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President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

Spencer Center Renovations

The blue tape is off the walls, most of the furniture and all of the people are in place, and we can now officially welcome visitors to Spencer Center, the college’s newly renovated central administrative building.  Named after William I. Spencer, a college trustee and chair of the College’s Board of Trustees from 1984 to 1991, the restored Spencer Center represents the best of CC’s past and future.

Almost 25% of the college’s over 400 employees are now housed together in Spencer Center, making our shared work more efficient and cohesive.  Spencer Center is home to the following departments:

1st Floor – Human Resources, Financial Aid, and Student Accounts

2nd Floor – Business and Finance, President’s Office, and Information Technology Services

3rd Floor – Advancement

4th Floor – Communications

Spencer Center







Although the interior of Spencer Center has changed dramatically, the historic charm of the building remains, in particular on the first floor with a grand lobby that harkens back to the building’s original identity as the Plaza Hotel, built in 1900. Spencer Center is now the most energy efficient building on campus (having previously been the least efficient).

President's Office Reception

President’s Office Reception – The artwork in my office is by CC alum Michael Franceschi ’14.

Spencer Board Room

Spencer Board Room – Located on the 1st floor.

Spencer Center Stained Glass

Stained Glass – The stained glass was reclaimed from the house that was next door to Spencer.

Gallup Study on College Success

A recent report by Gallup – based on a study of more than 30,000 college graduates — finds a strong link between elements of the college experience and long term success. They found that students who “felt supported during college” (professors cared, professors made them excited about learning, and they had a mentor) were more engaged at work and more likely to be thriving in overall well-being. College grads who had the opportunity to engage in “experiential and deep learning” (worked on a long-term project, had an internship, and were extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations) were also more engaged at work and slightly more likely to be thriving in all areas of well-being.

This study validates what we do at CC. Our alumni report that the support that they received from faculty and other mentors was critical to their success and happiness. I heard this again and again over Homecoming weekend. From the celebration of Horst Richardson’s 50 years at CC to the service honoring Dick Beidleman’s life, and so many moments in between, alumni expressed their gratitude for the support and care they received from their CC mentors.

Homecoming 2014

It was a wonderful weekend! Hundreds of alumni came back to campus to enjoy each other and this beautiful place. My Homecoming highlights were the Fifty Year Club Induction Ceremony (more than a quarter of the Class of 1964 attended the reunion and they raised $100,000+ for scholarship support), Homecoming Convocation (we honored five amazing people for their achievements and contributions to CC) and the panel and reception organized by the newly-formed Colorado College Alumni and Students of Color Association (CCASCA).

Homecoming 2014 Award Winners

Homecoming 2014 Award Winners – David Phillips ’78, Jack Pottle ’77, Jane McAtee Sanborn ’70, Dan Crossey ’74 and Professor Emerita Marianne Stoller


Students Design New Summit House

If you were to design the summit house, perched on top of Pike’s Peak, what would it look like? Professors Howard Drossman and Marie Davis-Green had their interdisciplinary Environmental Inquiry and Environmental Design class come up with five different conceptual designs for a new summit house for “America’s Mountain.” Here is some media coverage on their work -

I love this story because it shows CC faculty and students’ interest in and involvement with the Colorado Springs community. It helps our students to develop their sense of place and is beneficial to our region.

Easterbrook ’76 on “What Happens When We All Live to 100″

This month’s Atlantic Monthly arrived, and I am pleased to share that the cover story, about the new science of aging, was written by CC alum Gregg Easterbrook.  This member of the class of ’76 brings a wide lens to the topic—exploring sustainability, ethics, biological science, and anthropological consequences.  Known for his sports writing as the Tuesday Morning Quarterback, and his love of CC, Gregg proves that a liberal arts background is a great foundation for a productive and meaningful life – maybe even more important if the average life expectancy increases to 100.