Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends,
When I first learned about Colorado College, I was drawn to it because its values matched my own. This is the college that boldly and courageously chose to teach differently when we adopted the Block Plan 52 years ago, created the first college antiracism commitment, and was the first in the region and eighth in North America to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.
That creativity and dedication continue today. Teaching and learning on the Block Plan is not easy, and it’s not for everyone, but it is transformational, and our graduates are proof. They integrate information and innovate quickly. They apply their broad-minded liberal arts education to make the world a better place, using their special CC brand of knowledge, compassion, skills, and creativity.
After a year of getting to know this distinctive college and the many remarkable people here who are driven by a sense of purpose and possibility, I am even more excited for Colorado College and what we can do to help create a more just world.
Could there be a more important time for Colorado College and CC graduates? We’re living in a world facing existential threats and challenges, including climate change; systemic racism; political polarization; and equity gaps. If there was ever a time to ignite our CC students’ potential for problem solving and dedication to creating a better world, this is it.
So, how do we get there?
Increasing and enhancing access
We are committed to increasing access to the remarkable education we offer at CC, but we must do more. Enhancing access not only means expanding who attends CC but also ensuring every student is able to take advantage of all the curricular and co-curricular opportunities we offer.
Crucial and courageous dialogue
Igniting our students’ potential and creating a more just world also demands we listen to and learn from one another. This dialogue is vital to our democracy, and it’s the essence of a liberal arts education.
We live in a world where people are “canceled,” vilified, shouted down, and scared to express their points of view. CC should be a place where crucial conversations about the most important issues facing our world occur, where this dialogue is normal and expected. We need to foster an environment where different viewpoints are shared, challenged, critiqued, and debated.
Our students, staff, and faculty are our greatest assets. As a community last year, we openly discussed our campus climate and culture and said we must co-create an environment in which we take better care of ourselves and each other. CC should be one of the best colleges to work for in the country, where we trust, respect, and encourage one another while simultaneously holding each other accountable to the high standards we set for ourselves.
Visibility for CC and our students
Our distinctive education teaches students to integrate new knowledge quickly. They can master things in three-and-a-half weeks that take other students an entire semester. The world should know about them. Our graduates should be highly sought after no matter what their major is or what they choose to do after they graduate. We will shine a light on the college and our students so that Colorado College is no longer a hidden gem, and our graduates have every opportunity to achieve lives of meaning.
I am grateful for the many ideas shared over the last year and the opportunity to move toward these goals. With our unique ways of doing and thinking, there isn’t a college better equipped to address the challenges facing our world today.
Together, we will build on our unique strengths, and CC will be a model for what a liberal arts education in the 21st century should be.
I’m honored and proud to work alongside you as we ignite our students’ potential and create a more just world.
L. Song Richardson