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President Tiefenthaler's Spring 2014 Greeting

January 20, 2014

Dear Campus Community,

Happy New Year! For those of you returning to campus, welcome back, and, for those of you new to campus this semester, welcome to Colorado College. It is a beautiful time of year here: intensely blue skies and never too many days of cold without a burst of warm weather.

I hope you enjoyed a refreshing break with family and friends. My family and I spent some quality time together snorkeling and relaxing on the beaches of St. John. Though the holiday break always feels like it goes by too quickly, I’m excited to be back on campus with all of you.

Last semester, I traveled to 12 cities across the country to present our strategic plan to parents, alumni, and other friends of the college.  The road trip was a success: attendees in each city responded with enthusiastic support and thoughtful, creative feedback. After hearing from so many of our constituents regarding the strategic plan, I am thrilled to be on campus this semester as we take next steps with many of its initiatives.

We began the new year with the wildly successful revamped Half Block program, which featured a number of courses aimed at career and skill development. Offerings included everything from graduate school test preparation and leadership development to spoken word performance and the art of weaving.  In the future, we hope to incorporate the expertise of alumni, parents, and other friends of the college into our Half Block opportunities. If you have ideas about ways we can further enhance the Half Block, please send your thoughts to VP for Student Life/Dean of Students Mike Edmonds, members of the President’s Council, or me.  

Exciting work is happening in the development of the Center for Immersive Learning and Engaged Teaching and the Innovation Institute. Following a Request for Proposals released at the end of last semester, we will see the first pilot projects for the Center. These projects embody the intent of the Center and demonstrate its vast potential: created within the campus community and reflective of our multifaceted nature, they further the scholarly work of students and faculty. This spring we will also see some significant collaborative work on the Innovation Institute. In early April, we will host an Innovation Showcase that will highlight the many foundational innovative programs already in place at CC. It will help us to clarify what we mean by "innovation" and to articulate our vision for the Institute. 

We also have a few updates on projects happening on campus. The renovation of the Spencer Center is moving along, with the demolition completely finished and the building set to be occupied again by mid-August. Additionally, over the next several months, the campus community will see the implementation of mobile technology plans. In addition to the continual enhancements to our wireless environment, you will see new mobile apps, developed in response to student surveys and focus groups, which will help us stay connected across campus. 

Though it seems like a long way off, June is just around the corner. In addition to our regular array of block classes, there will be three new opportunities during Summer Session. This is the inaugural year of summer programs: multi-block, thematically linked classes that marry the theoretical and the practical, the classroom and the field. You have the chance to immerse yourself in the study of documentary filmmaking, outdoor education, or journalism, acquiring foundational knowledge and skills, while working with professionals in the field, and addressing local and regional issues. You won't want to miss out on these tremendous learning experiences.

During a tumultuous time in higher education, Colorado College is leading the charge into the future as an exceptional liberal arts institution. We are celebrating outstanding admissions success because of our reputation for high-caliber students, like you, who continue to impress with your thirst for knowledge and passion to make a difference in the world.  It is truly a pleasure to be here with all of you, and I’m looking forward to what we will accomplish together this semester.

Warm regards,