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President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

Happy Arbor Day

Today is National Arbor Day (April 29, 2016). Members of the CC community got a jump on celebrating by planting trees around campus last week. Thanks to our Grounds Crew and the Office of Sustainability for working with students on this green effort! Learn more about our trees and how we care for the CC Ecology across campus.

Professor Cronin’s book on the Presidency recommended


If you are looking for sage guidance in this election season, I agree with CBS News political correspondent and moderator of Face the Nation John Dickerson who cited Professor Tom Cronin’s “The Paradoxes of the American Presidency,” as a good source of wisdom and insight. Tom is currently preparing the book for its 5th edition for Oxford University Press.

Congratulations Professor Steven Janke

I am thrilled to share the recent news of a $5.6 million estate commitment to Colorado College from an anonymous Class of 1982 alumnus. The gift is in honor of retiring Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Steven Janke. We often refer to the intense relationships formed between faculty and students on the block, and how it changes lives. It’s a sentiment reflected in the donor’s words when making this gift. “When I was a student at Colorado College, Steven Janke changed everything. I had not been a successful math student, and he helped me regain my confidence. He also piqued my interest in computer science. His advice and encouragement shaped my career.”

Professor Janke joined the CC community in 1975 after earning his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara, completing his graduate work at the University of Sussex, England, and the University of California, Berkeley, and then working in industry designing equipment for teaching physics. His career, interests, and collaborations have shifted and expanded in interesting and unexpected ways during the over four decades he has spent at CC.

Professor Janke developed an interest in applied mathematics that became evident in his own research and in the classes that he taught. Early in his career, he developed the computer science curriculum at CC. He also participated in a variety of interdisciplinary collaborations: he worked with Ron Capen in the Biology Department to create a model of the lung; he and Philosophy Professor Judy Genova developed a course called Minds, Machines, and Mammals; and he co-authored, with Mathematics and Computer Science Professor Fred Tinsley, a statistics text on linear models.

Reflecting on his career, Janke has shared why he thinks Computer Science is a good liberal arts offering: “Computer Science has blossomed in all directions, I think, for a few reasons: There’s much more human/computer interaction, and there’s a hardcore algorithm design. Computer Science now applies across so many disciplines, including sociology, psychology, philosophy; it’s become much more of a liberal arts pursuit.” That kind of interdisciplinary reach and impact on students is a reflection of Janke’s career.

His commitment to excellence in teaching led him to be one of the pioneering members of the steering committee that created the Teaching and Learning Center. Because of his wide-ranging interests and talents, Professor Janke’s mark is evident in many campus innovations and endeavors. And thanks to this gift in his honor, he will continue to have an impact on campus as well as through his graduates, well beyond his retirement.

Jon Krakauer on Campus

Facebook posts shared repeatedly by CC alumni and Colorado Springs fans, an article in The Gazette, and an interview with Krakauer’s editor Mark Bryant on KRCC has had Colorado Springs abuzz with news of a visit to Colorado College by the author, Jon Krakauer.

Not surprisingly, every seat was filled in the Kathryn Mohrman Theater last night to hear Mr. Krakauer and Mr. Bryant discuss their work. For more than three decades, Jon Krakauer has written essays and books that have mesmerized readers. Author of Into Thin Air, Into the Wild, Under the Banner of Heaven, Where Men Win Glory, and Missoula, and nominee and winner of countless awards, Krakauer, as the American Academy of Arts and Letters states, “combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer.”

Krakauer is the most recent in a long list of illustrious writers, commentators, and historians to come to campus in the two years since the creation of CC’s Journalist-in-Residence program. Masters of their craft, the preeminent writers invited by the program are ones whose work embodies much of what we seek to cultivate in our students at CC.

And, as visitors to the college, they are models and mentors to our students while enriching the cultural life of the Colorado Springs. Hampton Sides, editor-at-large of Outside magazine, essayist and bestselling author, spearheads the Journalist-in-Residence program and has taught a number of non-fiction writing classes at the college.

I am grateful to the alumni and friends whose generous donations have made this program possible: Ian Christopher Griffis ’85 and Susan Deeds Griffis ’88; David M. Birnbaum ’83 and Kathryn Birnbaum; Michael Millisor ’83 and Mary Jo Millisor; Philip Allen Swan ’84; Anne Bush Hanson ’85 and David Hanson; Mark B. Polite ’83 and Dorian H. Polite. 

 2016 Krakauer

Summer Music Festival Begins 32nd Season

Last evening was a celebration of CC’s Summer Music Festival.  Since 1984, music faculty member Susan Grace has faithfully stewarded a program that brings internationally acclaimed artists and some of the nation’s most promising music students to Colorado College and Colorado Springs for a summer (and their “intermezzo” season that extends performances beyond their prime season) of concerts at the college.

Susan and many dedicated fans of the Festival are working together, launching an effort to build an endowment for the Festival. Building vibrant summer programs at the college that bring exceptionally talented and curious students and faculty to our beautiful Pikes Peak region is a key piece of our strategic plan.

The Colorado College Summer Music Festival’s reach and reputation, its mission, and its rich history are reflections of the program’s exceptional quality. The Summer Music Festival is among those special cultural offerings that are so often supported by the nation’s most selective and well regarded institutions of higher learning.  Colorado College is so pleased to support this program – a community institution and a cultural gem.

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