Dear Campus Community,
Happy 2016 and welcome back! For those of you who are new to campus, welcome to Colorado College! I hope everyone had a joyful and restorative winter break and is ready for the energy and excitement of spring at CC.
Many students – over 760! – took part in the Dynamic Half Block offerings, making a third year of incredible success with this expanded program. I think it is safe to say that this strategic initiative has become an important piece of the college’s calendar.
Last fall, I highlighted three major themes for the year – 1) improving and adding to our facilities, 2) continuing our work on building a more diverse and inclusive campus, and 3) better defining our innovation and creativity initiatives. There is news to share in each area.
Exciting progress has been made as we add to and improve our campus facilities. I’m happy to announce 921/923 E. Nevada Avenue, the building just north of the Cheryl Schlessman Bennett Children’s Center, opens this block as new apartments for visiting faculty. This new resource helps to make our distinguished scholar/artist in residence program even stronger. Also over the break, our ITS team made additional improvements to our wireless network, doubling our internet bandwidth on January 1 and adding a new firewall, helping to improve our connectivity and security.
Construction is a major theme for 2016, as we anticipate breaking ground on new East Campus Housing and the renovation of Tutt Library after graduation in May. Dean Sandi Wong and VP Robert Moore are leading the transition plan. The library transition plan includes identifying alternative spaces for studying, library services, offices, the Writing Center and QRC, copying and printing, and carrels for seniors. More details will be shared with the campus community this spring.
In terms of building a more inclusive campus culture, we have made much progress but still have work to do. With a mission to prepare our students for global leadership in a world that is changing at a fast pace, CC’s ability to lead in this regard is paramount. I am eager to share with you news of a new program to better support the small group conversation that allows us to dialogue on important topics and build relationships with one another – students, faculty, and staff. Similar to the Breaking Bread program that funds small dinners, a gift from the Packard Foundation, with the support of Trustee Cole Wilbur, will help support coffees, teas or meals that contribute to community building.
Finally, we ended the semester with the very exciting news of an $8.5 million gift to support our innovation initiatives. Along with all the wonderful activity coming from Morreale Carriage House, this gift moves us significantly closer to our vision of dedicated space for fostering the innovative and creative spirit that has characterized Colorado College for many, many decades.
2016 will challenge us in new ways. But it is going to be exciting! Progress will be all around us, very visibly, every day. I look forward to the semester ahead and thank you all for being part of the shared successes we are experiencing and those we have in store!