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President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

Posts in: General

Collaboration with the CS Fine Arts Center

CC students frequently cross the street to our neighbor, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, for study of the artworks in its extensive collections, in particular the collection of art and artifacts from our Southwest region.

Professors work with the FAC using both CC’s collection housed at the museum for decades, and the FAC’s own incredible collection to create special learning experiences for our students.

For example, in Block 7 of this year, students in Jennifer Lozano’s class “Introduction to Mexican American Literature and Culture” did a close visual analysis of contemporary and historical religious icons of the Southwest from the FAC’s extensive Spanish Colonial permanent collection as well as santos, bultos and altarpieces from a temporary exhibition. The students connected their observations to their class readings and engaged in a captivating conversation.

The FAC collection is a powerful teaching tool and offers endless possibilities for enrichment and understanding of our region. We are excited about the possibilities for an even stronger alliance with the FAC!

Welcome Katherine Menendez

I am pleased to welcome Katherine Menendez to CC, who joins the college as our new women’s basketball head coach! A veteran of several great college basketball programs, Katherine jumped at the opportunity to lead a DIII program due to her strong sense of alignment with CC’s vision of athletics at a residential liberal arts college.

Block Break Newsletter


Dear CC Alumni and Parents,

It was my great pleasure to preside over Colorado College’s 142nd Commencement on Monday. The entire weekend is a time of traditions, congratulations, inspiration, and memories. Commencement marks a time of beginnings as well as a celebration of endings. What a fitting culmination of four years for the Class of 2016, which demonstrated a similar balance: one of discipline and passion.

The weekend’s events began with the words of Professor Idris Goodwin, the student-selected speaker at Baccalaureate, who as a playwright and hip hop artist asked the soon-to-be graduates this quintessentially liberal arts question: Do we have the imagination for who we want to become?

Seeing the graduates stride across the stage to the cheers of family and friends, exuding the confidence of a job well done and the excitement of bright futures, I have to answer Professor Goodwin’s question with an exuberant “yes!” My own remarks reflected on the accomplishments and potential of our students, acknowledging how much this chapter of their lives means to them now, and I hope on into the future.

Commencement speaker Marcia McNutt ’74 shared one secret of success, which focused on having the confidence to know when advice should be heeded and when advice should be discarded. And our honorary degree recipients, financier and philanthropic leader in international education Shelby Davis, internationally renowned artist Senga Nengudi Fittz, and diplomat Peter Natiello ’82, P’16, are wonderful models for our graduates of “doing well and doing good.”

As we say goodbye to the Class of 2016, I know how much we will miss them, even as we are excited for their next chapters. I am grateful to their families for supporting their CC educations!

Best wishes for a relaxing and enjoyable summer! Summer Session and the Summer Music Festival, as well as preparations for the next academic year, will keep us busy here on campus. I look forward to welcoming all of our new and returning students to campus in the fall!

Best regards,

President Jill Tiefenthaler

Professor Mason ’78 and The Scarlet Letter

This weekend marked the world premiere of the opera, The Scarlet Letter, by composer Lori Laitman and librettist David Mason ’78, CC English professor and poet. Staged by Opera Colorado, The Scarlet Letter will be performed again at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver on May 10th, 13th and 15th.

In an article in The Daily Camera, Professor Mason discusses the process of writing the libretto: “My goal was to be as true to Hawthorne as I could, but with a much simpler, lyrical poetic rendition that would be comprehensible for a modern audience. I worked hard to find language that would convey the emotional material of the scene without being as dense and overwrought as Hawthorne’s prose.”

The Scarlet Letter is only one of several collaborations between Ms. Laitman and Professor Mason. Following the publication of Professor Mason’s verse-novel, Ludlow, about the deadly labor dispute in southern Colorado in 1914, the two collaborated on an opera of the same name. In this Colorado Public Radio interview, Professor Mason shares his thoughts about writing the verse-novel and then converting it to a libretto.

Congratulations Professor Mason on the premier of The Scarlet Letter!

Men and Women’s Lacrosse Host NCAA Games

HUGE news from our men’s and women’s Tiger Lacrosse teams!  Both teams have made the NCAA tournament and CC is hosting both games this week.

Wednesday, the Tiger men will host Whittier College on Washburn Field (4 pm) and on Sunday, May 15, the Tiger women will play Rhodes College at 1:00 pm on Stewart Field. Come out and support our two great lacrosse teams!

Go Tigers!