Opening Convocation Kicks Off 148th Academic Year

Colorado College starts its 148th academic year at Opening Convocation 2021 on Tava Quad, Monday, Aug. 30, at 9 a.m. 

Students, faculty, and staff will come together to welcome the Class of 2025, and meet this year’s inspiring honorary degree recipients. Featured speaker Jeremy Jepson ’99, director of public affairs and stakeholder insights at Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, will present the keynote address. Jepson works at the intersection of research, stakeholder engagement, and communications to address emerging external factors impacting Disney’s business around the world. He leads a research team focused on identifying and understanding societal and environmental trends, as well as an external affairs team responsible for developing relationships with community, government, and industry organizations to inform the company’s priorities. While at Colorado College, Jepson was class president and also very involved in community service through the school. It was also during this period that he discovered the then emerging field of corporate responsibility could be a career option. 

Dr. Nancy Hernández ’96 is director of the Pre-Collegiate Program at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. A first-generation, Mexican American, bilingual daughter of immigrants, she dedicates her career to promoting social justice and equity in education. Hernández struggled academically and emotionally at CC, but with help from faculty and staff, learned the unspoken rules of college and persevered, earning a B.A. in philosophy to question everything in sight. A passionate leader, she joined MEChA, advocated for underrepresented students, and was the first paraprofessional for the Offices of Minority Student Life and International Programs. After the U.S. began separating immigrant families at the border, she joined volunteer attorneys and interpreters in inspecting children’s detention facilities and advocates for unaccompanied minors by lobbying elected officials and organizing postcard campaigns. 

Kaui Hart Hemmings ’98 is a New York Times-bestselling author of the story collection, “House of Thieves,” and the novels “Juniors,” “The Possibilities,” “How to Party With An Infant,” “Testimony From Your Perfect Girl,” and “The Descendants.” Her work has been published in 22 countries and “The Descendants” was adapted into a film directed by Alexander Payne, and starring George Clooney and Shailene Woodley. The film won an Oscar for best screenplay based on a book. She was an English major at Colorado College, then after a year living in Breckenridge, went on to Sarah Lawrence College for her M.F.A., followed by Stanford University, where she was a Stegner Fellow. She taught at Stanford and the M.F.A. program at University of San Francisco.

Following Opening Convocation, students and faculty will convene for the first day of classes. 

View the recording of Opening Convocation.

Report an issue - Last updated: 09/29/2021