Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends,
It has been an exciting start to the spring semester! We welcomed 52 Winter Start and transfer students and saw record participation in this year’s Half Block. This spring has been especially rewarding for me, as I co-taught the Economics of Higher Education with my husband, Professor Kevin Rask, during Block 5. Teaching is always the highlight of my year, and a welcome opportunity to connect with our bright and gifted students.
I also got to interact with talented students during my trip to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, with Professor Mark Smith’s Economics of International Climate Policy class during Block 4. The conference was an invigorating, though sobering, opportunity to focus on our global climate crisis. Getting to know the students in this class affirmed my belief that our next generation of leaders will lead us in the right direction. As Provost Alan Townsend shares in his conference reflections, addressing environmental issues requires partnership across borders, as well as a commitment to share ideas and listen. These skills of collaboration and critical thinking are central to a liberal arts education.
At CC, sustainability remains an important focus. Climate change already is a part of the curriculum across academic departments, and faculty members are teaching about environmental issues through sociological, cultural, historical, and feminist perspectives, among others. CC also is being recognized for its sustainability efforts. We recently were named a Tree Campus by the Arbor Day Foundation. Also, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education recognized our net-zero Tutt Library as an important foundation for reaching the college’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2020. They also highlighted the college for our water recycling and harnessing of rainwater. The Office of Sustainability, Facilities Services, and our students deserve credit for their sustainability work and efforts to increase awareness on campus.
Additionally, the Colorado College State of the Rockies Project just released its ninth annual Conservation in the West Poll, showing that Mountain West voters across the political spectrum value access to public lands. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis commented on the poll, highlighting Coloradans’ commitment to combat climate change and prioritize preservation of natural spaces for shared public enjoyment. You can learn more about the State of the Rockies and its new project director, Associate Professor of Political Science Corina McKendry.
As we care for the land, it is essential that we honor this region’s history and legacy. At its February meeting, the CC Board of Trustees unanimously approved naming “Tava Quad” in response to a request from the indigenous and native peoples of CC. “Tava” means “Sun Mountain,” and is the name used by the Tabegauche Band of the Ute People for Pikes Peak. Tava Quad, formerly known as “Armstrong Quad,” is bounded by Cascade Avenue, Armstrong Hall, South Hall, Shove Memorial Chapel, Palmer Hall, and Tutt Library. We will make signage and other improvements to Tava Quad and will consult with Ute tribal members to plan naming and blessing events. The board was thrilled to name this central, vibrant area of campus activity in honor of indigenous and native peoples.
Finally, I want to honor the memory of Professor Emeritus of History William “Bill” Hochman, who passed away on March 23 at age 97. Professor Hochman served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and fulfilled his calling to teach by serving as a faculty member at CC for 52 years. His Freedom and Authority course was legendary among CC students, and he continued to share his wisdom with alumni at Homecoming during the 21 years of his retirement. I am grateful for the profound and lasting impact that Professor Hochman had on our community.