Jim Nicholson to Deliver 2012 Commencement Speech

Colorado Christian University is thrilled to announce that the 2012 CCU Commencement speaker will be Jim Nicholson, Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See (Vatican City). Join us as we celebrate the CCU class of 2012 Commencement Saturday, May 12, 2012 at Cherry Hills Community Church at 10:00 a.m. The ceremony is expected to last until 12:15 p.m. and will be a joyous celebration of the culmination of several semesters of hard work and spiritual growth of our CCU graduates.

Jim Nicholson’s Career, Contributions, Honors and Accomplishments

R. James “Jim” Nicholson was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs on December 9, 2004, and on January 26, 2005, the Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination. Sworn into office on February 1, 2005, Mr. Nicholson held this honorable position until October 1, 2007.

During his tenure as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Nicholson was the principal advocate for veterans in the U.S. government, ensuring that they received the support, recognition and dignity they deserved for serving our country. He also directed the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. government’s second largest Cabinet Department. The Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for a nationwide system of health care services, benefits programs, and national cemeteries for veterans and their dependents. Mr. Nicholson’s contributions to veterans and to the country, in general, will affect generations.

Mr. Nicholson not only worked for the betterment of the lives of veterans; he also served as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See (Vatican City), where he became a highly-respected advocate in Rome for the elevation of human dignity, emphasizing the need to fight human trafficking, allow for religious freedom, end world hunger, battle HIV/AIDS, and prevent international terrorism. In October 2003, Pope John Paul II knighted Mr. Nicholson for his humanitarian work.

Jim Nicholson’s Early Years, Education and Service

Born in 1938, Mr.  Nicholson grew up on a tenant farm in Iowa and had six siblings. In 1961 he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. and served eight years active duty as a paratrooper and Ranger-qualified Army officer. After twenty-two years in the Army Reserve, he retired with the rank of Colonel. He earned the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, the Meritorious Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and two Air Medals while serving in Vietnam.

After earning a master’s degree from Columbia University in New York, he earned his law degree from the University of Denver; he practiced law right here in Denver, specializing in real estate, municipal finance and zoning law. He founded Nicholson Enterprises, Inc., a developer of planned residential communities, in 1978 and in 1987, he bought Renaissance Homes, which became an award-winning builder of quality custom homes. Mr. Nicholson and his wife, Suzanne Marie Ferrell, an accomplished artist, are the parents of three adult children.

2012 CCU Commencement Information

Though no tickets are issued for the graduation ceremony, each 2012 graduate may invite six guests. Seating for the ceremony begins at 9:00 a.m., and seats being saved for late-arriving guests must be released by 9:45 a.m. to accommodate other guests who are present and waiting for a seat. Be sure to tell your guests to arrive early for this wondrous occasion. For those who are unable to attend, the 2012 CCU Commencement ceremony will be available for viewing online; simply visit the Commencement Live Stream the day of the ceremony to watch the ceremony. Families and guests can find out more information about the CCU Commencement ceremony on the CCU website.

Questions? Please e-mail CommencementSupport@ccu.edu or contact the University by calling toll free 1-800-44-FAITH or 303-963-3000.