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Celeste M. Colgan --- Diamond Jubilee Outstanding "Alumna
Bachelor of Science - English - 1961
Master of Arts - English - 1965
Celeste Colgan is living proof that liberal education can prepare a person for many careers, rather than for one narrow specialty. Her successes as a college teacher, business manager, chief financial officer, and federal manager attest to the wide range of possibilities supported by a liberal education's broad base.
"I transferred to UW in my junior year from a large midwestern university. Many people asked me about the differences between the two institutions. I remember saying -- and it continues to be my most powerful memory -- that the faculty at UW was, without contest, a better group of teachers." From UW, she went on to earn a PhD in English literature from the University of Maryland. She began her teaching career at Laramie Senior High School, later teaching on the faculties of UW, Casper College, Black Hills State College in Spearfish, South Dakota, and the University of Maryland. At Casper College, she chaired the Division of Language and Literature, supervising faculty as well as teaching full time. In 1977, she joined private industry as operations manager and chief financial officer for a Cheyenne corporation and its three affiliates. In 1988, two years after joining the National Endowment for the Humanities, she became its deputy chairman, managing the programs and operations of this high-profile agency with 265 full-time employees and programs in every state and U.S. territory. Her volunteer work has been an extension of her commitment to liberal arts. From 1978 to 1983, she chaired the Wyoming Council for the Humanities, and was organizing president of the Wyoming Chautauqua Society in 1985.