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June. 28, 2007 Communique


Students at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will begin the fall semester with a combination of barbeque and inspiration.

Walter Isaacson, former CEO of Cable News Network and managing editor of Time Magazine, will deliver a keynote speech scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Aug. 15 in the University Center Gymnasium as part of the university’s first-ever opening convocation ceremony.

Isaacson, currently president of the Washington, D.C.-based Aspen Institute, is expected to talk with students about leadership, the importance of open-minded dialogue, and appreciation for timeless values. Isaacson will be available to sign copies of his book “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life,” and “Einstein: His Life and Universe.”

“Walter Isaacson is an ideal speaker to begin the semester and to inaugurate the university’s opening convocation,” Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak said. “I believe he will cement the concepts that we are part of a global society and that the biggest threat to our nation is a lack of tolerance and understanding.”

Convocations, derived from the Latin term meaning to “call together,” are popular both as beginning and end of semester ceremonies at many universities. UCCS opted to schedule the tradition as many first-time students live on-campus and arrive early to attend Freshman Seminar, an introduction to university life and to the greater Colorado Springs community.

While many universities offer opening convocations on the first day of classes in formal ceremonies, the UCCS convocation will be informal and will include parents of students. Parents and guests of first-year students can attend a barbeque immediately following opening convocation on the University Center Upper Plaza.

The Aspen Institute, founded in 1950, is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Through seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives, the Institute and its international partners seek to promote nonpartisan inquiry and an appreciation for timeless values. The Institute is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Its international network includes partner Aspen Institutes in Berlin, Rome, Lyon, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Bucharest, and leadership programs in Africa, Central America and India.