Anonymous Gift Establishes Manya Whitaker Professorship in Education

Professorship is CC’s first endowed professorship in the Department of Education

Two anonymous alumni donors have donated $2 million to Colorado College to establish the Manya Whitaker Professorship in Education, the first endowed professorship for CC in the Department of Education. The professorship will be awarded for the first time in the 2023-24 academic year.  

Endowed faculty positions recognize CC’s most impactful faculty members — those who embody the spirit of engaged teaching and learning on the Block Plan. These positions provide leading faculty with the funds and freedom to go above and beyond in their daily work, and to innovate new ways of teaching that bring subject matter to life.

The position is named in honor of Associate Professor Manya Whitaker, associate professor of education, who is also Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff at Colorado College. Whitaker made a significant impact on the donors during their time at CC, and they credit her classes with fostering their passion for social justice and educating youth.

“Manya inspired us as students and shaped how we think about, and tackle, some of the most pressing issues of our time,” the donors said. “We couldn’t think of a better way to honor her work developing champions of educational equity, while paving the way for other CC faculty to support the next generation of students in similar ways.”

“I came to CC because I believe in the Block Plan’s ability to help forge teacher-student relationships; however, I never could have dreamed that teaching at CC would afford me the privilege of getting to know such open-hearted and kind students. I am so honored and humbled by this professorship because as all of my students know, I follow their lead. I could not be who I am without them.”

The professorship will be awarded to an existing faculty member in the Education Department who is an acclaimed teacher and/or recognized scholar in the field of education, on a three-year rotating basis. The earnings from the endowment will support a portion of the annual salary of the faculty member, as well as funding to conduct research, support professional travel, or engage in similar activity to enhance their knowledge, ability to teach, and reputation in the discipline.

The position also includes a block release to conduct research projects, attend professional conferences, or engage in other educational activities with the goal of sharing newly acquired knowledge with students, fellow faculty, and the Colorado College community.

“This professorship will provide meaningful recognition to outstanding education faculty and allow us to continue the legacy of Manya’s incredible impact on the CC community,” said Tina Valtierra, associate chair of the Department of Education. “In addition, the research and professional activities funded through the position will be an asset to the department, its students, and the profession as a whole.”

Endowed faculty positions are one of the most impactful ways to commend, celebrate, and directly support top faculty members at CC. To learn more about endowing faculty positions, contact Mary Ann Graffeo, vice president for Advancement, at or 719-389-6785.

In addition, gifts of any size to the Dean’s Faculty Development Fund directly enhance resources for faculty, supporting their work and shaping the student experience. To give to Colorado College today, visit

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