This spring two notable liberal arts alumni were greeted by enthusiastic crowds during their visits to campus.
Halo and Xbox executive Bonnie Ross, a Journalism and Media Communication graduate, and Pulitzer prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, an English graduate, each traveled back to campus to speak with the liberal arts community about their experiences. The reception in both cases was overwhelmingly positive.
As Dean Ann Gill notes, “It is such an amazing experience for our students to have successful alumni come back to campus and talk about their careers and their journey since leaving Colorado State. The size and enthusiasm of the crowds at these events are an indication of how much it means to students to meet individuals who started where they are starting and have gone on to achieve extraordinary success.”
As appearing in the Collegian, by Chapman W. Croskell
For CSU alumna Bonnie Ross, her time as a Ram was a stepping stone into a career of technology and creativity.
Ross (Journalism, ’89), who spoke to a full lecture hall on March 31st, is the corporate vice president at Microsoft Studios and the head of 343 Industries, the group who produces the Halo video games. Ross spoke to students in classes during her visit to campus, and gave a talk titled “Video gaming: empowering creativity with technology.”
“My passion really is technology blending and merging with art,” Ross said during her lecture. “Technology empowering art and technology empowering storytelling.”
During her lecture, Ross spoke about the Halo franchise, as well as the technology used for the specific sort of storytelling that interests her. She showcased videos demonstrating actors participating in motion capture, and she also showed the work that went into the remastered games that 343 Industries has released.
Vast life experiences, paired with a solid academic foundation, have molded a brilliant and passionate man into a leader in the world of poetry.
Yusef Komunyakaa (English, ’78), a Pulitzer prize winner and current State Poet of New York, returned to his alma mater on April 21st to share his work and words with the CSU community.
Komunyakaa was raised in Louisiana during the civil rights movement, experiencing first-hand the turmoil surrounding the time. Later going on to serve in the Vietnam War, his experiences with life, death and adversity have often been the subjects of his work.
In 1994 his collection of poems, Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems 1977-1983 earned him a Pulitzer prize, as well as the $50,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Most recently, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced Komunyakaa as the Biennial Poet of New York State.