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President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

Posts in: General

BOT Meeting Update

Dear Campus Community,

The Board of Trustees met for its annual summer retreat this past weekend.

New trustees (Mayss Al Alami ’17; Martha Wolday ’14; Kishen Mangat ’96; Liza Mallott Pohle ’85; and Amy Louis ’84) were welcomed and sworn in, and outgoing trustees were recognized for their service to CC (Van Skilling ’55, P ’79, P ’82; Karen Pope ’70, P ’04James Lonergan ’16; Cole Wilbur; and Kalen Aquisto ’13).

The retreat’s agenda focused on our students and our mission of providing the finest liberal arts education. The trustees were deeply engaged in important conversations, including the alliance with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, possible revisions to the student code of conduct, and campaign messaging.

I shared with the trustees updates on the continued implementation of our strategic plan and success in fundraising. Over the past year, the college received more than $40 million in new cash and pledges with approximately 6,000 alumni contributing.

The board approved several items during its Saturday business meeting, including:

  • Faculty promotions of four associate professors to full professors.
  • Several revisions to the faculty handbook (approved by the faculty this past spring).
  • Endorsed the alliance with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and empowered the Executive Committee to approve final details on the agreement.

The trustees are excited about our continued success. Their next meeting will be on campus in November.

With warm regards,


Ziegler ’64 and Johnson ’82 discover Inca ruins

On a recent expedition to Peru, archaeologist, adventurer, and guide, Gary Ziegler ’64, of Westcliffe, Colorado, was joined by fellow CC alumnus Jim Johnson ’82, and a handful of other explorers, where they discovered and surveyed two previously unidentified Inca ruins. It’s no wonder these ruins had yet to be found: they are located at elevations of 11,800 and 8,150 feet in the cloud forests of the Andes, concealed by vegetation and reachable only by mule and on foot.

These sites, known as Incaracay and Raqrama, are just two of the many discovered and documented by Ziegler. He and a team of veterans and novices spent time clearing, measuring, mapping, and photographing each site. Based on location and orientation, construction materials, building size and shape, and other factors, Ziegler has generated theories about the possible purposes of each site and their connections to other nearby sites.  After CC, Ziegler went on to study and explore in Peru, where he headed to study the Incas as a graduate student at San Marcos University decades ago.

To read more about Ziegler’s work, take a look at the article he wrote for The Peruvian Times following this most recent expedition.  He was profiled in The Bulletin in 2002, after his discovery of Cota Coca, another previously undocumented Inca site.

Professor Jacobs featured in Nat Geo’s “Mind of a Giant”

Later this month, National Geographic’s WILD channel will present “Mind of a Giant” – a documentary on the intelligence of elephants, and the revolutionary research that demonstrates how these incredible animals are adapting to threats to their habitats.

Among the scientists and conservationists featured in this film is CC’s Professor of Psychology/Human Biology and Kinesiology Bob Jacobs.  As a neuropsychologist, Jacobs studies the brains of both humans and elephants, and he shares his insights into the complexity of elephants’ thinking abilities.

Levitt ’16 in Brooklyn Film Festival

Around now is the time when I start getting notes from recent graduates telling me about their new jobs, and how excited they are to be starting their professional lives. Recent graduate Dan Levitt ’16 shared news that a film he made as a CC student this spring has been accepted as an official selection of the Brooklyn Film Festival. The Festival is this week. Congratulations, Dan!

Venture Grants – Summer 2016

A CC education is a multifaceted exploration, and Venture Grants have been creating opportunities for students to individualize their experiences for more than a decade.

Already this summer, Venture Grants have made it possible for students Tara Labovich ’19 and Bryce Kirby ’19 to travel to Ireland and Scotland for solo backpacking trips, where they are immersing themselves in the landscape, the experience of traveling alone, and the words and images they can create from these experiences. Both Tara and Bryce are devoted writers, and Bryce is an avid photographer. Seeking out additional funds to continue their adventures, they created a Kickstarter campaign to finance the publication of two collaborative books: a hardcover art and poetry book and a softcover collection of poetry and fiction. I can’t wait to see these books in print!

Last year, the Keller Family Venture Grant Program provided approximately $100,000 in funds to 109 students who designed and implemented their own research projects on campus and around the world. Venture Grants foster independence and innovation; they allow our students to make real what they have imagined.