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President's Blog

Block Break Newsletter – Commencement 2017

Dear CC Alumni and Parents,

On Monday, another group of fascinating and talented individuals graduated from Colorado College and we said goodbye to the Class of 2017! Like the brilliant sunshine that accompanied graduation morning, Commencement weekend was a celebration of their generous spirits and creative energy!

The Class of 2017 has accomplished much, and in my remarks I recounted the ways that CC is a better place because of their contributions. I share the optimism and hope, expressed by Professor Manya Whittaker in her Baccalaureate keynote address, “Start Where You Are”, for the impact these young people will have as they blaze the trails ahead.

Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient, author Hampton Sides P’16, encouraged the class to challenge the threat of “truth decay”. He reminded the graduating class that their liberal arts education prepared them to listen and think carefully, and to develop and value “A Heart that Watches and Receives,” borrowing from the poet William Wordsworth as the title for his address.

The college honored Sides and two alumni, Dr. Brenda Bass ’77 and Van Skilling ’55, with honorary degrees. Dr. Bass is a pioneer in RNA research and Mr. Skilling has been a leader in business, as well as in service and philanthropy to the college. Our three honorees are excellent role models for our students, having built inspiring records of achievement and leading lives of engagement and contribution. As part of the ceremony, I was also pleased to recognize the decades of service of five retiring faculty members and our most recent inductees into the William Jackson Palmer Society.

The Class of 2017 is off to a great start, as is evident in their accomplishments and awards, announced throughout the spring. They have already given back to their alma mater, with over 75% of the graduates donating to the senior class gift. We will miss them, even as we send them off with our affection, our admiration, and our hopes. I offer one last thanks to their parents and families, as well as to many faithful supporters of CC throughout the years, for helping make their CC experiences possible.

These ceremonies punctuate the cycles of the academic year, and provide moments to reflect on our good fortune and great responsibility. Summer slows us down a bit here at CC, but we will stay focused on preparing for another excellent year to come.

I wish you an enjoyable and restorative summer!

Best regards,


President Jill Tiefenthaler

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