Koncilja siblings to share commencement address at CSU–Pueblo Spring Ceremony


A brother and sister who have excelled both in the legal profession and in historical preservation will share their experiences with graduates of Colorado State University-Pueblo in May. Pueblo natives Frances and Joseph Koncilja, who both earned undergraduate degrees from the University, will co-present the Commencement Address to more than 500 graduating senior during the spring ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 2 at the Colorado State Fair Events Center.

On May 2, guests at the commencement ceremony may arrive after 8 a.m. in order to secure seating, which is on a first-come, first-served basis. Following the commencement ceremony, the CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association will sponsor a reception for graduates and their guests in the lower level of the Kitchen Craft Hall (formerly the Palace of Agriculture).
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Frances Koncilja has extensive experience as lead counsel in intricate commercial litigation for large corporations, individuals, and partnerships which require resolution of complex accounting and financing matters. She is a past-President of the Colorado Bar Association, a founder and charter member of the Colorado Women's Bar, and serves on many bar, judicial, and civic boards and commissions. President D'Alemberte of the American Bar Association appointed Frances in 1991 to a three-year term on the ABA's Committee on the Judiciary, which reviews and rates all federal judicial appointments. The Mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper, appointed Frances as one of the co-chairs of the Justice Center Task Force - a committee of 48 citizens charged with analyzing Denver's need for a new jail and courthouse. Frances then went on to serve as one of the chairs of the Committee for a Safe Denver whose mission was to obtain voter approval for the $378 million jail and courthouse complex. She also was appointed to the Executive Committee of Hickenlooper's 2006 Infrastructure Task Force. Frances graduated from then Southern Colorado State College in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in political science.

She received her Juris Doctor in 1972 from the University of Colorado School of Law on scholarships. Both universities have honored her as an Outstanding Alumnus. The mother of two sons, she is an accomplished cook, pianist, gardener, and an enthusiastic skier.

Joseph Koncilja earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern Colorado in 1973 He acquired his legal education at the University of Denver College of Law. In 1982, Joe founded the Koncilja law firm. Five years later, Joe, joined by his brother, James Koncilja, formed Koncilja & Koncilja, P.C. , which now employs 19 staff and seven lawyers. Joe is a frequent lecturer for Colorado Continuing Legal Education, is a founding member of the National College  DUI Defense, a member of the American Bar Association, as well as having the distinct honor of being selected a Fellow of American Bar Foundation. Joe is also a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, the Pueblo Bar Association, and the Colorado Bar Association.

He and his brother, Jim, have been instrumental in the development of the Union Avenue
Historic District since the early 1980’s. Together, they have purchased and renovated more than 15 buildings. They also have other real estate holdings in Pueblo, but Union Avenue is their primary focus.

Over the years, Joe has sponsored annual Christmas parties for Pueblo’s homeless children, donated Christmas gifts for striking steel worker’s children, and have provided the setting for the largest community Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners at the Union Depot.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.