Congressman Salazar to address Adams State graduates

(04-23-2009)

One of Adams State College's most accomplished alumni, Congressman John Salazar will address graduates at his alma mater's Commencement Ceremony, Saturday, May 9, at 10 a.m. in Plachy Hall on Stadium Dr.

The college will award 194 bachelor's degrees, 142 master's degrees and 18 associate's degrees. Dr. Randy Emmons and Gerald Corning will be honored as emeritus professors at the ceremony.

The Message from the Class of 2009 will be given by Jennifer Carter, president of Grizzly Activity Board and general manager of KASF radio.

"John Salazar is a wonderful example of an ASC Great Story," said Adams State President David Svaldi. "From humble beginnings and with hard work he has risen to become not only a regional leader, but a leader in the US Congress. He is also a friend to all across party lines, unpretentious, and approachable. We are extremely proud and fortunate to have him as our graduation speaker."

Congressman John Salazar, Adams State Class of 1982.

Congressman John Salazar, Adams State Class of 1982, will address graduates at Commencement, May 9.

Salazar is in his third term as a representative of Colorado's Third District in the U.S. Congress, one of the largest and most diverse in the nation. Its 29 counties include the San Luis Valley.

A native of Manassa, Colo., Salazar earned a degree in business administration from Adams State in 1982. He is one of only a handful of active farmers in Congress, as he continues to farm and ranch the same property in Conejos County his family has held since the mid-1800s.

Salazar was appointed to the House Committee on Appropriations in the 111th Congress, where he sits on the Energy and Water and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittees. He is a former member of the House Committee on Agriculture, where he played a key role in passing the historical Farm Bill of 2008.

In the 109th and 110th Congresses, Congressman Salazar was the only Coloradan with a seat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He worked to gain approval for a record $52.5 million for highway development in the Third Congressional District.

Salazar sponsored five pieces of legislation included in the historic Omnibus Public Lands Bill of 2009, which includes the Baca Wildlife Refuge Management Act and the Sangre De Cristo National Heritage Act. He has also supported appropriations to upgrade the City of Alamosa's water system infrastructure and to create the Center for Nursing Excellence in Alamosa.

From 2003-04, Salazar served in the Colorado State House of Representatives, representing District 62. As such, he gained recognition for protecting rural water and leading the fight to defeat Referendum A. He served in the United States Army from 1973-1976. He and his wife, Mary, Lou have three sons: Jesus, Esteban and Miguel.

By Julie Waechter