Gen. James Dickinson ’85 will deliver three commencement addresses next week. In 2018 he was the keynote speaker at the Veterans Symposium.
Colorado State University will welcome a distinguished alumnus, U.S. Army Gen. James H. Dickinson, as guest speaker at three of its commencement ceremonies.
Dickinson is a four-star general in the U.S. Army who serves as Commander of U.S. Space Command, the country’s 11th and newest unified combatant command. On the morning of Friday, May 13, he will preside over a joint service ceremony where about 50 U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) graduates will receive their commissions as officers into their respective branches of the U.S. military.
Later that day, Dickinson will address graduates of the College of Business as their commencement speaker. And on Saturday, May 14, Dickinson will address graduates of his alma mater, the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering. Dickinson earned his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering in 1985, when he also graduated from CSU’s Army ROTC program and earned his commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Defense Artillery.
Dickinson said that getting his CSU engineering degree helped shape his life and career by teaching him discipline and follow-through; team building; solving complex problems; and most importantly, “lifelong learning.”
“The mentality of always questing to learn new things is key, whether you’re learning about space, or taking an interest in the lives of those around you,” he said.
In addition to his CSU degree, Dickinson holds a Master of Science in operations research and systems analysis from the Colorado School of Mines, as well as a master’s degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College.
Dickinson is a familiar face on campus. On Sept. 8, 2018, he served as honorary cannoneer of the inaugural football game at then-newly named Canvas Stadium. He also served as the keynote speaker at the September 2018 Veterans Symposium, delivering a talk titled “Leadership: The Current Generation of Veterans.”
Dickinson visited with ROTC students and CAM the Ram while on campus in 2018. He served as honorary cannoneer at the football game in Canvas Stadium on Sept. 8, 2018.
Defending U.S. interests in space
Dickinson is a native of Estes Park, Colorado and has commanded at every level of the U.S. Army, from platoon to combatant command. He is the senior air and missile defense officer in the Department of Defense.
Asked what message he will impart to all graduating CSU students, Dickinson replied that while we live during a time of unprecedented sociopolitical and economic complexity, “we also live during a time with exponential opportunities for success.”
“I encourage you to shoot for the moon,” he said.