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2017's Pinnacol Foundation scholarship recipients graduate

July 28, 2017
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In the time it takes most college grads to finish writing their thank-you cards for their graduation gifts, James Frye has racked up some pretty impressive accomplishments. Since mid-May, he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Air Force, earned the prestigious Distinguished Graduate recognition from ROTC Detachment 90 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Colorado State University. And he’s not stopping there. Later this year, he’s headed to active duty as a project engineer at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska.

Frye, whose mother was injured in a workplace accident, attributes much of his success to the fact that he didn’t have to work as a college student, thanks to the Pinnacol Foundation.

“As most college students know, the cost of attendance can be all but crippling without outside help,” said Frye. "Because of this tremendous support from Pinnacol, I was able to eliminate the need to work a part-time job during the school year. This allowed me to fully concentrate on my engineering studies as well as my military and leadership development.”

Foundation graduates range in backgrounds, degrees

Frye is part of a graduating class of 18 foundation scholarship recipients this year, 12 of whom are first-generation college graduates. The next time you fill a prescription or meet with your child’s elementary school teacher, you might be face-to-face with a Pinnacol Foundation graduate. With degrees in aerospace engineering, English literature and electroneurodiagnostics, this graduating class is an impressive group.

Take Jessie Slepicka, for instance. He graduated this spring from the University of Northern Colorado, but has no plans to slow down. Slepicka completed his bachelor’s degree in three years and will be attending graduate school in the fall.

“I would like to thank the Pinnacol Foundation for their tremendous support during my college experience," said Slepicka. "Just knowing that I could count on the funds Pinnacol provided was great. I am the first in my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree — my parents are very proud of me.”

Learn more about the foundation at  

Congratulations to the 2017 Pinnacol Foundation graduates

  • Nathan Adams, bachelor’s degree in biology, Nebraska Wesleyan University*
  • Crystal Angevine, bachelor’s degree in English, Colorado State University - Fort Collins
  • Jason Bass, bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering, University of Colorado - Boulder
  • Jayme Bass, bachelor’s degree in nursing, University of Northern Colorado
  • Morgan Bills, bachelor’s degree in communications, University of Colorado - Colorado Springs*
  • Ashley Courtney, bachelor’s degree in special education, Metropolitan State University of Denver*
  • Zachary English, bachelor’s degree in business management, Adams State University*
  • James Frye, bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Colorado State University - Fort Collins
  • Tiffany Hardy-Gonzales, associate degree in arts, Front Range Community College*
  • Ryan Imber, bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Fort Hays State University
  • Andrea Kinternecht, bachelor’s degree in English literature, Colorado Mesa University*
  • Alejandra Loya, bachelor’s degree in business management, Metropolitan State University of Denver*
  • Dillon Marchello, bachelor’s degree in philosophy, University of Oregon*
  • Bretta Maughan, associate degree in electroneurodiagnositics, The Institute of Health Sciences*
  • Dakota Proctor, bachelor’s degree in business management, Colorado State University - Pueblo*
  • Luis Ramirez, bachelor’s degree in economics, New Mexico State University
  • Jessie Slepicka, bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, University of Northern Colorado*
  • Landon Stang, bachelor’s degree in physical education and health, McPherson College*

*Scholar is a first-generation college student.

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