ALAMOSA — The Message from the Class of 2017 will be given at Adams State University’s fall commencement ceremony by Taylor Trujillo, of Del Norte. She and her younger sister, Lauren Trujillo, will both receive a bachelor of arts in theatre and are graduating summa cum laude – with highest honors. They are also both first generation college students.
Adams State will award 219 undergraduate degrees – 107 associate’s and 112 bachelor’s – at the ceremony on Saturday, December 16, at 10 a.m. in Adams State University’s Plachy Hall. Thirty-eight percent of the graduates are from the San Luis Valley, and 36 percent identify as Hispanic. Forty-five percent are considered low income. Like Taylor and her sister, 43 percent are the first in their families to earn a college degree.
“The success of Taylor Trujillo is proof of the power of Adams State University’s mission. We are committed to providing quality higher education to our rural region and all underserved students,” said Adams State President Beverlee J. McClure.
Taylor said her entire family is excited about the ceremony. “It’s really cool, and I’m super proud. Once we’ve graduated, other family members will recognize that they can, too. The barriers are gone. We have a younger cousin we hope will consider college and we can help her. If we can do it, she can, too.”
Because she took concurrent classes while still in high school, Taylor finished her degree in three and a half years. That head start, combined with Adams State scholarships, helped her to graduate with no student debt.
“I have grown as person and intellectually. I’m nowhere near where I started,” Taylor said. “I’m confident I can go to any professional theatre company and hold my own. At ASU I learned critical thinking skills, so now when I hear something or read anything, I know to make my own decisions.”
Taylor availed herself of all the college experience has to offer. She has been very active in the theatre program, having designed, acted, stage managed, costumed, and ushered in over 28 shows in the Adams State Theatre. This semester she co-directed An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe. In the most recent show, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she was an actor, assistant costume designer, head hair and makeup designer, and assistant lighting designer.
Through her work study positions, Taylor has helped run the planetarium, taught tae-kwon-do at the Rex Activity Center, and worked as the theatre’s costume shop foreman.
Taylor also participated in AS&F student government and was the club representative for Model United Nations. Fittingly, Taylor is a member of the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success. Her goal is to pursue a theatre career in Denver and, ultimately, Los Angeles.