By Ann Gill (M.A., ’76)
After two years at Aims Community College, Michele Craig (B.A., ’97) transferred to Colorado State University and majored in political science. She loved her political science courses and how engaging the professors were. Even more, Michele loves being a Ram. This Alumni Association Life Member says she inherited both her devotion to the University and her generous spirit from her father.
James Martin Craig (B.S., ’75) played right guard and tackle for the Rams. Michele was born while her parents were students at CSU. Her father would tell her stories of his job sweeping floors at Moby, which he did with her strapped on his back. Her grandparents attended nearly all his games at Hughes Stadium, and they saved the programs and newspaper articles as well as letters he wrote them during that time. Michele treasures these mementos of her late father’s life.
James spent his career working for Southland Corporation, operator/franchiser of 7-Eleven stores. Shortly before his death in fall of 1999, he was watching the Rocky Mountain Showdown on television, which CSU won for the first time since 1986. He was so excited at how the game was going, he called her at halftime, as she was unable to attend the game. She treasures that memory, as “he sounded super happy!”
Compassion in Action
While she was at CSU, Michele worked full time for Martin Luther Homes (now Mosaic), which ran group homes for adults with intellectual disabilities. She also volunteered for Larimer County Special Olympics. Her passion for helping this population derives from an uncle with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
This passion for helping has extended to Michele’s professional life. She now is section manager of complex and supportive services at the Colorado Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing, the state Medicare agency. She manages programs for people who need long-term support, including seniors and those with intellectual and physical disabilities. The pandemic has affected this population greatly, causing disruption in services they need.
Bleeding Green and Gold
Her aunt says Michele’s love of the Rams is “in her blood” as she attended her first game before she was 9 months old. Her current coworkers, many of whom are CU alumni, tease her about her allegiance to the Rams. They joke that her office looks like the gift section of the CSU Bookstore. She and one CU alumna coworker decorate the other’s office with swag of their own team. The two go together to both Rams at the Rockies and the CU Day at the Rockies. Michele recalls wearing a black tee shirt to a party of mainly CU alumni, which really pleased the attendees until they read the printing: “I love CSU Rams.”
In her free time, Michele enjoys traveling to visit family and friends. One of her favorite trips was to Graceland and Memphis. She had a trip to New Orleans scheduled, but COVID caused its cancellation. She is anxious to reschedule, but even more, she cannot wait to cheer on the Rams in person!
At Colorado State University, Rams take care of Rams – and our loyal Alumni Association members exemplify that every day. Membership strengthens the alumni experience and allows us to continue to serve and care for our alumni family. In today’s changing world, we are obligated to nurture the communities we cherish, to uphold those values and principles, and to protect traditions that reinvigorate our Ram Pride. Those efforts have the power to transform the lives of our fellow Rams – on campus, online, and wherever you see the Green and Gold. We will strengthen our CSU family because of our commitment to each other.
With you, we can do these things. With you, we will.
When you join the Colorado State University Alumni Association, you not only acknowledge that you are a part of a larger, global community of caring Rams, it also affords you access numerous benefits such as career services, exclusive discounts, and a suite of engagement opportunities to keep you connected with Colorado State University and with one another.