Colorado College’s Homecoming and Parents Weekend kicks off on Thursday, Oct. 11, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 14, offering a wide range of activities for alumni, parents, and students.
This year’s program, titled “Music, Mountains, and Memories,” includes a variety of concerts; a series of departmental open houses; numerous reunion receptions and dinners; a discussion of CC’s Block Plan; a variety of athletic events including soccer, rugby, volleyball, and hockey; an alumni film presentation; several tours of campus facilities, an open house at The Press at Colorado College; an all-campus picnic; an all-campus outdoor dance; and the ever-popular “Freedom and Authority” discussion, which this year focuses on “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World” by Robin Wright.
An annual highlight is the homecoming convocation, during which the alumni association awards are presented. This year five CC alumni and one staff member will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to Colorado College. Those receiving awards are Henry L. Ansbacher ’92, winner of the Louis T. Benezet Award; Robin H. Dunn ’06, Barbara J. Keener ’67, and Ariel Stiller-Shulman '06, winners of the Lloyd E. Worner Award; Sylvie M. Fadrhonc ’07, recipient of the Spirit of Adventure Award; and Ron Smith, retired director of campus safety and winner of the Gresham Riley Award.
New this year is an alumni panel presentation titled “The Wonderful Things I’ve Done With My CC Education,” featuring the award recipients and open to students, parents, and alumni. Panelists include Ansbacher, an English major; Dunn, religion major; Keener, political science major; Stiller-Shulman, comparative literature and international affairs major; Fadrhonc, geology major; and Smith, who spent two decades in the U.S. Army as a law enforcement specialist before coming to CC. They will discuss the career paths they have chosen and the impact of a liberal arts education.
The Louis T. Benezet Award recognizes outstanding achievement in one’s chosen field and excellence through success, innovations, and research that advances a profession or a cause and which exemplifies the values of a liberal arts education. This year’s recipient is Henry L. Ansbacher ’92, a a film producer who has garnered four Emmy Awards and an Academy Award nomination for his productions. He is the founder and executive director of Just Media, a nonprofit group dedicated to making films that make a difference.
The Lloyd E. Worner Award recognizes outstanding loyalty, service, and generosity to Colorado College as evidenced by continuing concern for students and future excellence of the institution. Those receiving the award for remarkable efforts on behalf of the college are Barbara J. Keener ’67, Robin H. Dunn ’06, and Ariel Stiller-Shulman ’06.
Keener is on the faculty at Capella University’s School of Education, where she teaches online graduate courses in higher education and develops and markets specializations in community college leadership and enrollment management. She is a past-president of the Alumni Association Board, reunion committee member, special projects volunteer, and a generous financial supporter of CC.
Dunn and Stiller-Shulman are co-founders of the AppreCCiate Scholarship Program, the first such program to be initiated and funded by students. Dunn and Stiller-Shulman made the program a success and drew attention to it by biking across the United States.
Dunn is a former member of the Alumni Association Board are held a variety of jobs with the Denver Catholic Charities’ Samaritan House and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless in Denver before enrolling in medical school at the University of Pennsylvania.
Stiller-Shulman served on the Alumni Association Board for nearly four years. He credits a fellowship exposing him to public policy with changing his life, and is now in his third year at University of Colorado Law School.
The Gresham Riley Award recognizing faculty, administrators, and staff who have made a significant difference to the college will be presented to Ronald W. Smith, Colorado College’s former director of campus safety, who retired in June after 20 years at CC.
The Spirit of Adventure Award, given to the alumnus/a who exemplifies the unique CC experience through a life of intellectual, social, or physical adventure will be presented to Sylvie M. Fadrhonc ’07, who was involved in a car accident shortly after graduation that left her with a spinal cord injury. She spent much of the next near in physical therapy, and by July 2008 was heavily involved in sports again, working with spinal cord injury patients and founding the Overcome Foundation, which promotes recreation and wellness for people with injuries like hers.
She worked at the Telluride Adaptive Sports program, teaching disability awareness, and began ski-racing and competing throughout North America. Unexpected medical bills were a temporary roadblock to her education plan, but Fadrhonc persevered, returning to the Telluride program to work as its education and development program manager. She started physician assistant school in 2011, at the same time she learned she had been named the L.L. Bean Outdoor Hero of the Year.
Following the homecoming convocation, a student and faculty Balinese gamelan ensemble will lead the processional from the chapel to the all-campus picnic.