Commencement Spring 2011

Honorary Doctoral Degrees

Updated May 27, 2011

Colorado State will confer three honorary doctoral degrees on Pat Stryker, Alice Wallace and Edward Warner at commencement ceremonies May 13 and 14.

Transforming impact

"We award traditional, academic doctoral degrees based on a substantial contribution to the person's field — symbolic of the transformative impact we believe our graduates will have over the span of their careers," said Colorado State President Tony Frank. "We award honorary doctorates to those who have also had a transformative impact, either through their professional achievements or philanthropy. This year’s degree recipients have each had a profound, transforming impact on Colorado State University."


Pat Stryker
Philanthropist

Pat Stryker

Colorado State President Anthony A. Frank will award the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, to Stryker in recognition of her accomplishments to the advancement of knowledge and artistry as well as to society. Stryker will receive her degree at Colorado State’s College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m.

"From the University Center for the Arts, to Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, to Engineering, to the community in which so many of our faculty, staff, and students make their homes, Pat Stryker's generosity has funded facilities and programs that have fostered education, nurtured research and discovery, entertained us, and made our spirits soar," said Frank. "With her characteristic grace and humility, she has, quite simply, made Colorado State University a better place for those of us here today and generations to follow."

"I am truly humbled by and appreciative of this recognition," Stryker said. "Much of my life has been devoted to understanding myself and my relationship to others. And most important has been my hope to use my talents and gifts to benefit others.

“My affection and support for CSU are rooted in the University's contributions to people and to community. While you have honored me, my praise goes to the University for its continuing enrichment of our lives and community."

After visiting Colorado during summer camps as a child, Pat Stryker moved to Fort Collins in 1980. By 2001, she had established the Bohemian Foundation, which continues the tradition established by her grandfather of making the world a better place through philanthropy and community action. Her grandfather, surgeon Homer Stryker, started Stryker Corp., a world leader in medical technology and equipment.

Stryker supports innovative solutions to the global issues of the environment, poverty, public health and natural disasters. Stryker has contributed to the success of Colorado State on a variety of levels. Her support as an advocate for higher education is documented in numerous areas that have received transformational contributions, including:

  • President's Office for University Funds
  • Albert C. Yates Chair in Math in the College of Natural Sciences
  • Hughes Stadium enhancement and Ram Legacy Scholarships in Athletics
  • Bohemian Complex at the University Center for the Arts, which encompasses the University Theatre, the Studio Theatre, the Black Box Theater, and the William E. Runyan Rehearsal Hall
  • ELC Land Development Improvement in the Warner College of Natural Resources
  • Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise and Rockwell Hall expansion in the College of Business

The Bohemian Foundation also administers the Pharos Fund, which has given more than $9 million to Colorado nonprofits serving the Poudre School District.


Alice Wallace
Humanitarian, Avenir Foundation President

Alice Wallace

Alice Dodge Wallace will receive an honorary degree from Colorado State University at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, in Moby Arena during the College of Applied Human Sciences' undergraduate ceremony. The degree will be presented by President Tony Frank.

Wallace is president of the Avenir Foundation, which is located in Lakewood. Throughout her lifetime as a humanitarian, Wallace has worked to advance education, fairness and equality for all.

"Alice Dodge Wallace has a deep, lifelong respect for education and the arts, and through the Avenir Foundation, she has helped to create a textile museum at CSU that will come to rank among the finest at any American university, benefiting both CSU and the state of Colorado," said Frank. "Her leadership and vision have significantly elevated the quality of the learning experience we provide our students and greatly improved and expanded opportunities for the public to view and learn from this historic collection."

In 2008, the Avenir Foundation's gift to Colorado State initiated the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising in the University Center for the Arts. The museum's gallery, storage facility and conservation laboratory, all constructed to meet international museum standards, provide the university and Front Range communities with access to textiles and costume as a window to the world's history and cultures.

The museum is home to more than 12,000 historical textile artifacts, including hundreds of international, Western United States and Civil War era pieces, and couture from some of the most celebrated American designers including Mr. Blackwell, James Galanos, Arnold Scaasi, Calvin Klein and Carolina Herrera. The collection also includes chairs by acclaimed furniture designers.

Wallace is an active member on the education council of the Denver Art Museum and the boards of trustees of the Santa Fe Opera and of the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.

"Alice's involvement in these organizations illustrate her dedication to the arts in Colorado and nationally," said Nancy Hartley, interim dean of the College of Applied Human Sciences. "Textile arts are part of Alice's earliest memories, and she fondly recalls walking on Navajo and oriental carpets in her childhood home. As an adult, she has become deeply committed to the conservation of textile arts."

"Coming from a family dedicated to education, it is a great honor and privilege to receive an honorary degree from Colorado State University," Wallace said. "As a long-time resident of Colorado, I have observed the progress of the university’s development. Today I see a vibrant educational institution that is dedicated to enabling its students to be prepared for the world of tomorrow. I am very proud to be associated with Colorado State University, the College of Applied Human Sciences and the Department of Design and Merchandising."

Wallace earned her Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of Oklahoma and her Master of Arts in education from Stanford University. Her commitment to education follows that of her great-grandfather, Norton Strange Townshend, a physician, anti-slavery activist and congressman who led support for legislation that would become known as the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act of 1862 — of which Colorado State University is a result.


Edward Warner
Geologist, philanthropist

Ed Warner

Colorado State University President Tony Frank will award the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, to Warner in recognition of his unprecedented contributions to the university and his dedication to serving mankind through his tireless work as a scientist, educator and philanthropist. Warner will receive his degree at the Warner College of Natural Resources' commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, at 9 a.m.

"Ed Warner embraces CSU's land-grant educational and outreach missions and believes that academic excellence in natural resources is vital to the economic and environmental health of our nation and world," Frank said. "He has invested, as an alumnus and renowned geologist, to ensure that CSU continues to offer some of the world's most innovative and important programs in environmental research and education. His is not just a name on a building — he's actively engaged with the work of our students and faculty and gives a great deal of his personal time and energy to the college and the university."

"I will always believe that doing good works is its own reward. That my friends and colleagues at Colorado State University think I am deserving of this prestigious honor is truly humbling,” said Warner.

Warner, who graduated from CSU in 1968 with a degree in Geosciences, developed a great love for the university and the faculty in the College of Natural Resources. He earned a master's in Geology from UCLA in 1971 before working for Shell Oil Company, Amoco and Energetics Inc. He became president and owner of Denver-based Expedition Oil Company Inc. in 1982 and partnered with Casper, Wyo.-based McMurry Oil Co. to acquire a small natural gas field in west-central Wyoming now known as Jonah Field.

Warner discovered innovative methods to tap Jonah Field, which has been estimated to contain more than 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas — 1.5 percent of the nation's reserves. The Jonah Field is responsible for creating 600 jobs in Wyoming and, over its expected 75-year lifetime, will create more than $30 billion in economic activity — including more than $3 billion in tax revenue for Wyoming.

In 2005, Warner donated $30 million to his beloved alma mater, which responded by naming the college the Warner College of Natural Resources. His gift established endowed chairs in Economic Geology and Geophysics, funded teaching assistantships and created the Center of Collaborative Conservation. His donation remains the largest gift in CSU's history.

Warner continues to give back to CSU in numerous ways. He holds two honorary faculty positions and is co-chair of WCNR's Dean's Advisory council. He and his wife, Jackie, are members of the Campaign Leadership Council, charged with leading the university's first major capital campaign. He makes regular campus appearances to speak to students, and each summer he leads a four-day student field trip that is part of the Geosciences curriculum.

Warner's philanthropic work extends well beyond the CSU campus. He is director of the Sand County Foundation, a trustee for the Endowment for Earth Work, a trustee for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, a past trustee for the Geological Society of America Foundation, a past trustee for the American Geological Institute Foundation, and director and treasurer of the Explorers Foundation. He has done extensive volunteer work in helping to preserve sage grouse in Western Colorado, and each summer he spends two weeks teaching geology to Boy Scouts at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.