Colorado Mesa University graduation

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Stocker Stadium was packed Saturday morning for Colorado Mesa University's May commencement ceremony.

This was the first time CMU held a split ceremony, with graduates from about a dozen academic departments getting their diplomas in the morning, and those from a smaller handful in the afternoon.

Senator Cory Gardner was the commencement speaker, and he had some advice for the graduates.

“Making sure that we’re enjoying the outdoors, and connecting with each other, it’s about making sure we give back to this great country that has given them the opportunity to be here today with this great education they’ve received," said Cory Gardner, U.S. Senator, R-CO.

CMU said more than 1,300 students got their degree Saturday, some more than one.