Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends,
We are thankful for the opportunity to pause, reflect, and share our gratitude for everyone who has contributed to the success of this community during a challenging time. We also share our excitement as we embark on a new year and new semester together.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Block Plan. CC’s distinctive academic program is more relevant than ever, and other schools have taken note. The Block Plan has allowed us to pivot block to block as we re-evaluate the impact of COVID-19 at the end of each block. We are grateful for the flexibility of the Block Plan, and look forward to being a part of its evolution in the years to come. To mark this historic milestone, the release of the Block Plan documentary and historical book is scheduled for Valentine’s Day 2021, and we are excited to celebrate virtually with you.
The pandemic has affected our many communities near and far, and we continue to respond to this ever-evolving situation. We are grateful to CC students, parents, and families for your continued engagement, feedback, and patience as we implement best practices and procedures to mitigate risk to our community. As we welcome additional students to campus this Spring Semester, community safety and well-being remain a top priority.
Our distinguished faculty continue to provide safe and engaging classroom experiences, whether in-person or virtual. While our students and professors miss in-person roundtable discussions and hands-on group projects, it has been inspiring to hear the many ways that students and faculty are innovating in the classroom. Students have made backyards their geology classroom, have tuned in to live streamed dissections, and have participated in virtual field trips.
Students also have found new ways to engage with one another through dynamic virtual and socially distanced activities. Student government, clubs, and organizations meet regularly on Zoom, connecting peers who are living on campus with those across the state, nation, and even the globe. They have countered “Zoom fatigue” with responsible, socially distant activities, including practicing on Autrey Field for the biannual Dance Workshop production. Civic engagement was a top priority for students in the fall, and they debated key issues, encouraged one another to vote, and organized shuttles to the polls for November’s presidential election. We extend our thanks to CC Votes for their time and dedication.
A silver lining from virtual events has been new opportunities for collaboration and connection across the miles and across generations. Many of you have joined us for CC Conversations, an ongoing series of panel discussions led by CC faculty and alumni, exploring key issues of our time. And while we had to postpone in-person celebrations for Homecoming, we came together for a virtual dance party with student DJs and Fine Arts Center Director Idris Goodwin, and heard from Professor of History Emerita Susan Ashley and Professor of English Steve Hayward about the history and future of the Block Plan. You can see pictures of one of our student DJs spinning music from CC’s student radio station sound booth at the top of this page.
Diversity, equity, and antiracism remain central to our work. In November, CC joined the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center’s newly established Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance. As a member of the alliance, we will participate in virtual monthly gatherings with other member institutions and will receive college-wide access to educational materials. This fall, we also received a generous gift from the Colorado Springs-based Sachs Foundation to support Black students pursuing careers in education.
We also are grateful to the CC community for its support during the college’s presidential transition. In 2021, we look forward to the arrival of the next president of Colorado College, L. Song Richardson (see p. 8 for an introduction). It is an honor serving as acting co-presidents, and we look forward to continuing in our role until President Richardson joins us in Summer 2021. We then look forward to returning to our prior roles at the college, Mike as dean of students/vice president for Student Life and Robert as senior vice president for Finance & Administration.
We want to share our thanks to you, CC alumni and friends, who continue to support and inspire our students through your volunteerism and financial generosity. You have spoken with prospective students, advised current students, and given selflessly to COVID-19 relief efforts and financial aid, among other worthy causes. We appreciate your support, and we are grateful for the many ways that you are engaging with this community.
Wishing you connection, joy, and good health in 2021!
Mike Edmonds, Acting Co-president
Robert Moore, Acting Co-president