President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog
Facebook posts shared repeatedly by CC alumni and Colorado Springs fans, an article in The Gazette, and an interview with Krakauer’s editor Mark Bryant on KRCC has had Colorado Springs abuzz with news of a visit to Colorado College by the author, Jon Krakauer.
Not surprisingly, every seat was filled in the Kathryn Mohrman Theater last night to hear Mr. Krakauer and Mr. Bryant discuss their work. For more than three decades, Jon Krakauer has written essays and books that have mesmerized readers. Author of Into Thin Air, Into the Wild, Under the Banner of Heaven, Where Men Win Glory, and Missoula, and nominee and winner of countless awards, Krakauer, as the American Academy of Arts and Letters states, “combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer.”
Krakauer is the most recent in a long list of illustrious writers, commentators, and historians to come to campus in the two years since the creation of CC’s Journalist-in-Residence program. Masters of their craft, the preeminent writers invited by the program are ones whose work embodies much of what we seek to cultivate in our students at CC.
And, as visitors to the college, they are models and mentors to our students while enriching the cultural life of the Colorado Springs. Hampton Sides, editor-at-large of Outside magazine, essayist and bestselling author, spearheads the Journalist-in-Residence program and has taught a number of non-fiction writing classes at the college.
I am grateful to the alumni and friends whose generous donations have made this program possible: Ian Christopher Griffis ’85 and Susan Deeds Griffis ’88; David M. Birnbaum ’83 and Kathryn Birnbaum; Michael Millisor ’83 and Mary Jo Millisor; Philip Allen Swan ’84; Anne Bush Hanson ’85 and David Hanson; Mark B. Polite ’83 and Dorian H. Polite.
Last evening was a celebration of CC’s Summer Music Festival. Since 1984, music faculty member Susan Grace has faithfully stewarded a program that brings internationally acclaimed artists and some of the nation’s most promising music students to Colorado College and Colorado Springs for a summer (and their “intermezzo” season that extends performances beyond their prime season) of concerts at the college.
Susan and many dedicated fans of the Festival are working together, launching an effort to build an endowment for the Festival. Building vibrant summer programs at the college that bring exceptionally talented and curious students and faculty to our beautiful Pikes Peak region is a key piece of our strategic plan.
The Colorado College Summer Music Festival’s reach and reputation, its mission, and its rich history are reflections of the program’s exceptional quality. The Summer Music Festival is among those special cultural offerings that are so often supported by the nation’s most selective and well regarded institutions of higher learning. Colorado College is so pleased to support this program – a community institution and a cultural gem.
Boettcher Scholars gathered for dinner at my home last week for their annual year-end celebration of graduating seniors. McKenna Asakawa, Fischer Hazen, Carly Stafford, and Jake Walden all shared what their CC Boettcher experience has meant, and thoughts about their next steps with us, their fellow students, as well as officers and trustees from the Boettcher Foundation. I will miss these wonderful students, but know that they will continue to have an impact in Colorado and beyond.
CC alumnus Peter Maiurro ’05 was among those guests representing the foundation, as was Katie Kramer. Katie is currently the vice president and assistant executive director of the Boettcher Foundation. She will succeed Tim Schultz as president and executive director upon Tim’s retirement, making her the first Boettcher Scholar to do so.
Dear Alumni and Parents,
During Block 7, Colorado College welcomed several hundred students who were admitted to the Class of 2020 at two Admission Open Houses. These future Tigers get an opportunity to envision themselves as part of our CC community, visiting classes, attending events, learning about the special opportunities made possible by our Block Plan, and, of course, meeting our amazing students, faculty and staff.
And what a fun and busy time it is on campus! The 4th annual Big Idea competition put our creative students on stage — literally — pitching their ideas, and demonstrating CC’s commitment to connect innovation and application to our outstanding liberal arts education. Another CC tradition, Dance Workshop, showed off the talents of students who choreograph, produce, and perform the entire show. Students also performed beautifully in the Music Department’s production of The Wild Party, a jazzy 1920s whodunnit.
Block 7 also included events focused on raising awareness on important issues. The Native American Student Union co-hosted a Native American film festival and an exhibition powwow with One Nation Walking, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing poverty among elders and children in our seven-state region. The Colorado College Prison Project sponsored “Inside the Box,” to bring attention to the practice of solitary confinement. The weekend of events centered on several students and faculty who voluntarily experienced a 24-hour period of confinement and isolation.
I am looking forward to Block 8 and the opportunities it brings to gather, reflect, and celebrate. In a few weeks, we will recognize students for their academic achievements at Honors Convocation. Dean Mike Edmonds and I will celebrate our seniors at the 2nd Senior Soiree, an elegant reception at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Of course, our 2016 Commencement ceremony on May 16 is the highlight of the academic year. It is such a pleasure to honor accomplished alumni, inspiring faculty, and, of course, our graduating seniors.
Welcoming students who will make up the CC class of 2020, and preparing to say farewell to the Class of 2016 — Block 7 is always a special time at CC.
Congratulations to the faculty, staff and students who have created, grown, and continued to refine CC’s Bridge Scholars Program over the last several decades. The program has been recognized by the University Business Models of Excellence program, which “honors colleges and universities that have implemented innovative, effective and interdepartmental initiatives that are bolstering student success.” Associate DeanEmily Chan, describes this research-based program as way to “give students a ‘running start’ on claiming and building their CC experience.”
The pre matriculation two-week course for first-year students is just the beginning. Bridge Scholars participate in programs throughout the year: social gatherings, faculty discussions, mentor get-togethers, and other events. For example, this year during Half-Block, many Bridge Scholars participated in a financial literacy workshop and a career tour of Denver. Altogether, the program is a vital network of support – academic and social – that leads to success for our students.