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Glory, glory Colorado

Elizabeth Chicoine

I predict that 2006 will be the University of Colorado’s golden year. Established in 1876, CU has had its ups and downs in becoming a flagship school.This New Year’s Eve, I bid farewell to the naysayers and negative press that tried to join the antics of sinking CU. Goodbye, sensational headlines. Welcome back to the good times. Referendum C passed and in the budget year of 2006-07, $61 million has been proposed as revenue to be headed back to higher education in Colorado. Congratulations, voters. You believed in and supported the glory of higher learning.The CU motto is “Let Your Light Shine.” So as the clock strikes midnight, I am going to be sure to think of the light of tomorrow for a university that has produced astronauts, Nobel Prize laureates, composers, oh, and yes, my mom. Back in 1957 she was a cheerleader when coach Dal Ward took the team to the Orange Bowl. What a shining celebration that was. Oh, by the way, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Party school? Maybe. Does a balance exist there? I think so. Does CU have a hand in producing amazing human beings? My experience as the daughter of a CU alum tells me absolutely, yes! To anyone visiting from out of town, my commentary focuses on the perspective of Mom, and how life rolls along via a mother’s lens. This daughter is proud of her mom.But tonight, the pride keeps overflowing. My nephew may be at CU next year. How do I humbly tuck his Pacific Coast accomplishments into this column? Impossible. CU slam-dunked when they recruited this kid. I talked to him a bit about his application. I especially enjoyed his response to a question regarding the CU creed. The creed might be a good resolution this New Year’s Eve for each of us to live by. The Web site is http://www.colorado.edu/creed. The University of Colorado at Boulder Web site reads, “If you are a CU-Boulder student, faculty or staff member, learn about the creed and live it as a member of the community.”Words mentioned in the creed are accountability, honor, and integrity, respect, accept, and contribute. Good words to think about this New Year’s Eve if you are writing out resolutions for tomorrow and 2007.My hope is that the press in Colorado follows some of the advice in the CU creed. Having been somewhat desensitized to seeing CU in a negative light, are we as readers ready to fight the press for no more sensationalized headlines? I nearly screamed the other day when The Denver Post ran a front-page headline about a crime, but led it off with the words “University of Colorado student.” The fact that he is a student had no connection with his technological crime. The press needs to write about the other 24,709 students as well. Future physicists, judges, filmmakers, governors, and inventors are poised among these numbers. The crime was the real news, but the story caught far more attention hanging onto the coattails of the brow-beaten affiliation between the words Colorado University and scandal. Bandwagon effect is old news of 2005. And yes, the press should look at the graduates of my mom’s era, 1958. She was an amazing mother. My mom raised four kids, and each of us is a solid contributor to society. She raised lawyers, writers, fathers and mothers. She definitely lived life with the creed in mind.But this is everyone’s column on New Year’s Eve. My mom is your mom. Yes, of necessity, we are all cheerleaders of CU in 2006. Let’s stomp out the political and media events of 2005 and remind the world that the environment of CU is amazing.I was actually hired by Don Rogers, the editor of The Vail Daily, via a submitted commentary that was never run by my former paper, The Vail Trail. In my application-commentary sample, I went head to head with Don regarding the sensationalizing of CU in the press. He is an editor who can see the value in a differing opinion. In it, I used an analogy of CU as a flagship: “Let us look today at our kids in the valley who are relying on CU. Get behind those kids. Find out about the many great planks in the wood of CU. Those teachers permeate the hull of our flagship. Let us not forget them, nor our crew, our Colorado children.”I still believe those words I wrote six months ago. My nephew will perhaps be the next legacy in our family to hop on board. Have you heard about the Colorado Pre-Paid Tuition plan? What a great deal for in-state students! Living in a place such as Vail, we all know how volatile the market can be. I see CU as a great buy right now. Lock the tuition if you can, because CU is charging ahead, with Ralphie the Buffalo still leading to “glory, glory Colorado.” Happy 2006, and of course, say a toast for CU tonight!Elizabeth H. Chicoine of Eagle writes a weekly column for the Daily. She can be reached at echicoine@centurytel.netVail, Colorado


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