Ware to address ASC fall graduates

(12-10-2007)

Michael Ware, Adams State College class of 1969, will deliver the fall 2007 Adams State College Commencement address. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m., Saturday, December 15, in Plachy Hall. Adams State will award 233 degrees, including 91 bachelor's degrees, 129 master's degrees, and 13 associates degrees.

Ware is the Chief of Staff for US Senator Larry Craig, a position he accepted in January 1997. His career in politics includes serving as director of strategic planning and congressional affairs for the Republican National Committee, managing the Washington office for Conoco, Inc., and as director of house liaison for the Federal Energy Administration during the Gerald Ford Administration.

He said his early career was dependent on his being able to write and speak well. "I had an excellent foundation built at Adams State College in both of those disciplines," Ware said. "More important than that, I believe, ASC taught me to think analytically and independently."

According to Ware, a career in politics and public service is multilayered. He said he appreciates knowing the "real story, the people and the process." Another layer, Ware said, is the "game" aspect of elections and electioneering.

"There are winners and losers," he said. "There are strategies and game plans. And all of this is compressed into relatively small time-frames, which adds to the drama and excitement of every decision."

Ware said he values having a significant voice in important matters of public policy. "To see your ideas and your words codified and implemented is very gratifying," he said. "Politics and policy, two sides of the same coin, are endlessly changing and endlessly challenging. The working environment they create is so dynamic, so wholly enveloping, as to make other careers, for me, much less fulfilling."

For graduates entering the political field, Ware said he would recommend asking, why politics. "Develop and understand your unique political philosophy," he said. "Work at something else before you begin your political career so as to understand, first hand, the effect of government, its limits and its excesses. Start in your local community, with your local party. Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Thomas "Tip" O'Neil said, "...all politics is local." Understand what he meant."

Ware is married to Dena Wiggins, a senior partner in the firm of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, and they have two sons, Brendan and Bailey.

Dr. Carolyn Harper will receive emeritus professor of theater at the fall commencement. Harper retires after 23 years at Adams State College, including nearly 10 years as the chair, from 1984 until 1993.

Tim Walters, chair of the Adams State Board of Trustees, will convey the greetings from the board, while Jandalynn Stelter, Associated Students and Faculty senator for Education and Graduate Studies, will deliver the 2007 class message. Dr. Christine Keitges, professor of music, will lead the singing of the Alma Mater. A reception sponsored by AS&F will follow the ceremony for graduates and their guests in the Plachy Hall Field House.

By Linda Relyea