Marc Acito ’90, Krista Smith ’86, Smith’s son, 22-month-old Ford, and T.J. Cole ’87 at Opening Convocation outside Shove Memorial Chapel. Photo by Leslie Weddell.

Marc Acito ’90, Krista Smith ’86, Smith’s son, 22-month-old Ford, and T.J. Cole ’87 at Opening Convocation outside Shove Memorial Chapel. Photo by Leslie Weddell.

Colorado College welcomed 527 first-year students and 32 transfer students, and presented three alumni with honorary degrees at its Opening Convocation on Aug. 31, which marked the beginning of the college’s 136th academic year.

Marc Acito ’90, a novelist, former syndicated humor columnist, and former professional opera singer, received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his keynote address. His speech is available via podcast at and the video is available on YouTube at

Acito and Krista Smith ’86, Vanity Fair’s West Coast editor, received honorary doctor of humane letters degrees; Tijani R. (T.J.) Cole ’87, juvenile and family court magistrate for the 20th Judicial District in Boulder and cofounder of Boulder Prep High School, Justice High School, and Zoubida Cole Junior College, received an honorary doctor of laws degree.

This year 4,944 applications were received for the Class of 2013, the second-highest number in CC’s history (the Class of 2012 submitted a record-setting 5,342 applications). The Class of 2013 brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and talent to the campus, and includes:

  • Students who have studied more than 23 foreign languages, including Swahili, Quechua, Nepali, and Urdu
  • A student who designed and marketed a memoryenhancing energy drink — before building a hovercraft for golf courses
  • A student who crossed the Pacific Ocean on a sailboat
  • 18 class presidents
  • Six Boettcher Scholars
  • A student who summited Mount Kilimanjaro
  • 11 Eagle Scouts
  • 178 captains of a varsity sport, with 32 of those being a captain of at least two sports
  • A student who coordinated fundraising efforts for Invisible Children, collecting more than $10,000
  • Four black belts in martial arts
  • 109 students who performed as actors and dancers
  • A student who sings in a barbershop quartet, another who plays the bagpipes, and a third who founded an a cappella group
  • 30 National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and Outward Bound graduates

The opening of the school year also was celebrated with a Fall Conference, in which faculty and staff were welcomed on Cutler Quad with remarks from English Professor David Mason ’78, chair of the academic events committee; Sue Woolsey P’97, P’98, P’00, new chair of the CC Board of Trustees; CC President Dick Celeste; and Dean of the College/Dean of the Faculty Susan Ashley. Participants then broke into groups, attending classes ranging from “Thugs, Mugs, and Rugs,” taught by English Professor John Simons P’06 and Assistant Professor of English Steven Hayward, to “Pakistan,” taught by President Celeste.

Here is a complete list of the courses offered:

  • Colorado College’s Biggest Organ with Frank Shelton
  • Colorado College Hockey with Scott Owens
  • Fail Better – Art, Wrestling and Cornerstone with Andrew Manley
  • Kay Ryan, America’s Most-Original Poet Laureate with David Mason
  • Open Access (OA) Publishing; Free Culture: Creating and Using Free Media and Scholarship with Steve Lawson and Rebecca Harner
  • Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Connecting I.D.E.A Exhibitions to Classes with Jessica Hunter Larsen
  • Special Collections and the Press at CC with Jessy Randall
  • Things that Go Boom with Ted Lindeman and Thos Lesser
  • Thugs, Mugs and Rugs: American Crime Films with John Simons and Steven Hayward
  • H1N1A influenza (Swine Flu) taught by the PreEMPT team members
  • Celebrating what’s right with the world; Using appreciative inquiry for Positive Change with Julie Chesley
  • Greening and Sustainability at CC with Cecelia Gonzales and Ruth Kolarik
  • Whatever happened to majority rule? Why 60 votes are now required to pass all major bills in the U.S. Senate with Bob Loevy