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President's Blog

2016 Commencement Speaker

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am pleased to announce that Colorado College alumna Marcia McNutt ’74, a renowned geophysicist and leader within the scientific community, will give this year’s Commencement address. Dr. McNutt graduated summa cum laude from Colorado College with a degree in physics, and has gone on to a distinguished career that includes many “firsts.” She will become the first woman president of the National Academy of Sciences when her six-year term begins on July 1, 2016. She is the first female editor-in-chief of Science, and prior to thatMcNutt was the first woman to lead the United States Geological Survey (USGS). She received an honorary degree from Colorado College in 1989.

I am also pleased that Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance Idris Goodwin has agreed to give the Baccalaureate address this year, after being nominated by a number of our seniors. A prolific playwright and performer, Goodwin joined the faculty in 2012. He received his BA in Film, Video, and Screenwriting from Columbia College, his MFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and continues graduate work at the University of Iowa’s Iowa Playwrights Workshop. Professor Goodwin is admired for his dynamic and innovative teaching. Last year, he was the recipient of the Lloyd E. Worner Teacher of the Year Award, awarded by CCSGA.

In addition, on the recommendation of the Academic Events Committee and with the approval of the Board of Trustees, the college will award honorary degrees to three individuals who have made outstanding contributions in their fields.

  • Shelby M.C. Davis is the philanthropist behind the Davis United World College Scholars Program. Co-founded by Davis in 2000, today, the program is the largest international scholarship program for undergraduates in the world with more than 6,000 Davis United World scholars from 152 nations. Mr. Davis founded Davis Advisors, a global asset management firm. Previously, he rose to become the head of research at the Bank of New York and was named the youngest vice president in the bank’s history
  • Peter Natiello is a CC alumnus from the Class of 1982. Following graduation with a degree in political economy, Natiello spent three years in the Peace Corps, which began a career of international service. He holds a master’s in international affairs from Columbia University. Currently, he serves as the mission director for Colombia at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He is a parent of a graduating senior, Robert Natiello.
  • Senga Nengudi Fittz is a nationally recognized, Colorado Springs-based artist who is noted for incorporating visual arts with performance and dance in her work. Her first solo exhibition at the White Cube Gallery in London established her international reputation, and her work has appeared and been performed in a variety of settings, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Hammer Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

I look forward to honoring these individuals, along with our graduates, at Commencement on May 16.

Best regards,


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