Welcome Back, Class of 2020

Colorado College is celebrating the Class of 2020 at an in-person Commencement ceremony at 9 a.m., Sunday, May 30, at the new Weidner Field in downtown Colorado Springs.

Members of the Class of 2020 were not able to receive their diplomas in person last year because of the pandemic; however, it was important to them to have an in-person ceremony. To help commemorate the event last year, CC sent members of the graduating class celebratory gift boxes and a series of web, email, and video communications, including individualized congratulatory messages from then-President Jill Tiefenthaler. This Sunday, however, they will be honored in person, with approximately 330 members of the graduating class of 524 returning for the event.

Richard Lariviere, the former president and CEO of the Field Museum in Chicago, will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary degree. Before joining the Field Museum, Lariviere was the president of the University of Oregon from July 2009 to November 2011. During his tenure, he cultivated the university’s growing reputation for innovation in the classroom and in research, sharpening the focus on sustainability and international partnerships.

Last Sunday, the college celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2021 — also with an in-person ceremony at Weidner Field.

The Class of 2020, whose class motto is “Hindsight is 20/20,” had to build resilience as they were tested in ways no other graduating class has been during the COVID-19 crisis. Despite having their time at CC cut short, they found ways to celebrate their notable experiences and accomplishments. Among them:

  • Lived through much transition, including the development of the East Campus Housing Community, renaming of South Hall, naming of Tava Quad, and renovation of Tutt Library, now the largest, net-zero energy academic library in the country
  • Active in CC's ongoing antiracism work, championing the efforts and passing the activism torch
  • Saw the expansion of the alliance between the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Colorado College and the partnership between CC's NPR-member station 91.5 KRCC and Colorado Public Radio
  • Contributed to CC reaching its goal of carbon neutrality by 2020 by installing a solar array at CC's Baca Campus
  • Saw the development and growth of CC's Refugee Alliance, working with community partners
  • Helped start and facilitate an on-campus Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, helped plan programming for Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Sexual Assault Month, collaborated with the sexual assault response coordinator and Title IX coordinator to create a feedback survey for people utilizing the formal Title IX process, and helped bring a Films for Mental Health event to campus
  • Through the Coffee Marketing Challenge, returned $4,800 in profits from selling coffee from a small farmer's co-op, supporting various services and programs in Guatemala

Colorado College received 7,997 applications for the Class of 2020, which had an acceptance rate of 15.8%, a record low at that time. Before starting at CC, the incoming class read "Whistling Vivaldi" by Claude Steele as their Common Book Read for New Student Orientation.

Individually, members of the Class of 2020 have some notable achievements. The class includes two Erasmus Mundus Scholars, a Watson Fellow, winner of The Denver Press Club student award, and seven Fulbright semifinalists, three of whom went on to become finalists.

Additionally, the class features a student who:

  • Was a competitive juggler
  • Was an opera performer
  • Was born in Yellowstone National Park
  • Helped build the first tennis court in Afghanistan
  • Witnessed Egypt's protest of the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood firsthand
  • Climbed all 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks
  • Rode down Mount Marathon, outside Seward, Alaska, on a unicycle

However, more than anything, the Class of 2020 exemplifies resilience. Welcome back, Class of 2020!

Report an issue - Last updated: 05/26/2021