Faculty and crowd at the first MSU Denver CommencementOn June 1, in Phipps Auditorium, MSU Denver awarded its first 60 baccalaureate degrees: 24 bachelor of science degrees in fields such as biology, criminal justice and criminology, and business management as well as 36 bachelor of art degrees in fields ranging from English and history to elementary education and psychology.

Fifteen of those 60 baccalaureate graduates previously had earned associate degrees at either MSU Denver’s first commencement ceremony in 1967 or in 1968.

Among the first class graduating with associate degrees were Suzanne Williams and her future husband Doug Holcombe, who met and married while at the then-college. Both Holcombes were in the 75 percent of MSU Denver students who said that they had always intended to earn a four-year degree. And they both did: Suzanne earned an elementary education degree in 1969; Doug followed in 1970 with a degree in secondary education. They are now retired after a combined 50-plus years of teaching.

By 1969, MSU Denver had awarded more than 150 associate degrees in 16 majors ranging from technology and mental health to humanities, public service and electrical engineering technology.

Today, the University offers 217 degree options including three master’s degrees. Students can choose from 56 majors, 82 minors, 96 concentrations, 30 licensures and 36 certificates. Of the university’s 85,000 alumni, the majority have remained in Colorado.