Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends of Colorado College:

It has been eight and a half years since I wrote my first “President’s Page” for the CC Bulletin.

I am honored, thrilled, and privileged to be the 12th president of Colorado College.

I wrote of the extraordinary CC people I met early on – students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni (some of whom I had known before I knew anything else about CC).

These students are vibrant, they are sharp, they are critical and analytical, and they are refreshingly varied in temperament, interests, politics, and goals.

I am struck by a deep commitment to teaching and scholarship, by dedication to the institution, and by the ways in which everyone on this campus – not only the faculty – teaches our students and is concerned with their development as whole human beings.

I have become acquainted with equally fascinating alumni, parents, and friends of Colorado College.

The people of this place are extraordinary. But then, you know that already.

My initial impressions have been borne out countless times as I have come to know thousands more of the extraordinary people of Colorado College. And as I look back, I am pleased to celebrate what we have achieved together. In that first letter I wrote of my early aspirations.

Together we have an opportunity to lift Colorado College even higher, to make this exquisite jewel even more brilliant and less “hidden.”

The choices we make as an institution must be informed by and imbedded in a strategic framework that is mission driven. Therefore I have asked the faculty to lead a community-wide effort during this academic year to sharpen our mission statement and formulate a strategic vision. Accordingly we will ponder the questions, What is our mission? What do we value most? Whom do we choose to engage with and serve? What kind of college do we intend to become over the next decade? How will we know when we are making progress toward our goals?

Our answers came in the form of a new mission statement and core values. They came – in the context of the resulting strategic framework – in the form of heightened intellectual rigor, record-breaking numbers of ever-more talented and diverse student applicants, many enhancements to campus, increased institutional visibility, and scores of other collective achievements.

You have a stake in this college and in this process. I encourage you to join in developing the answers and welcome your input.

You answered the call, along with our faculty, staff, and students. We have accomplished a great deal.

With mere months to go in my presidency, I still feel honored, thrilled, and privileged to be the 12th president of this one-of-a-kind place, Colorado College. I truly could not have imagined what a richly rewarding experience this would prove to be.

For the moment, I extend gratitude for the challenge and gift of the Colorado College presidency.

For the moment, I once again extend my gratitude.

Warm regards,


Richard F. Celeste