ALAMOSA - The Arkansas Valley students listed below graduated from Adams State University in Alamosa during its Spring 2019 Commencement Ceremony on May 11.

Joe I. Vigil, Ph.D., U.S. Hall of Fame Running Coach, once again inspired his audience at the Adams State Spring 2019 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony. Vigil received his bachelor's and master's degrees at Adams State. The U.S. Hall of Fame Running Coach encouraged the graduates to make the world a better place regardless of their profession, to stay healthy, and pursue knowledge.

"You are taught to be a leader at Adams State," Vigil said.

Nearly half of all Adams State undergraduates, who received their degree on May 11, are the first in their families to graduate from college, about 40-percent come from low-income backgrounds with 25 percent being both first-generation and low income. One-third of the class receiving either their associates or bachelor's degree, including the student speaker and psychology major Jessica Moorman, are from San Luis Valley high schools and nearly 60-percent from Colorado.

Adams State was the first college in Colorado to be designated a Hispanic Serving Institution and one-third of the 2019 spring class identify as Hispanic and half as minorities. Cleave Simpson, chair of the Adams State Board of Trustees, conveyed the greetings from the board, and music major Sarah Knight lead the singing of the Alma Mater.

Students from Las Animas are Joshua Japhet, bachelor of arts, biology: secondary education; and Kathryn Peterson, bachelor of arts in history, anthropology, political science and history and anthropology. The student from Rocky Ford is Taylor Ranae Donnell, bachelor of arts, business administration/general business.