The class of 2015 was the first Colorado College class to graduate indoors in at least 28 years. The ceremony was held in the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs due to inclement weather.

William “Bro” Adams ’72, the chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), gave the 2015 commencement address. The former president of Bucknell University and Colby College, Adams is nationally known as a strong advocate for the humanities and the liberal arts.

During his commencement address, he told graduating seniors about joining the Army in 1965, the year that the Vietnam War escalated substantially. Although it was a long and difficult year, he recalled, it prepared him to be curious about the world in a new way, focused his attention on the future, and gave him an appetite for study. Drawing from his CC experience, he emphasized to graduates the importance of giving back.

“There is one form of service I can confidently say is obligatory for each and every one of you, and that is service to alma mater. … The buildings where we learned and played, the classrooms where we studied, the scholarships that helped many of us attend — those were gifts. And now it’s your turn to give.”

Read the full text of Adams’ commencement address.

On the heels of this memorable commencement ceremony, the college reported raising more than $37.1 million in cash, pledges, and estate commitments during Colorado College’s 2015 fiscal year, which concluded June 30. The total included $19.6 million in cash and outright gifts — an amount when combined with gifts received during the previous three fiscal years — equals $73.8 million. In total, it represents the best four-year period of fundraising in the college’s 141-year history.

Looking back to their years at Colorado College, members of the graduating class shared their “most CC memory.”

“Meeting for breakfast with five other people, in random coffee shops in Paris every morning for one week. Four people were students and the other a professor and we were not just chatting, but having class on the Negritude Movement in the Francophone world — CC Semester in France, Spring 2014.” – Nompendulo Shongwe ’15

“Streaking around the Grinnell campus with their track team the day before the Dick Young Invitational in 2012.” – Graham Frank ’15

“One of my most CC memories is reaching Independence Pass with the Aspen Bike Trip. The costumes, the music, the dancing, being above treeline, AMAZING.” – Madison Andres ’15

“Cigars during 8th Block evenings watching the sunset with friends.” – Courtney Lockwood ’15