When Kyle Samuel was considering colleges, his list included Colorado College, the University of Texas, the University of Colorado, and Dartmouth College. He chose CC in part because the T. Roosevelt Collins Memorial Scholarship helped to ease the burden of the cost of college for his family. Although he still had to work throughout his college years, the scholarship made CC accessible and his post-college debt economically viable.

Mentors had told him that the academic portion of college was only a small percentage of the experience. He was advised that the people he would meet and the networks he would gain would enrich his years at college. So, he plunged into life at CC. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, the Colorado College football team, and the Black Student Union.

“As part of BSU, Kappa Sigma, and the football team I learned lessons about myself, gained a broader perspective on opportunity, and built lifelong friendships. Being a part of the BSU was a way to both help students who shared my ethnic back-ground navigate through what could be a challenging environment and also a way to help educate the school about the importance of diversity and how to help diverse students cope,” Samuel says.

Now, he’s a managing director at Wells Fargo Insurance Services in Washington, D.C. He says his liberal arts education and the Block Plan were equally or more important than the specific information he learned in his economics major.

“The degree in and of itself gave me a broad perspective on the economy, but my CC education really taught me how to think critically and communicate more effectively. I’m a much better problem solver thanks to CC. The liberal arts environment gave me skills that would have made me very successful in whatever profession I would have chosen,” Samuel says. “And, as opposed to just simply studying to take a test, the Block Plan was more focused learning where I was able to fully immerse myself in subjects.”

Samuel is a member of CC’s Alumni Association Board, where he serves as chair of the Governance Committee and is president-elect. He’s given countless hours of his time to CC through his volunteer commitments, and he is open to meeting with Colorado College students and alumni who visit the nation’s capital. His motivation is to give back.

“I feel like I have been successful on the shoulders of giants. It’s the people who have come before me, opportunities that have been presented to me, and the scholarship that allowed me to remain and thrive at Colorado College. It’s a debt of gratitude that I have, and I think that my engagement will ensure that someone else will be given the same opportunity that I’ve been given,” he says.

He appreciates the deep commitment of faculty, staff, and administrators in making CC a successful environment, and he’s encouraged that many alumni make a personal financial commitment to support scholarships.

“The importance of giving back is in ensuring that there’s a commitment to socioeconomic diversity at Colorado College. Because the school is better off when the student population is more socioeconomically diverse,” Samuel says.