Armstrong Quad has been named Tava Quad in response to a request from the indigenous and native Peoples at CC. “Tava” means “Sun Mountain,” and is the name used by the Tabegauche Band of the Ute People for Pikes Peak.

A group of native faculty and staff began meeting during the Fall of 2017 to discuss the process for reclaiming space on campus that would honor and be named after indigenous peoples. Those involved included Felix Sanchez ’93 (Diné), assistant vice president for communications; Christina Leza (Yaqui/Chicana), associate professor of English; Dwanna McKay (Mvskoke), assistant professor of Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies; Polly Nordstrand (Hopi), curator of Southwest arts at the Fine Arts Center; and Natanya Pulley (Diné), assistant professor of English. A formal request for the renaming of a campus space was sent to President Jill Tiefenthaler and other campus leaders in October 2018. The request was presented at the November 2018 meeting of the Board of Trustees, who provided preliminary approval. A final proposal was presented to the board at its February meeting, and was approved. The future timeline includes:

  • May 2019: Announce the naming at Commencement
  • Spring/Summer 2019: Meeting/consultation with Ute tribal members
  • Homecoming 2019: Public naming event and blessing ceremony with Ute Tribe, inviting as many native alumni as possible to attend
  • 2019-21: Quad improvements and additions of signs, garden, new pathways, etc.

Preliminary plans call for a major sign that defines “Tava” for the campus community and visitors, with smaller signs around the space displaying Ute words for various objects. Walkways may be installed in the form of a circle around the quad to reflect the group’s initial request to find a circular space on campus. In addition, a garden is planned so that native students can harvest traditional sacred plants such as cedar, sage, sweetgrass, and tobacco.