Colorado College Bulletin

203 Armstrong Hall
CC Alumni Call the Whole Planet 'Home'

President Kathryn Mohrman You will notice a new feature in this issue of the magazine: a profile of an alumnus living abroad (click here to read it). Colorado College’s international alumni presence has been growing steadily. There are more than 800 alumni living in 79 countries around the globe, which has strong roots in the CC student experience. 

I read some disturbing news from the American Council on Education’s Center for Institutional and International ,Initiatives indicating that “most U.S. colleges and universities show a decline in foreign language enrollment and low levels of student global awareness – at the same time that public interest in international education appears to be growing” (ACE Higher Education and National Affairs, November 20, 2000, pp. 1 and 4). Furthermore, ACE’s findings showed that “less than 1 percent of students study abroad each year and less than 3 percent will do so by the time they complete their studies.” 

The news here at Colorado College is far brighter. As The Chronicle of Higher Education reported in November 2000, CC ranked 4th among baccalaureate institutions for largest numbers of students studying abroad. In 1998-99, 439 of our 1,890 undergraduates had an international experience. Over their college careers, about half our students spend at least one block abroad. 

How did we achieve such high study-abroad participation? I credit our institutional commitment, characterized by a mission statement that specifies preparation for “leadership and civic responsibility in an interdependent world” and promotion of “understanding of both the similarities and differences among people with diverse backgrounds and interests.” We may also credit our adventurous faculty and students, our generous donors, and the intercultural initiative we undertook several years ago.  

Our students also tend to be adventurous in their choice of destinations. Sarah Kawano ’99, our director of international programs, says that CC participation in regions such as Latin America and Africa is higher than the national average. In 2000-01, 37 percent of CC students abroad traveled to Europe, 21 percent to Latin America, 16 percent to Asia, 8 percent to Africa, 14 percent to various North American locations, and 3 percent to multiple regions. Among the more unusual destinations this semester are Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mongolia, Taiwan and Tanzania. 

We have an increasing international presence here on campus, as well. Forty-one international students from 22 countries – from Azerbaijan and Singapore to Nepal and Mauritius – currently are enrolled at CC. Additionally, during the 2001-02 academic year, we will host 20 visiting international faculty and head residents. 

CC is committed to international awareness as a vital element of a complete liberal arts education. And now more than ever, we are committed to the benefits that accrue to humanity from such awareness. In the words of the late Senator William Fulbright, the college may help “to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby to increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship.”

A search for the college's next president is underway now.  Alumni are welcome to submit comments.  Click here to learn how.

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