Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends,
I am thrilled to be starting my journey with you at Colorado College.
When I began learning about CC, I was struck by its boldness and its innovative spirit. Whether it’s antiracism, the Block Plan, the arts, or creativity and innovation, just to name a few, CC impressed me as a place that wasn’t afraid to try new things in service of its mission.
Now that I am here, getting to know the campus, the people, and the institution, those first impressions are resonating even more. This is a place that attracts courageous people with a strong sense of community who are willing to take risks. The dedication people have for CC is apparent, and the willingness to think creatively about how to improve on our already stellar program is infectious.
After a harrowing move that included a pet illness, car breakdown, and subsequently missing our movers when they arrived in Colorado Springs, CC community members dove in, met our movers, unpacked, and created a warm welcome. That kind of generosity and sacrifice — these CC staff members gave up their weekend to tame the chaos — is rare, yet indicative of the kind of community here. I feel lucky to be a part of this remarkable community.
Some highlights of my first days here:
Former presidents Dick Celeste and Jill Tiefenthaler P’21, P’24, and members of their families graciously met with me and shared advice and wisdom.
Professor Emeritus of Political Science Glenn Brooks visited me to talk about the creation of the Block Plan in 1970. There were two things he wanted me to remember: First, by staying grounded in the liberal arts, professors were able to experiment in their classrooms from the very beginning (and they still do!). Second, the Block Plan wasn’t something that was fully conceived when it began — they just jumped in, tried things out, and innovated. I think these two lessons will serve us well as we move forward.
In early June at their annual retreat, I was delighted to meet our board members, many of whom are alumni and/or parents of Colorado College students, and all of whom are deeply connected and passionate about CC. This was a high-energy, exciting gathering, and I could hear the love for CC in the board members’ voices. I came away from this meeting truly excited for our future.
Also in June, I learned about CC’s Summer Music Festival and attended an amazing concert. Festival Music Director Susan Grace and Festival Conductor Scott Yoo have created a wonderful annual gathering that brings together top pre-professional student musicians from across the world, some of the foremost classical and contemporary music faculty who perform globally, and lucky audiences in the Colorado Springs region who are delighted to hear the result.
This summer my husband, Kurt, and I are exploring our new environment. I especially enjoy walking on the beautiful Colorado College campus. The campus is like the community — different, creative, and yet part of a whole that fits together well. We are enjoying all the Springs has to offer, from the physical beauty of the mountains to great food and unique stores.
I am grateful for Mike Edmonds and Robert Moore, our former acting co-presidents, who carefully and thoughtfully led the college during an unimaginable international health crisis and furthered our antiracism efforts during what became a year of reckoning. I must also recognize and express my gratitude to the Cabinet, the Scientific Advisory Group, the COVID Advisory Leadership Team, the diversity, equity, and inclusion team, and all the many faculty, staff, students, alumni, and families who stretched, adapted, supported one another, and kept this community strong.
As the academic year begins, I am excited for this moment as we emerge from the pandemic. I am looking forward to feeling the “rhythm” of the Block Plan that everyone talks about and getting to know you — students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, and friends — and experiencing your energy and enthusiasm for CC.
L. SONG RICHARDSON