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Recommendation #4: Place


Distinctive Place Initiatives:


Recommendation 4: Enhance our distinctive place of learning - our campus - to support our engaged, globally connected academic community and embody our regional and historical identity

While virtual communities are capturing headlines and tweets these days, we believe that a sense of place will become even more important to the next generation of students as they balance virtual mobility with a deeper, more enduring awareness rooted in community and the immediate physical environment.

Progress Stories

We only need to look at the recent wildfires in the West to realize how interconnected we are in this environment. Balancing the need for progress with the need to sustain our environment will require creative solutions.

From their very first steps on our campus, we want our students to know that they have entered a dynamic intellectual community, one that reflects a global outlook and a strong liberal arts tradition, and one that also takes into account our unique place in the West. We want them to know that they have entered a distinctive place of learning - a "place apart" - to reflect and yet to be seamlessly connected to the world.

To that end, our campus should promote the liberal arts, embody the engaged and immersive teaching environment of the Block Plan, and explore the themes so important to this region - healthy living, sustainability, the value of water, and spirit of adventure. Today's students are rightly concerned about issues that affect the health and well being of communities around the world and the limited resources of this planet. The entire campus should be a living laboratory and exhibit space for critical themes and aspirations, as well as an invitation for collaboration, a sanctuary for reflection, and most of all, a place of excitement.

CC's identity as a distinctive place of learning depends on developing a relationship between the campus physical environment and the functions of our institution. In order to enhance our campus, we must provide a sustainable landscape and built environment that is in harmony with our educational mission and embodies our regional identity.

To ensure coherence in campus design as related to aesthetics, sustainability, and the educational mission, we will develop a master plan for the physical campus to help guide and shape each new project in the coming decades. Guided by this campus master plan, we will enhance our identity through development of a beautiful, sustainable landscape and built environment that embodies our regional and historical identity and fosters our collaborative approach to teaching, learning, and community building. In keeping with our liberal arts aspirations, an aim for the master plan is the design and creation of aesthetically adventurous places and spaces that encourage formal and informal learning, traditional and technology-enhanced educational experiences, curricular and co-curricular activities, intercollegiate and intramural athletics, and spontaneous intellectual encounters, along with personal reflection.

Together with this plan for the physical campus, we will develop a communications plan to present the college to our constituencies and to the world. To offer a clear, unified message to the campus community, alumni, and visitors, our communications efforts should reflect the nuances of our distinctive curricula and programs and our special place, signifying who we are as an intellectual community. External communications, ranging from the continued development of our brand to the signage we use to identify our physical resources, should portray a powerful, integrated presence.

We supply the dining hall with fresh vegetables that we grow at the CC Farm and we are building a new greenhouse to teach students and the public about efficient, renewable solar energy and four-season growing techniques.

As part of our identity and responsibility as the only liberal arts college in the Rocky Mountain West, Colorado College is committed to working toward carbon neutrality, and already we have made significant progress in reducing energy and water use. In the coming decade, we will ensure that the college is recognized as a model of environmental stewardship and innovation by advancing both the study and the practice of sustainability. To achieve this recognition, we will "talk the talk and walk the walk" as we continue to reduce our environmental impact, integrating sustainability across the breadth of our curriculum more deeply and cultivating the ethic of sustainability in all aspects of campus programming. Looking forward, we have an opportunity to advance practice at the national level on a full range of issues related to sustainability - energy, materials, food, wellness, aesthetics - all the while drawing on the new power of the Innovation Institute to turn ideas into action.

While we reside in this unique physical location, we also need to stay abreast of rapidly changing technology in the digital era. Our students are among the first generation of "digital natives," young people who grew up with mobile devices and constant connectivity. They are naturals at using technology to access information and interact with others. Just as the liberal arts extend across national and cultural boundaries, so do the interests of our students, encompassing everyone and everything.

This online community will bring alumni and others to our distinctive place and enrich our place by connecting us seamlessly to the world.

As we invest in and nurture our authentic surroundings, we will utilize the latest technology to connect the CC community of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and parents to each other and to intellectual and creative resources around the world. For example, this online community and supporting infrastructure will allow a student who is interested in a career in advertising and an alumni mentor who has years of experience in the field to meet via video chat. It will allow scholars and other experts from across the globe to be guest speakers in campus classes. It will allow students studying or doing internships abroad to meet with their advisor or connect to a class on campus. It will allow faculty to offer online lectures and discussions for alumni.


  • Campus Master Plan
  • Master Communication Plan
  • Sustainability
    • Spencer Center Renovation
    • Solar Panels - Baca Campus, El Pomar, and Dean's Home
    • Net-Zero Tutt Library Renovation
    • East Campus Housing Community
    • Sustainability Course Designations
    • STARS Gold status
  • Launched Sense of Place Trips
  • New Wireless environment
  • Network Upgrade

In Progress

  • Online Community and Technology
  • Carbon Neutrality and STARS Platinum status by 2020
Report an issue - Last updated: 01/02/2021