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President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

Block 5 Newsletter

Dear Parents and Alumni,

We started off the Spring Semester with our reinvigorated Half Block program. Participation continues to increase with more than 950 students taking part in one of the many for-credit courses, career development opportunities, and outdoor education trainings. Professor Jim Parco’s MLK Day 2017 at Colorado College(Economics & Business) course, Personal Financial Planning, is very popular with students and also open to staff as part of our Excel@CC professional development program.

Block 5 began with a number of events on campus, from our campus-wide celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, to a discussion of the Supreme Court by attorney Cate Stetson, to Cornerstone Arts Week. And if those events weren’t enough, CC joined with the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership to kick-off The City Center, a series on urban planning and design. Most of our visiting scholars and experts also joined classes, giving students an opportunity to engage with them in a more intimate setting. It was a high-energy start to what I know will be an exciting spring here on the Colorado College campus.Tutt Library under construction

If you have been on campus recently, dropping off your student for Spring Semester, or as part of a reunion planning committee, or attending any of these Block 5 events, then you have a good sense of how the campus will look next fall.

The upward and westward construction on Tutt Library presents a new profile facing Cascade Avenue, and the views from the third and fourth floors will be among the best in the city. Tutt South will be removed this summer, opening up Armstrong Quad for the first time since 1980, when that addition was built.

The interest in watching the evolution has inspired many requests for tours of the project. Members of the planning committees, as well as alumni, parents, trustees and others on campus have toured the building during construction, and the common theme is a big “wow!”

East Campus construction Feb. 2017At the southeast corner of Uintah Street and Nevada Avenue, the campus is visibly changed by the emergence of the new East Campus residential development. This project was designed to build a strong sense of community for the 154 students who will reside in the eight townhouses, cottages and brownstones. The community building that will anchor this development includes a communal kitchen and laundry facilities as well as a second-story patio facing the mountains.

We recently announced that the new residences will be named for distinguished former students, an opportunity to connect today’s students to CC’s history. From figure skater Peggy Fleming, to Nobel Laureate James Heckman, to Frederick Roberts, the first African American elected to the California State Legislature, the alumni being honored have achieved first or great accomplishments that deserve to be recognized for generations to come.

The spring holds much promise, and I look forward to sharing more news as the year progresses. Thank you for your support in all that we do!

Best regards,


President Jill Tiefenthaler

5th Annual Big Idea Competition Next Week

This year’s Big Idea competition will be held Wednesday, February 22 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm in Celeste Theatre in The Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center.

After five years, the annual Big Idea pitch competition, awarding seed money to help CC students launch new businesses and social ventures, will be changing hands. The shift represents the start of a new era. Inaugural director Patrick Bultema moves on to other adventures as part of his long entrepreneurial career, passing the torch to CC alumna Dez Menendez ’02, who arrived from Seattle last September to take the helm of our innovation program.

Conservation in the West Poll

CC students get many opportunities to hone and apply their liberal arts skills. The State of the Rockies annual Conversation in the West Poll is a case where the impact of their work, in partnership with faculty mentors and practitioners, can be measured by the headlines it has generated.

The Poll has gotten lots of media attention as newspapers across the region reference our students’ work – from Missoula to Reno, from Santa Fe to Casper, as well as a headline in The Denver Post and a reference in the Huffington Post just this week.

Congratulations to our students for the great work they are doing!

Boettcher Finalists Visit CC

Last evening, I was pleased to welcome a group of almost 40 students and parents from across Colorado to CC’s annual Boettcher Finalist weekend. Colorado College (and other colleges and universities in the state) partner with the Boettcher Foundation to woo some of the state’s best and brightest to stay in the state for their undergraduate educations.

The Boettcher Foundation awards 40 of these prestigious scholarships each year.  The scholarship covers about half of the cost of a CC education and is matched by the college. I can always identify the Boettcher Scholars at CC – they standout in the classroom and are leaders on campus!

CC Honors Distinguished Former Students

CC will honor eight distinguished former students by bestowing their names on residential buildings in the new East Campus housing community. 

These individuals are:

  • Marcellus Chiles, Colorado College’s only Medal of Honor recipient.
  • Marian Williams Clarke, the first CC graduate, and among the first 20 women, to be elected to national office.
  • Albert Ellingwood, the college’s first Rhodes Scholar and an accomplished mountaineer.
  • Peggy Fleming, the Olympic gold medalist who dominated women’s figure skating in the late 60s.
  • Glenna Goodacre, internationally-recognized artist, best known for designing the obverse of the Sacagawea dollar and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.
  • James Heckman, Colorado College’s only Nobel laureate, winning the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2000.
  • Frederick Roberts, the first African American elected to the California State Legislature.
  • Ken Salazar, Colorado College’s first U.S. senator and first presidential cabinet member.

The East Campus housing community will house 154 students in eight residential buildings and is scheduled for completion this summer.

Read more about the honorees.

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