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Colorado College Strategic Plan: Building on the Block

Song Richardson headshotSong Richardson is an award-winning educator, legal scholar, and lawyer who is recognized for her transformational leadership in higher education. She became Colorado College’s 14th president in July 2021. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College and her Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School.

Her vision for Colorado College is to prepare students to create a more just world by igniting their potential and encouraging them to reach across difference to find common ground and understanding.

President Richardson prioritizes expanding access and opportunities for students; welcoming different viewpoints and fostering courageous conversations; building thriving campus, alumni, and local communities; and elevating the profile of the college and its students. The college also will build on its bold and courageous history, which includes creating the Block Plan, becoming the 8th higher education institution in North America to reach carbon neutrality, and being the first to adopt an antiracism commitment.

As a Black and Korean leader, she is the first woman of color to hold the presidency at Colorado College.

Before coming to CC, President Richardson was the dean and chancellor’s professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. When appointed there, she was the only woman of color to lead a top law school. While she was dean, the school received accolades for its commitment to students, faculty scholarship, the diversity of its student body, and its leadership in addressing the societal implications of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies.

Under her leadership, UCI Law quadrupled the number of endowed student scholarships; launched a CEO Fellowship program; partnered with the UN’s AI for Good Conference; launched new revenue-generating educational programs; established a satellite program on the East Coast; and enrolled one of the most diverse student bodies among top law schools.

President Richardson sits on the board of Lord Abbett and is chair of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Presidents Council. She is a member of the Colorado Forum, a group of business and civic leaders committed to Colorado’s future; the Council of Korean Americans; and the American Law Institute.

She is frequently invited to speak on the challenges facing higher education. Her awards and recognitions include the Association of American Law Schools’ Derrick Bell Award, which recognizes a faculty member’s extraordinary contributions to legal education through mentoring, teaching, and scholarship, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Trailblazer Award. In recognition of her accomplishments, the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association created the L. Song Richardson Legacy Award to honor individuals whose contributions make a lasting impact on the legal profession.

President Richardson’s interdisciplinary research uses lessons from cognitive and social psychology to study decision-making and judgment. Her scholarship has been published by law journals at Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Cornell, Duke, and Northwestern, among others.

President Richardson also is a classically trained pianist who performed twice with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and won numerous major piano competitions, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Harvard/Radcliffe concerto competitions.

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