to “THE” or not to “THE”

As College Archivist, I frequently get questions about whether or not there should be a “The” in front of “Colorado College.” I think the answer is no.

Colorado College is and was Colorado College, without a “The.” We began as Colorado College (no “The”) in 1874. College mailings from that period do not use “The.” The earliest college seal, used on the cover of the 1905 CC course catalog, has no “The.”

From the 1960s through about 2010, CC sometimes used a “The” in front of its name, but not consistently. In the CC course catalog, we find “The” in 1963-1964, but not before, and it’s in 2010-2011, but not after. Even within a particular catalog, use of “The” is not consistent. Many CC catalogs for this period have “Colorado College” on the cover and “The Colorado College” on the title page, and text throughout any particular catalog will sometimes have “The” and sometimes not.

From 1989-1998, CC’s official logo included the “The.” Before that, CC didn’t have an official logo; after that, our logos have no “The.”

For more information, see Colorado College Information File “Colorado College – Emblem, Seal, Motto, Insignia, Logo, Graphic Images, Mascot, Yells, Cheers, Chants, Colors, Letterhead, Stationery, Signage, Swag” in Special Collections. (As you can tell, you’ll find a lot of other fun stuff in that file, too.)

One thought on “to “THE” or not to “THE”

  1. Todd Woodward

    Thank you for this. I have been wondering about it. I know you say NO from a historical perspective but I think we have learned through history that just because we did something a long time ago, doesn’t mean it is right for today. I think a lot of examples pop to mind.

    What I know is that 60% of prospective students and 90% of prospective parents have never heard of of CC. Of those that have, they think we are part of the state system or a community college. I believe that using “The” is somewhat of a qualifier and could differentiate us. To me THE connotes the first and the most important.

    Interesting discussion.


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