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President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

A Legend Steps Down

Horst Richardson’s decision to step down as head coach of men’s soccer was announced (below) to the campus on Thursday.

The most enduring coaching tenure in the history of Colorado College Athletics is coming to an end. Horst Richardson, who recently completed his 49th season as head coach of the men’s soccer team and 50th overall with the program, is stepping down.

Richardson steps aside on a high note after leading CC to a 15-4-2 record during the 2014 season, its most victories since the 2004 squad posted a 16-4-1 mark.

“I didn’t want to disrupt the season in any way by having people talk about who is going to be the next coach,” Richardson said. “This was the proper timing because we had a successful season, a wonderful record, lots of awards, and a couple of personal accolades.” One of those accolades was “Horstoberfest,” a 2014 Homecoming tribute, complete with lederhosen and accordion music, celebrating Horst Richardson’s 50-year career at CC.

“Horst’s contributions both on and off the pitch have been extraordinary,” said Ken Ralph, CC’s athletics director. “He is a true educator who showed everyone that athletic excellence and academic achievement are not mutually exclusive.

“Horst approached every day with enthusiasm, energy, and a love for CC that positively impacted everyone around him. While Horst may be stepping away from the program he will always be a key member of the CC soccer and Colorado College athletics family.”

Richardson will remain involved in the Athletics Department, assisting with athletics alumni relations and acting as an advisor once his successor is hired. Look forward to a campus celebration honoring his 50 years as coach coming up in the near future. Read a full feature on Richardson’s career and contributions to CC or visit


Winter Start Students in Salamanca

This year, the college introduced a new program for our winter start students, designed to provide winter starts an international experience in the fall before beginning their on-campus academic journey.  This year, the program is based in Salamanca, Spain, and is directed by Professor Kathy Bizzarro. The picture below shows this year’s group in the Picos de Europa – a range of mountains just inland from the northern coast of Spain.



Giving Thanks

Dear CC Community,
As we wrap up this quick start to Block 4 and prepare for a few days away from class or campus, I’d like to take this moment to reflect and share what I am grateful for this Thanksgiving.
I am grateful for you, our students, who are the center of our mission.  Your spirit, curiosity, and thirst to make a difference in our world give me energy and hope.

I am grateful for you, our faculty, because your teaching, mentoring, and scholarship are what make a CC education extraordinary.

I am grateful for you, our staff, because your contributions undergird and enhance our core mission of education.

I am grateful for you, our trustees, because your leadership, vision, and stewardship of Colorado College ensure our future as one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges.

I am grateful to you, parents and families, who entrust your students to us, and I am grateful for you, alumni and friends, who recall your own CC experiences and make sure we continue to create transformative experiences for a new generation of learners.

I’m grateful for a mission that matters, and a group of people who share a  commitment to CC and what we do here.  Thank you for inspiring my work every day.

With gratitude,


E-Newsletter – Block Break 3

Block break 3


Dear Alumni and Parents,

In one of my October blog entries, I shared the findings from a recent Gallup poll that indicate that students who felt supported by a mentor during their college years were more likely to be thriving in overall well-being later in life.

On CC’s small, residential campus, there are ample opportunities for such mentoring. In this setting, our students interact with lots of caring faculty and staff. The Gallup poll validates that what we do here at CC makes a real difference. We talk a lot about the difference that our faculty make in our students’ lives, and I want to let you know that our staff also play a key role in supporting our students.

Students w PopcornFrom residence halls to Rastall, over papers in the Writing Center, through work-study jobs, and intramural athletics – our students form strong, positive, mentoring relationships with college staff members. The special role our staff members play with students is a big part of why we take staff hiring and professional development as seriously as we do.

A key element of our strategic plan is workplace excellence. Among the initiatives that are part of this strategic priority, our new Excel@CC professional development program encourages our staff members to develop exceptional communication skills, to grow as leaders, to better understand our students, to foster a climate of diversity and inclusion, and to build strong supervisory skills. Each of these multi-session programs helps staff to better contribute to our mission of “providing the finest liberal arts education.” And over 60 percent of our staff have responded by enrolling in these courses.

Many of our staff bring professional expertise to the table to engage our students. For example, our strategic initiative for sustainability brings students together with facilities and grounds staff members — professionals with backgrounds in energy management and engineering, as well as plant science and design — in partnership with our sustainability program staff, and faculty members from a variety of academic disciplines – all for the common purpose of making the CC campus more sustainable. Together, they are accomplishing great things for CC and, according to the Gallup poll, this type of shared experience contributes to a bright future for our students.

Photo 3Prioritizing the ability of our people to do their very best for – and with – our students is just one piece of our strategic plan. As alumni, parents, and friends, your encouragement and support of the college means so much. Your interest in what we are doing, your willingness to provide opportunities and mentoring for our students, your eagerness to share Colorado College with prospective students and donors, and your own giving in support of our vision allows all of us at CC to make differences that matter to our students. It is my great pleasure to share these updates with you!

Best regards,

Jill Tiefenthaler

Strategic Plan: Our Progress

Building on the Block (11_14)

Our Progress

Work is taking place each day on our campus as students, faculty, and staff members contribute to the important initiatives guided by our strategic plan. It is important to share our progress, celebrating the accomplishments as well as the challenges, supporting one another as we advance this important work.

CC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium provided an opportunity for students to share the results of months of collaborative research. The Center for Immersive Learning and Engaged Teaching supported new summer research opportunities for students and faculty members, as well as workshops and this inaugural symposium.

Block break programming launched this year supports our initiative to create a diverse and inclusive campus. It provides free activities and excursions for students during their four-day break each block.

To strengthen our culture and improve Workplace Excellence, we are striving to build strong internal communication, vibrant collaboration, and organizational transparency as strategic assets. In our efforts to improve organizational transparency, this fall the college launched the Who Decides? and CC Facts webpages. The college’s statement on diversity is the foundation for fostering an inclusive campus culture, also supporting our Workplace Excellence efforts.

The completed renovation, including rooftop solar array, makes the Spencer Center our most energy-efficient building on campus. It’s just one of the projects enhancing our distinctive place of learning. Completed solar arrays on Worner Campus Center, El Pomar Sports Center, the dean of students’ home, and Cornerstone Arts Center also contribute to CC’s goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2020.