No doubt Colorado College alumni are inquisitive and adventurous, having partaken in long-running programs such as the Grand Canyon river-rafting adventure led by Diane Brown Benninghoff ’68, excursions to India with former President Dick Celeste, and other occasional jaunts with CC geology faculty. In 2014, a new effort was launched to broaden travel horizons and expand the unique travel-study excursions offered to alumni, friends, and parents. To kick off the new program, called “Block Breaks Away,” 32 alumni traveled to Cuba in spring 2014 with Sociology Professor Eric Popkin (featured in the August 2014 Bulletin). When one considers how the world can change on a dime after years of stagnation, what a unique opportunity for this group to see Cuba before travel restrictions were recently loosened.

At holiday time 2014, 30 alumni, parents, and students visited Antarctica with CC Geology Professor Christine Siddoway. While visiting, our group was fortunate to be just one of four tourist groups allowed annually to visit Palmer Station, the U.S. research facility on Anvers Island operated by the National Science Foundation. The voyage was conducted in partnership with Harvard University and benefited from lectures by both Professor Siddoway and Harvard’s researcher, in addition to knowledge shared by onboard naturalists. Some participants came home with more than 4,000 photos of wildlife, glaciers, and newly acquired friends, some of whom were daring enough to participate in a polar plunge. Upon returning home, Bob Williams ’64 reflected, “We are so glad we participated in this CC Antarctica adventure. Like my trip down the Grand Canyon, this trip was a wonderful experience.”

In February, 20 alumni headed to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, accompanied by CC Biology Professor Emilie Gray, who at one time lived in South Africa. The group followed the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, went on a Chobe River safari, and visited Victoria Falls, one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders.

In May, History Professor Susan Ashley will lead 15 alumni and friends on a special walking tour through the Tuscany region of Italy. As part of the tour, the group will stroll through Estruscan, Medieval, and Renaissance villages, discover UNESCO World Heritage Sites, partake in cooking demonstrations, and have a unique opportunity to visit the Il Molino de Grace winery run by Tim Grace ’87.

To coincide with the special honor bestowed upon Colorado College women’s soccer to compete as Team USA at the World University Games in Gwangju, Korea, alumni and parent travelers will get to cheer on the Tigers in person and watch the women compete in their first two games as part of their 12-day exploration of Korea, June 24-July 5. Associate Professor of Classics Sanjaya Thakur will provide lectures during the journey in addition to staying on in Korea as faculty adviser to the women’s soccer team during their entire competition.

From Aug. 2-7, alumni and friends can take a special stateside Block Break Away, “Exploring the Magic of Ghost Ranch,” in Abiquiu, New Mexico, about a 75-minute ride northwest of Santa Fe. The weeklong program includes Southwest history, geology, nature hikes, water activities on Abiquiu Lake, field trips to Georgia O’Keeffe’s house and nearby ruins, stargazing with CC Physics Professor Shane Burns, and moments of peaceful, reflective downtime inspired by this magical Southwest landscape.

“Touring Colorado’s Farm-to-Table Capital: Food and Wine of Western Colorado” will be a delicious Block Break Away Sept. 10-14.

From Nov. 5-9, alumni and friends will get a chance to explore the natural wonders of the Moab, Utah, region with geologist Peter McCarville ’84.

So far, travel in 2016 includes a trip led by Biology Professor Jim Ebersole to the Galapagos and Machu Picchu from March 15-27. And Assistant Professor of Anthropology Krista Fish will lead a trip to Tanzania from March 22-April 2.

Other programs being considered include further exploration of all that Colorado has to offer — a women’s hiking trip through Rocky Mountain National Park, a 14er hiking trip, and a ski trip. Foreign travel might include Turkey, Vietnam, Israel, Iceland, Panama, the Amazon, India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Costa Rica.

To learn more about any of these offerings, please visit the Colorado College alumni event website or email