Over the past few years, “a unique intellectual adventure” has become the descriptor for the Colorado College experience. What does that really mean?
In his article about creating a safe place for dissent in the classroom, Professor John Gould writes, “As they progress through their majors and travel across disciplines, students engage a diversity of ideological viewpoints and analytical modes of inquiry. By the time they graduate, they are much better able to identify and defend where they stand. But most importantly, CC students learn that open inquiry does not stop with a diploma, it’s a lifelong engagement.” That characterizes a central aspect of the unique intellectual adventure: Challenging, engaging, and synthesizing ideas in the intense context of the Block Plan – and then continuing that engagement throughout a lifetime.
Many augment their lifetime “adventures” by participating in Freedom and Authority or the “One Book, One CC” event (in which all discuss the same book students read for New Student Orientation). As the venerable Bill Hochman says of Freedom and Authority, “It is the quintessential CC class. It’s in-depth, interdisciplinary, and heavy on class discussion and participation. This class defines CC for many alumni.”
Whatever one’s definition of Colorado College, my hope is that intellectual rigor is at its core.
On a personal note, I have decided that the 2010-11 academic year will be my ninth and final one as president of Colorado College. As I have said to the campus community, I love Colorado College. This year matches my longest tenure in any position I have held, including two terms as governor of Ohio. I have been honored to lead this remarkable institution and still consider it a privilege each and every day. I will approach my final year with the same enthusiasm and dedication I have invested over the past eight years.
Richard F. Celeste