Homecoming weekend is here, and tonight the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony will kick off the festivities.
CSU alumni and guests will gather at the Embassy Suites in Loveland to recognize alumni that have brought honor to their alma mater.
There will be 18 awards, one from each of the colleges as well as awards given to different extensions of the university such as athletics.
For Colleen Meyer, executive director for the Alumni Association and master of ceremonies for the event, the ceremony is an opportunity for CSU students to get a glimpse at what life can be like after graduation.
“It’s important for our students to understand that they, too, will be alumni, and there comes with it quite the responsibility and expectation of how you should carry forward as a CSU Ram,” Meyer said.
Working as director for six years, and as a CSU graduate from 1994, Meyer continues to be humbled by the stories she hears.
“For me, it’s (seeing) the impact that CSU has had on all our recipients — when they were students and now as alumni,” she said. “How proud they are of their university really strikes a special place in my heart.”
Tim and Jackie O’Hara’s story began when they met at CSU. Alumni for the class of 1982, the two never strayed from their CSU roots, and have continued to give back to the university and Fort Collins community through various organizations and charities.
The O’Haras will be receiving the Jim and Nadine Henry Award for their service to the community. The award is surprising for Tim because, according to him, he and his wife are just doing what they love.
“(CSU) was responsible for my career and my wife’s career,” he said. “We’ve just always wanted to give back.”
As the Director of Communications for the Alumni Association, Beth Etter was responsible for drafting and distributing the biographies for each alum. Etter said she is eager to meet the people that she has heard so much about.
“All of them have unique and interesting stories and unique and interesting careers and so it will be great to finally meet them in person,” Etter said. “It’s interesting to see where their careers and their lives have taken them and that they are still engaged in the life of Colorado State.”
Etter studied English at CSU and earned her masters degree. As an alum, she said she believes that it is important for students to recognize their predecessors.
“(The ceremony) is a chance to connect our alumni and their good works in the world with the CSU campus,” she said. “(It also) reminds folks of the education that we provide, and how that is a jumping off point for them to be successful in their own lives.”
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live from the Alumni Association’s webpage.
Collegian Staff Writer Natasha Leadem can be reached at email@example.com.