.5 percent return. Adams State had a positive economic impact on the Valley of over $78 million and a state-wide impact of $111 million.

Adams State serves the largest percentage of Pell-eligible students of all Colorado institutions. In fact, 58 percent of our students are low-income, which is not surprising, given that three of the poorest counties in the state in located in the Valley we serve. In addition, our student body is the most diverse in the state; 39.2 percent of our first-time students identify as Hispanic. We have to realize that providing the support systems to help our students succeed costs more per student here than at other institutions. It is important for us to share our story.

I look forward to seeing those of you who can make it to Adams State University Day at the Capitol!

President McClure


New student recruitment initiatives

Lone Star Scholarship

Adams State recently created the Lone Star Scholarship exclusively for Texas residents. All qualified new and continuing students from Texas will automatically be awarded $3,000, beginning with the fall 2016 semester. All qualified non-Colorado-resident students also automatically receive Adams State’s Experience Colorado Scholarship of $5,000.

Eric Carpio, assistant vice president for Student Services, explained Texas is the only state in ASU’s region that doesn’t belong to the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), in which members reciprocally offer tuition at 150 percent of in-state rates. ASU has a reciprocal tuition agreement with New Mexico.

“Combined with our new Guaranteed Tuition program,  this should make Adams State very attractive to Texas residents,” Carpio added.

Summer Session revamped

The course schedule for Adams State’s Summer Session 2016 has been revamped so that new high school graduates may enroll in General Education courses during June and July. They are also eligible for summer financial aid. In addition, new students who enroll during Summer Session and continue in the fall semester will qualify for a lower Guaranteed Tuition rate than those who begin in the fall.

Update: VPAA Search

February 12 is the application deadline in ASU’s search for a Vice President for Academic Affairs. The search committee incorporated feedback from the campus survey into a position description. The vacancy announcement was posted on the Chronicle of Higher Education and Higher Ed Jobs websites January 5. Next steps in the process include evaluation of applicants, Skype interviews, and reference checks. The website for those interested in the position is here.

Any questions for the committee may be directed to Dr. Tracy Doyle or Dr. Benita Brink.

Message from President McClure

Dear Colleagues:

I had the pleasure of meeting a number of alumni at several recent receptions in the San Luis Valley and along the Front Range last month. I was inspired to hear how Adams State helped them change their lives and attain success.

To help more students achieve the dream of a higher education, our Board of Trustees recently approved a Tuition Guarantee Initiative that will lock in the same tuition rate for four years. Read more. This will make a college degree at Adams State University more affordable and will help families better plan to meet the financial challenge of a college education. Our tuition window policy does not charge a student for any credit hours over 12 and less than 21. We believe this guarantee, combined with our tuition window, will incentivize students to complete in four years.

Our work “to educate, serve, and inspire our diverse populations in the pursuit of their lifelong dreams and ambitions” is also being supported by three new Title V grants awarded this semester. Read more. These grants will not only help us ensure that more Latino students graduate; the funding will also help all students enrolled at ASU. These grants will also help us strengthen our relationship with local public school districts. This partnership is key to helping prepare high school graduates to be college ready. In addition, we are one year into our Title V grant to develop and implement the infrastructure for graduate level academic support services.

Looking to the New Year, we are excited for the first ever Adams State University Day at the Capitol, February 18 -19. We will hold a legislative reception at the Warwick Denver Hotel the evening of the 18th. The next morning we will meet with legislators at the Capitol to better inform them about our mission and the positive impact the University has on the Valley and the state.

Lots of positive things are happening at Adams State. I look forward to bringing in the new year with you all.

– President Beverlee J. McClure

Adams State alumna Dr. Millie Hamner to give commencement address

Dr. Millie Hamner, Adams State Class of ’87 and Colorado State Representative for House District 61, will give the commencement address at Adams State University:

Saturday, December 19
10 a.m.
Plachy Hall

Adams State will award 230 degrees, including 138 bachelor’s degrees, and 92 associate degrees. Hamner’s speech, “The Power of Education and Achievement,” will serve to congratulate the graduates for their accomplishment and inspire them to go out and affect positive change in a world that faces difficult challenges ahead. Read more.