Posts in: General News

Board Votes to Name Cornerstone Venue ‘Richard F. Celeste Theatre’

The Colorado College Board of Trustees has honored President Richard F. Celeste, the 12th president of Colorado College, by naming the south theater in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center the “Richard F. Celeste Theatre.”

Board members passed the resolution at their May meeting, saying they wished to recognize Celeste for his “exemplary leadership as president of Colorado College for nine years; his deep passion for all things CC, including the interdisciplinary arts; and his strong commitment to building and sustaining a rich relationship between the college and its treasured community of Colorado Springs.”

The venue is the main theater in Colorado College’s iconic $33.4 million, 72,400-square-foot interdisciplinary arts center, designed by architect Antoine Predock. The building, dedicated at the October 2008 Homecoming and Parent’s Weekend, has earned a gold-level LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The theater has been the venue for such events as lectures by author Amy Tan and U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan; the first-time gathering of three cutting-edge playwrights, David Henry Hwang, Tony Kushner and Suzan-Lori Parks; the “Four Governors, One Stage” event in which former Colorado governors Dick Lamm, Roy Romer and Bill Owens gathered for a discussion moderated by Celeste, a former two-term governor of Ohio; and numerous concerts, films and dance presentations.

The theater holds a maximum of 451 seats. The venue is equipped with a variable room acoustic system with which the necessary acoustical aura can be literally dialed in with digitally controlled enhancements.

Celeste steps down as president of the college on June 30 and will be succeeded by Jill Tiefenthaler, currently the provost at Wake Forest University.

Two Philosophy Majors Present Work at Philosophy Conference

Two Colorado College philosophy majors recently presented their work at Pacific University’s Undergraduate Philosophy Conference.

Madeline Mindich ’11 presented “The Human Condition and the Ethics of Remembering It: An Essay Inspired by the ‘Concluding Unscientific Postscript’.” Joel Bock ’11 presented “Dwelling as Being at Home in the World: The Heideggerian Plight of Dwelling in Wolfe’s ‘You Can’t Go Home Again’.”

The Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference is an annual, two-day conference held each spring, attracting students from across the country and internationally. The purpose of the conference is to provide a forum for the presentation of philosophical work of undergraduates to their peers. Since 1997, almost 1,000 students from more than 240 schools have participated.

All of the participants are undergraduate students, with the exception of the annual keynote address by a renowned philosopher. Past keynote speakers have included Paul Churchland, Hilary Putnam, John Searle, Keith Lehrer, Catherine Elgin, John Perry, Hubert Dreyfus, Jerry Fodor, and Alvin Plantinga.

Dylan Nelson’s ‘Soundtrack for a Revolution’ to Air May 9 on PBS

“Soundtrack for a Revolution,” the documentary produced by Dylan Nelson, Colorado College’s artist-in-residence for film studies, will air on Monday, May 9 on PBS’s “American Experience.”

Poster for the documentary "Soundtrack for a Revolution"

The 82-minute documentary is the story of the American Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, told through the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in meetings and in jails. As current singers perform songs from the era, interviews and archival footage evoke the movement’s emotional history.

A companion to the PBS history series, “American Experience” includes features on a range of people and events in American history. Praised as the finest documentary series on television, “American Experience” brings to life the compelling stories from the past that inform our understanding of the world today.

In addition to the documentary’s debut on “American Experience,” Nelson, along with the directors, will present the film at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday, May 11, at its contemporary documentaries series. The program is a showcase for feature-length and short documentaries drawn from the Academy Award nominations, including the winners, as well as other important and innovative films considered by the Academy that year.

Nelson, along with her husband, Clay Haskell, teach a variety of filmmaking classes, as well as the popular off-campus class, “On Location: Hollywood.”

KASA Members Host Korean Culture Camp for Community Members

Members of CC’s Korean American Student Union (KASA) recently held a day-long Korean Culture Camp for Korean children in Colorado Springs adopted by American families.

KASA members, campers, and their families at the Korean Culture Camp. Photo by Mina Chung

The camp, held during the Block 6 break in Loomis Lounge, was attended by 15-20 children ages 3-10.

In the past, KASA has held a Korean culture night with dancing, food, and music, but this year the group wanted to tackle something different. “We wanted to do something that would last,” said YaeEun Grace Hahm ’11, a biochemistry and music major.

The event was organized by Hahm, who co-chairs KASA with Mina Chung ’13, and Alexandria Song ’12, secretary of the group. Six additional KASA members helped with the camp.

Sample of a worksheet distributed at the camp.

The day featured games, songs, food, story-telling, and crafts. The adopted children’s American families also attended, so they, too, could learn about Korean culture. “It was a good community outreach project,” said Hahm, who is from Korea originally but moved to Boulder with her family when she was 9.

The goal was to teach the adoptees about their Korean heritage because many of their American parents were not equipped with that knowledge. KASA members taught parents about Korean cuisine and how to prepare simple dishes, and gave parents recipes and samples. The children were taught simple Korean phrases, songs, and games. 

“We wanted the Korean adoptees to know that we do care, and that they have a lot of support from everyone,” Hahm said. Although she is a senior, Hahm said she is hopeful that the camp will continue. “We got a lot of ideas for other things we want to do next time,” she said. “The first time is the most difficult.”

Bowed Piano Ensemble Goes Down Under

Bowed Piano Ensemble Director Stephen Scott, nine Colorado College students, and soprano soloist Victoria Hansen will begin their third concert tour Down Under on Monday, May 16.

The ensemble, CC’s internationally recognized experimental music group, will perform in New Zealand and Australia during their two-week tour. Concerts will be held at the University of Auckland and the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington, followed by concerts in Australia at the prestigious Canberra International Music Festival, Campbelltown Arts Centre in Sydney, and Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane.

A preview concert will be held at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 11 in Packard Hall, on the Colorado College campus.

The ensemble, which performs using fish line, ribbon, mallets, and brushes on the interior components of a grand piano, was founded by Scott in 1977. Hansen, principal voice instructor at Colorado College, often performs with the group.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the ensemble’s second Australia tour; their first trip there, in 1987, centered on a live national radio broadcast from the Sydney Opera House. The ensemble has released five recordings, appeared numerous times on network and cable television in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, and are frequently heard on live and recorded national radio broadcasts.

On the first and fifth anniversaries of the September 11 attacks, the group was featured on National Public Radio’s “Sonic Memorial Project” commemorating the people and neighborhoods of the World Trade Center, where they had performed shortly before the attacks.

Three CC Math Majors Receive NSF Research Fellowships

A current student and two recent Colorado College graduates have received National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships.

Lauren Shoemaker ’11, a double major in mathematics and biology, will embark on a Ph.D. program in ecology at the University of Colorado in the fall. Shoemaker carried out her senior thesis research on the sustainable management of reef fish at the National Marine Fisheries Service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Sarah Wolff ’10, a soccer player who graduated magna cum laude with a mathematics degree, is a first-year graduate student in math at Dartmouth College. At her senior thesis presentation, her teammates showed up with a big banner that read: “Prove That Theorem!”  It now hangs proudly in the math department student lounge.

Jess Coyle ’08, who graduated magna cum laude with degrees in biology and mathematics, is a first-year graduate student in ecology at the University of North Carolina. She spent a year before graduate school teaching at a school for HIV orphans in Malawi.

“These NSF fellowships are very prestigious, so for three students from a small college to get them in one year is a really amazing accomplishment,” said David Brown, associate math professor. “It is a real testament to the talent of our students and to the educational opportunities available at Colorado College.  It is a privilege to work with bright young scientists like these, and we couldn’t be prouder of them.

The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters’ and doctoral degrees. Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Google founder Sergey Brin and “Freakonomics” co-author Steven Levitt.

Have S’more of the Cornerstone Arts Center

The Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center was designed to be interdisciplinary, but we’re not sure that edible was part of the plan.

But, if you want to have your building and eat it too, head to Nosh, 121 S. Tejon St., where pastry chef Alicia Prescott has created the Cornerstone Almond S’more, a graham cracker, marshmallow, and almond cake rendition of Colorado College’s state-of-the-art interdisciplinary arts center. 

The six-inch, multi-layered dessert is available Thursday through Saturday evenings in April, designated as Colorado Architecture Month. Prescott teamed up with architect Christy Riggs for Delicious Designs, a program that celebrates architecture through dessert. The Colorado component of the American Institute of Architects  pairs up several Colorado architects and chefs to create a limited-time offering of desserts inspired by architecture throughout the state.

The foundation of the dessert is a flourless almond cake cut into building block shapes and coated with milk chocolate. The glass is depicted with marshmallow, and the iconic prow and copper side walls are rendered with chocolate-covered graham crackers. Once the building is assembled, the marshmallow is torched for a glazed appearance. Caramel sauce and orange segments complete the presentation.

The Cornerstone Almond S’more feeds two to three and costs $12. The wait staff presents the dessert with an artist’s rendition of the building, to help orient diners.

Prescott says it takes several days to prepare the dessert for assembly, as her staff needs to make the almond cake and graham crackers, coat them with chocolate, and cut them into the proper sized pieces. However, once the ingredients are ready, assembling CC’s iconic building can be done in three to four minutes.

“It’s fun and challenging,” Prescott says. Last year she and Riggs also participated in the program with two entries: a dessert rendition of the Fine Arts Center served at Nosh, and the then-new Goodwill building served at The Blue Star.

Other architecture being represented via desserts throughout the state this month include the Brown Palace Hotel, Pepsi Center, Marble Garden at Aspen Meadows, and Denver’s Millennium Bridge.

Chloe Banning ’14 Secures Spot on World Cup Tour

Chloe Banning '14 on the podium at the USASA Nationals. Note the CC Tiger sticker on her snowboard.

Competitive snowboarder Chloe Banning ’14 recently completed an impressive season, securing a spot on the World Cup tour for the 2011-12 season. Banning, who finished 20th overall in World Cup boardercross standings, also was named the Nor-Am championship for the second consecutive year. The Nor-Am Cup is a snowboard series one level below World Cup competition.

Banning, who competes in boardercross competitions, placed fourth in this season’s Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix. She finished behind world champion Lindsey Jacobellis, 2010 boardercross Olympic Silver medalist Deborah Anthonioz of France, and Olympian Faye Gulini.

Banning also had a third-place finish this season at the Junior World Championships (age 20 and under), held in Valmalenco, Italy. This season she competed in Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Utah, Oregon, California, and Colorado – with a CC Tiger sticker on her snowboard!

Banning, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., started snowboarding when she was 7 and began competing a year later.  She plans to pursue a career in medicine, with a major in either biology or math.

Boardercross is a snowboard competition in which a group of snowboarders, usually four, start simultaneously atop an inclined course of various features, then race to reach the finish line first. Snowboard cross became an Olympic sport in 2006, and has been part of the Winter X Games since the annual event began in 1997.

What’s going on at Van Briggle?

 By George Eckhardt, Manager of Logistical Support

Is all the activity going on at Van Briggle over the past couple of weeks an extreme makeover, a building demolition project, an archeological dig, or a new construction project?

 The correct answer is all of the above. Thanks to the generous support from the Schlessman family, longtime Colorado College benefactors, the Van Briggle building exterior and surrounding landscape is receiving an extreme makeover, to be concluded by mid-June.

 Much like the nearly completed Cutler Hall and Cossitt Hall improvements, both part of the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP), there is an improvement project at Van Briggle, 1125 Glen Ave., and the Transportation Shop across the street, 1144 Glen Ave.  The project is intended to greatly improve the “gateway first impression” appearance for Colorado College and for the entry to historic Monument Valley Park for vehicle traffic traveling on Uintah Street. 

 The goal is to attractively screen the maintenance vehicle parking area on the north side of the Van Briggle building, and the fleet vehicle parking area across the street at the Transportation Shop.  A Colorado College campus stone sign replica of the Cascade and Nevada parkway median signs will be installed at an angle along the Uintah Street east-bound traffic lanes, just before reaching the Uintah Bridge, to announce arrival at the college.

 The Western Ridge residential buildings will be visible, directly over the top of the new sign.  Also, the improvements will eliminate the street side parking on the west side of Van Briggle, and add attractive landscaping around the historic Van Briggle building and the Transportation Shop property to greatly improve aesthetics. 

The local community and many other interested visitors to the historic building will have more access and interaction with the west side of the Van Briggle building to explore and photograph the unique architectural features.  Hardly a day passes that curious and historically knowledgeable visitors do not stop to take photos and drop in through the front office for a look at the building interior to learn more about the Van Briggle pottery history.  Many, too, are interested in the Historic Walking Tour Van Briggle National Register listing: )

 Decorative brick screen walls, much like the existing brick screen wall on the west side of the Van Briggle building, will be constructed around the north side parking area, and at the north side of the Transportation Shop parking area. In both projects the brick screen walls will be set back significantly from the property line boundaries to allow for attractive landscaping, which will provide a softer park-like or garden-like appearance, and still provide an uninterrupted view toward the campus’ Western Ridge residences above Stewart Field as vehicular traffic approaches the college from I-25.  The new landscaping will blend nicely with the attractive Horticultural Art Society garden on the south side of the Van Briggle building.  The Van Briggle brick screen wall also will emphasize the northern view of the attractive upper Van Briggle building roof lines and showcase the building’s many unique architectural features, such as the decorative tiled dormers and chimney stacks. The utilitarian chain link fences and gates will be replaced with attractive traditional custom wrought iron fencing typical for the historic period, containing subtle architectural elements borrowed from the Van Briggle building and existing screen wall. 

The archeological dig is a result of demolition of the old Monument (Storage) Shed on the north side of the Van Briggle building along the Monument Creek bank and the excavation for the new screen wall. 

From 1908 through the 1950’s, Van Briggle Pottery used the backyard as a repository for kiln waste materials, used brick, and failed pottery and tile shards. Most of these bulky waste materials had to be removed and replaced with adequate soils for proper structural compaction for the new parking area surface and the new brick screen wall. The waste materials will be recycled as fill material in the deepest part of a large ditch on college- owned property located on West San Miguel Street just north of the Grounds Shop, which will provide a new storage lay-down yard replacing the lost Van Briggle storage yard. Many salvaged examples of 80 to 100 year-old glazed tile, terra cotta, and pottery shards will be useful for display and discussions for the annual Woman’s Educational Society historical scholarship fundraising tour of Van Briggle, held each September (and scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011). 

Discarded monument markers with names and dates also were found under the Monument Shed floors. Much of the discarded materials were used to fill in the undermined shed on the creek bank where soils were eroded and washed away during the infamous 1935 flood.  It is noted on Van Briggle Pottery financial statements from 1937 and 1938 that the Monument Department was a significant part of the business as Van Briggle was recovering from the flood and the depression.

 Unknown to most people, the Van Briggle building’s three north side additions, done in years prior to college ownership, were constructed of exposed concrete block exterior walls. In 1968, after Colorado College purchased the Van Briggle Pottery, the building restoration and re-adaptation included removal of the two large brick kilns. The used kiln bricks were cleaned and installed on the exterior faces of the concrete block walls on the north side additions to improve the historic look of the building.  The 1968 restoration did not address removal of the plywood faced flat roof overhangs on two of the three additions. 

This project includes removal of the two remaining flat roof overhangs and construction of raised brick parapet walls to match the northeast addition, which was topped with a brick parapet wall capped with sandstone in 1968. Roger Renck, one of the retired owners of Renck & Roberts Masonry Company, which originally did the brick restoration work 42 years ago, is acting as the project masonry consultant. Renck was able to locate oversized recycled, historically accurate, matching bricks in a used brickyard in Denver for constructing the two parapet walls. The north side of the building roof line will have a uniform historic appearance as viewed over the top of the new brick screen walls.   

The west side of the Van Briggle brick screen wall will feature a projected 30-foot-long wall section framed by two pilaster columns containing art work including limestone floral carvings, bas relief bronze plaques of Artus and Anne Van Briggle at work, and brightly colored glass tile mosaic artwork panels, all created by local artist and sculptor Larry Terrafranca. The artwork will depict and celebrate the Van Briggle Pottery story, adding another interesting feature for visitors to enjoy and to photograph. Terrafranca previously recreated the black ceramic cat, which was missing from the southeastern brick chimney for more than 30 years. He also helped recreate very significant architectural art features on the Cutler Hall, Palmer Hall, and Jackson House historic preservation projects.

The brick screen walls also will incorporate decorative Van Briggle art tiles arranged in six-tile panels on each of the 13 brick pilaster columns.  These art tiles are being produced by the current Van Briggle Art Pottery Company at 1024 S. Tejon St. The art feature wall will be surrounded on the west side by the Schlessman Family Garden, which will be a landscaped paver patio area with two bench seating areas for relaxation and enjoyment of the art works and scenery.    

Removal of two rental houses on two college-owned properties near Van Briggle made these improvements possible. The loss of parking area at the north side of the Transportation Shop was compensated by removal of the college-owned rental house immediately south of the shop, creating additional fleet vehicle parking area. Likewise, the loss of indoor and outdoor storage and parking areas on the north side of the Van Briggle building will be compensated by the combination of two college-owned rental properties and construction of a new storage building at 228/232 West San Miguel St., directly north of the Grounds Shop. One rental house will be removed and the Facilities Services Construction Shop will move into the other rental house, which will remain. The perimeter of the new storage yard will be visually attractive with new landscaping and screening treatments which will include raised earth berms, new wood fencing, and new tree plantings.

Learn about CC President-Elect Jill Tiefenthaler

Read the announcement about CC’s 13th president, as well as her biography and speech; check out the photo gallery and videos; and send her a welcome message. Check back for new content, all here.