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President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

Go Tigers!

Team captain Sam Rothstein ‘17 scored his first two goals of the season Saturday night to lead Colorado College to its first victory of the season with a 4-3 win over Air Force at The Broadmoor World Arena.  Rebuilding takes patience and we appreciate the loyal Tiger fans who are sticking with our team – and getting to enjoy the payoffs like Saturday’s win!

Thanksgiving Gratitude

Dear CC Community,

As Thanksgiving approaches, the violence that has rocked our world in recent weeks — in Paris, in Syria, in Mali — is on my mind. I am also thinking about the turmoil and conflict on college campuses across the country and how hateful words and images have permeated our own learning community.

But gratitude for the CC community moves me from sadness to hope. I am inspired by our students who push us to be a better institution, who are filled with dreams of what a learning community can be. Our faculty, who are so committed to our students that they are willing to keep growing as learners themselves, also inspire me. I am grateful to be surrounded by staff members who are dedicated to supporting our mission of teaching and learning. I am grateful for our parents, who entrust us with their children and for our alumni, who provide a model of life-long learning to our students. I am appreciative of our trustees and friends for their support as we deliver on our mission to provide the finest liberal arts education.

I am grateful to be a part of this community. We are a group of people committed to teaching and learning, who care about each other. We certainly can be better — we must be better — but we are also surrounded by much goodness.

And we move forward, with all of our goodness and our imperfections, because we are a community with a mission that matters.

In this season of giving thanks, I want to express my gratitude to all of you.

With warm regards,


Alumnus Doug Pray’s “Transfatty Lives”

Our Opening Convocation speaker, Doug Pray ’83, has a new film out and it’s being released today in theaters, and on major video-on-demand formats after a successful round of film festival appearances since its world premiere last spring (2015 Audience Award at Tribeca plus Audience Awards at Milano and American film festivals in Europe.)

Transfatty Lives” is a first-person account of the life of DJ Transfatty, aka Patrick O’Brien, following his diagnosis of ALS at age 23.  Pray describes the story as “brutally candid, dark, funny, artistic, and highly cinematic,” as well as a “labor-of-love.”

Our Progress

Building on the Block (11_14)

Block 4, 2015-16

Enhancing student research experiences, expanding CC’s immersive learning offerings, and establishing our campus as a leader in innovation – those are just a few of the ways we’ve worked together to advance our strategic plan, “Building on the Block,” this semester.

Recommendation 1:

Following months of research, students presented their findings to the CC community at the Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, which included a series of short presentations and a poster gallery.

As part of Colorado College’s goal to push the boundaries of academic discovery and student learning, the annual Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium showcased CC student-faculty research collaborations. Jane Murphy, associate professor of history, explained that getting students involved in the research process provides benefits to both students and faculty, as “conversation during this research produces, by its very nature, great ideas.”

Recommendation 3:

CC’s innovation initiative is advancing opportunities and support for students with the addition of an Innovator-in-Residence Program.

“It’s been really fun and exciting to see CC students who are interested in my part of the world that really focuses on social entrepreneurship, social innovation, and the nonprofit sector,” said Michael Hannigan ’75, founder and former CEO of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, of his time working with students as an innovator-in-residence. He’s one of two innovators helping launch CC’s Innovator-in-Residence Program.

Recommendation 4:

Sense of Place

Local historian Celinda Kaelin led a Sense of Place trip through Stratton Open Space in October where she shared information and the history of the Ute Indians’ presence in the area, including the numerous medicine and prayer trees still located throughout the open space.

CC launched Sense of Place trips at the start of the 2015-16 academic year to provide opportunities for exploring the cultural, natural, and historical features of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region. “It wasn’t sitting in rows and listening to people during presentations; instead we were actually walking around the locations, able to touch the machines, see how things were working. It was really interactive,” said Julia Hammann ’17, an economics and psychology major who attended a three-day Sense of Place trip during Block 3.

Track all progress on the Strategic Plan and learn more about these initiatives on the Progress page.

Honoring President Kathryn Mohrman

One of the special moments from this past weekend was the naming and dedication of the theater in Armstrong Hall as the Kathryn Mohrmon Theatre, in honor of Colorado College’s 11th (and first woman) president.

A crowd of current and former faculty and staff, along with students, trustees, and members of the local community, packed into the Armstrong Great Hall to celebrate this ground-breaking leader. The dramatic unveiling showed the new theater signage and a portrait installation that shares photos and a description of President Mohrman’s tenure at the college. Guest speakers Trustees Ryan Haygood ’97 and Cole Wilbur of the Packard Foundation, retired professor and current Ombudsperson Paul Kuerbis, and former Dean of Students Laurel McLeod joined me by sharing anecdotes that brought the assembled crowd back in time. It was a great occasion to consider the impact President Mohrman has had on the college.

Another special part of her visit back to campus was on Thursday when Ryan Haygood and President Mohrman met with almost 60 students and a handful of staff over lunch to recall how the two of them, former president and former CC student, came together to found CC’s Glass House in 1995, illuminating this important chapter of the college’s history.