Western's Newsroom

Press Release

Carmichael named Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations and Compliance

Friday, December 28, 2012

“My wife and I are excited to join the Mountaineer family. We feel that the chance to work at Western State Colorado University within the Mountaineer Athletic Department is a great opportunity for us to work alongside some truly devoted professionals,” Carmichael said. “The rich history of Western Athletics and the possibility of an even brighter future for Mountaineer Athletics provided an irresistible attraction for us.”

Students Travel to New York

Friday, November 30, 2012

While most Western State Colorado University students spent their Thanksgiving holiday with family and loved ones, one group of students and their professor volunteered their vacation to participate in hurricane Sandy relief efforts in New York.

Caroline Mitchell, associate professor of sociology at Western, led a group of 46 students to participate in relief efforts in 2005 during the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Students Reflect on Election Season

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Students at Western State Colorado University did not escape political fever this election season.

Multiple debates were hosted on campus and a dedicated few even volunteered for campaigns. And to commemorate the culmination, the campus Politics Club hosted their quadrennial presidential election party, replete with finger food, large screen projection of coverage and red, white and blue balloons.

Diving Back In

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Melissa (Cole) Kemp has been looking forward to this Friday for the past 28 years or so. 

Even while the Western State Colorado University women’s swimming and diving program lay dormant for almost three decades, Kemp and a small contingent of former Mountaineers remained hopeful their team had not seen its final days. 

Western Math Degrees Add Up

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Math majors delight: Western State Colorado University had one of the highest percentage of degrees awarded in Mathematics in the state, according to 2011 numbers. Two percent of graduates during that year received a math degree.

That number has come up significantly since 2001, when less than 1 percent of degrees were awarded for math. The number of math degrees awarded at Western is second only to that of Colorado School of Mines, which groups Mathematics and Computer Science degrees together.

Western State College is now Western State Colorado University

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

“Today we celebrate a new name, but also the rich educational environment synonymous with Western,” President Jay Hellman said. “While our new name preserves our Western Colorado heritage, it also reflects the broadening opportunities available to us as we move toward the future as Western State Colorado University.”

Western State Housing Project injects more than $3.7 Million into Local Economy

Friday, July 6, 2012

The $16 million student housing project, led by general contractor JE Dunn Construction (Colorado Springs) and designed by Design West Architects (Logan, Utah), began a year ago with the demolition of Coronado, Beckwith, and Keating Halls, former housing and food service facilities that were originally constructed in the 1930s and 1950s. Scheduled to be completed in July 2012, the new apartment complex has generated excitement on campus and made a significant economic impact across the community.

Western Alumna Betsy Sodaro Cast as Regular on NBC Comedy

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In the series starring Justin Kirk as a “House”-like veterinarian who loves animals but generally hates their owners, Sodaro plays Angela, an animal hander. Following a strong guest-star performance in the series pilot, Sodaro earned a promotion to her first regular role in a television series.

“Betsy is by far one of the most unique people I've ever met,” said Paul Edwards, Ph.D., who instructed Sodaro during her career at Western. “(She is) instantly likeable and has an almost superhuman ability to engage in improvisation.”

Dave Wiens Named Mountain Sports Team Director at Western

Monday, June 25, 2012

"It's an honor for me to be able to be a part of this new beginning at Western," Wiens said. "I have the opportunity to give back as the school moves into a new and exciting era, with a new name, amazing new facilities and new programs.

"While much about Western is new, excellence in mountain sports is part of our heritage. The Mountain Sports team will be built on the foundation that has been established by a long list of Mountaineer mountain sports athletes, whose accomplishments are part of the history and legacy of Western."

Craig Wesley appointed Western Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

With 35 years as an enrollment professional, Wesley has held senior leadership roles at the University of Evansville, Virginia Intermont College, and most recently, at the State University of New York at Delhi, where he helped build a succession of record enrollments while increasing selectivity and retention rates. Following early retirement from the State University of New York system, Wesley serves as an enrollment consultant, including providing interim management support.

It's Official! Governor signs bill changing WSC to Western State Colorado University

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The name change will take effect on Aug. 1 and be supported by a re-branding effort to include new logos and brand guidelines.

“Our status as a university is a tribute to the hard work and success of our students, faculty, staff and alumni, said Western president Jay Helman. “This change reflects the academic strides and achievements the institution has made since it was founded more than 100 years ago.

Western Names Patricia M. Manzanares-Gonzales as Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In this cabinet-level position, Manzanares-Gonzales will oversee all academic programs and faculty, as well as library services, the registrar and all academic-support functions on campus.

With 21 years of experience in higher education, Manzaneres-Gonzales has developed a range of skills and insights as a professor and administrator. She has worked with multiple constituencies, led two institutions through the rigorous reaccreditation process and implemented new academic programs.

Reaching the Finish Line

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

When the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships take place on the Western campus this coming Sunday through Tuesday, May 6-8, a sixth-year senior has in his sights set on an honor that’s managed to elude him all these years. 

After compiling a total of nine All-American honors between cross country and track and field seasons – including numerous runner-up finishes at the RMAC and NCAA Division II levels – Pennel would like to finally have his moment at the top of the podium for an individual finish.

Western Commencement Marks 100th Anniversary of First Graduates and the Return of Graduate Programs, May 5

Saturday, May 5, 2012

In addition to marking the 100th anniversary of Western’s first commencement exercises in May 1912, the event will include conferring the first master’s degrees since graduate programs were reinstated at Western. The College awarded its last graduate degrees in 1990 after the program was discontinued by the state legislature. In 2007, the legislature restored Western’s authority to offer graduate programs and the College started offering a master of arts degree in education and a master of fine arts in creative writing in 2010.

Western State Colorado University Name Awaits Governor’s Signature

Thursday, May 3, 2012

If approved, the institution will officially assume the name of Western State Colorado University on Aug. 1.

Western initiated name change discussions last September and its Board of Trustees approved the new name on March 16. The bill, which was co-sponsored by Reps. J. Paul Brown and Roger Wilson and Sen. Gail Schwartz, was introduced to the legislature on March 28.

“It’s an exciting and historic day for Western,” President Jay Helman said. “After extensive, insightful discussions and research, it is gratifying to see this vision come to fruition.”

Western Alumnus Barry Clifford ('69) to Present 2012 Commencement Address

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

One of the world’s best-known underwater explorers, Barry Clifford, (’69), says his desire to investigate the unknown was first tapped in Gunnison, when he’d head northwest on County Road 730 to the ghost town of Floresta.

 “I’d go way out there to explore old mines, walking down those old mine shafts,” recalls Clifford. “It really got my exploration juices going.”

Q & A with 2012 Commencement Student Speaker Lacey Keane

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Keane will continue a family legacy of Western graduates that started with her great-grandmother, Lucille Falkenburg Piquette, who graduated in 1929. On May 5, Keane will be the 22nd person in her family to graduate from Western. Her mother, Shannon Piquette, is a 1997 graduate, and her father, Dan Piquette, also is pursuing a degree at Western. In addition, her grandfather, Jerry Piquette, earned two degrees from Western in 1961 and 1969, and also worked at the college as vice president for business affairs.

Western Included in Princeton Review's Green Colleges Guide

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

According to The Princeton Review, the institutions profiled in the guide "demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation." The publication selected schools based on the "Green Rating" scores calculated from a 50-question survey conducted among 768 schools in the U.S. and Canada.

Student-Athlete Tyler Pennel in "Sports Illustrated's" '"Faces in the Crowd"

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pennel is leading all collegiate student athletes and has the fifth fastest time in the world with 28 minutes, 23.54 seconds in the 10,000-meter run. He was put on the “receiving mention” list for the 2012 Bowerman award for the top collegiate track and field student athlete of the year. Pennel was also the national runner-up earlier this year at the 2011 national cross country championships.

Now Taking Reservations: Western prepares to open doors of new student apartments

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

According to director of residence life Ed Klein, tours were offered last week of one completed, four-bedroom apartment to give students a feel for the new living spaces. Returning students can enter into a drawing for room assignments for all on-campus housing beginning today.

Klein said some students are returning to life on campus.

“We’ve had students that lived off campus last year returning on campus this year,” he said, which he believes is a result of the new building and reduced prices for on-campus housing.

Leith Sharp to Present Keynote at 16th Annual WSC Environmental Spring Symposium, April 3-5

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sharp, founder of Harvard University’s Green Campus Initiative, the largest environmental campus organization in the world., will present, "Sustainability Leadership for the 21st Century,” at 7:30 p.m. on April 4. She also will lead a workshop, "Who are the Change Makers,” from 9 a.m. to noon on April 5.

Organized by WSC students in the Environmental Studies 400 Capstone class, the symposium also includes movie screenings and discussions, sustainability workshops, a local and organic dinner, music and a performance by Western’s WordHorde.

A Match Made on the Mountain: Western students team with Adaptive Sports in helping 'Powder Posse' take to the slopes

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

When the bus rolled up, Clawson and Carpenter boarded to join several of their classmates and three members of the group they would be skiing with — a group that has come to be known as the “Powder Posse.”

Clawson and Carpenter are both students in Western's field-based Colorado Outdoor Recreation Expedition, a semester-long activities-based curriculum in the Recreation and Outdoor Education program.

Board of Trustees Approves Name Change to Western State Colorado University

Friday, March 16, 2012

The motion also approved an allocation of $130,000 from Western’s fund reserve to support initial costs related to the name change. The WSC Foundation also will commit funds to the initiative and administrators are seeking additional monetary and in-kind support from other entities.

A legislative bill seeking approval for the name change will be drafted and introduced in the current legislative session. If the bill passes, Western anticipates adopting the new name on July 1.

National Performance Poet Ken Arkind to Appear at Western, March 15

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Western’s own WordHorde Spoken-Word Performance Troupe will serve as Arkind’s opening act.

Arkind, who also is a Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam champion, is a full-time touring artist who has performed worldwide. He has been featured in the documentaries “SPIT!” and “Slamplanet,” as well as on cable and television networks.

60th Annual Firemen’s Concert Series

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The second concert of the series will be on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. This concert will feature the Western Colorado Brass Band, conducted by Steve Asheim and Rebecca Gillespie, and the All-Colorado Honor Band, conducted by Philip C. Chevallard and John Wacker.

The Firemen’s Concert Series will continue on Thursday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m., with the Vocal Music Department Showcase. Performing, will be the Western Concert Choir and Western Chamber Singers, both conducted by Heather Roberson. Also featured, will be Western student ensembles.

Underwater Explorer and Alumnus Barry Clifford to Share Pirate Tales at Western, Feb. 7

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The presentation, “The Untold Story of the Whydah: From Slave Ship to Pirate Ship,” starts at 7 p.m. in the Prosser Theater of the College Center. Clifford will present a slide show of the Whydah expedition and artifacts, as well as his discoveries at "Pirate Island" off the coast of Madagascar. A dessert reception will follow the presentation.

Taylor Hall Community Open House, Sept. 1

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Sept. 13, 1911, the North Hall (the original building of what is now Taylor Hall) opened for classes, kicking off what was then named the Colorado State Normal School, originally a preparatory college for teachers. The school officially became Western State College of Colorado in 1923 when the mission expanded to offering four-year liberal arts and sciences degrees.

Taylor Hall just underwent a $21 million renovation, which included the addition of a grand “Welcome Center” at the south entrance.

Western to Host Education Forum Feb. 25

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Additional panelists include Bill Powell, treasurer of the Gunnison Watershed School District school board, and Brad Baca, Western vice president for finance and administration.

The forum participants will discuss education issues of concern to them and then open the floor to audience questions. Topics may include state education funding, college preparation for high school students and career prospects for teachers.

WSC Releases Name Change Survey Results

Friday, February 17, 2012

There were 2,357 responses to the survey from Dec. 20, 2011, through Jan. 27, 2012. Surveys were submitted from individuals in 20 countries and 49 states.

Seventy-eight percent of the respondents selected one of the five names presented on the survey. Of those names, University of Western Colorado had the most votes, with 54 percent, followed by: Western Colorado University (18 percent); Western State Colorado University (17 percent); Western University of Colorado (6 percent); and Colorado Western University (5 percent).

RecyleMania Hits Western

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

RecycleMania is a friendly competition among more than 600 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada to reduce waste, increase recycling and raise awareness of conservation issues across campus.

Western has entered to compete in the Per Capita Classic. The goal is to see the largest combined amount of paper, cardboard and bottles and cans recycled per person through March 31. Western collects white paper, office pack, newspapers, magazines, cardboard, plastics 1 and 2, aluminum, green and clear glass and tin.

Free Tax Preparation Assistance Available at Western

Thursday, January 26, 2012

VITA is an IRS-sponsored, nationwide program. The free program is implemented by Western Accounting and Business majors who have completed a basic tax course, as well as an IRS training program and certification. The volunteers will prepare returns for taxpayers or review returns that taxpayers have prepared themselves.

VITA offers the ability to e-file tax returns at no cost. In most cases, taxpayers will receive any refund within three weeks.

Inside Western

Western Amigos Bring Holiday Cheer to Kids

Thursday, December 20, 2012

On a cold weekday evening, while flakes flew outside, a holiday fiesta was underway at Western’s University Center in Gunnison. Mexican food was on the menu, and lining a long wall behind a Christmas tree, dozens of gifts were stacked in a long row.

The presents were meant for a group of local children from the Gunnison Middle School Latino Boys and Girls Group and were collected by a enthusiastic Western State Colorado University student volunteers from the Amigos Club.

Small Business Development Center at Western Reports Impressive Impact

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Small Business Development Center at Western State Colorado University in Fiscal Year 2012, ending September 30, consulted 113 local businesses, resulting in $5.5 million in capital infusion, which includes 20 loans valued at $4.2 million. This performance helped create or retain 283 jobs. Also, 35 new firms were established in FY12 with assistance from the Small Business Development Center at Western, which serves Chaffee, Delta, Gunnison, Eagle, Hinsdale, Lake, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties.

Western’s Foundation Raises Record $6.8 Million, Welcomes New Members

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"We are incredibly grateful to the many alumni, friends, community members, corporations and foundations who have invested generously in Western’s future," said Tom Burggraf, executive director of the Foundation and Western’s vice president for institutional advancement. 

Western’s Concurrent Enrollment Program Increases College Opportunities for High School Students

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Western State Colorado University will provide high school students with increased access to higher education opportunities through its new Leap Concurrent Enrollment Program.

Designed to support students’ transition to college, the program allows current high school students the opportunity to take online college courses for both high school and college credit.

Enid and Paul Holden Donate South African Art Collection to Western

Friday, February 3, 2012

Items from the 35-piece collection, originally titled “Celebrate Freedom and Cultural Fusion: A New Generation in South Africa for the Millennium,” are displayed on the second floor of the University Center. Pieces include paintings, woodcuts, lithographs, linocuts and a carved cow hide, as well as the “Images of Human Rights Print Portfolio.”

Featured News

Western Commits to Title Sponsorship of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge Gunnison Stage

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gunnison will be the start of the race’s third stage on Aug. 22, which ends in Aspen.

According to Tom Burggraf, executive director of the WSC Foundation, the sponsorship offers opportunities to elevate visibility for Western and the entire Gunnison Valley.

Western Receives Literary Archive from the Weismiller Family

Friday, February 3, 2012

Weismiller was an award-winning poet and a literary scholar of the first order, especially in the field of literary prosody and the study of English poet John Milton. Published between the 1850s and 1990s, most of the donated works concern Milton and the study of literary prosody. Among them are a 1943, four-volume facsimile edition of Milton’s Poetical Works and a 1923 three-volume set of History of English Prosody by George Saintsbury.