Colorado College has been focusing on innovation for the past several years and donors are recognizing its potential to shape the potential of a CC experience for students.
To-date, they have given $14.6 for innovation. This amount includes one of the largest gifts in CC history — an anonymous $8.5 million commitment that provides support for the development of an innovation program, including funds for an innovation facility and a chaired professorship in innovation.
The anonymous donor cited CC’s unique approach to innovation, noting that the college weaves innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the liberal arts.
“My goal in making this gift is to obliterate silos and ensure that Colorado College students from all academic backgrounds are equipped and given the opportunity to realize their dreams while changing the world in significant, positive ways,” the donor said.
Of the $8.5 million, $6 million is directed toward a $15 million building for innovation. The college plans to raise another $8 million before breaking ground on the new building. The innovation program has recently moved to 232 E. Cache La Poudre St. near campus.
In addition to providing funds for the building, the commitment includes $2.5 million to fund and permanently endow a chaired professorship in innovation. Dez Stone Menendez ’02 was hired as director of innovation in September 2016. Menendez presented a strategic plan for innovation to CC’s Board of Trustees in June 2017.
“We have an opportunity at CC to actually innovate innovation in higher education,” says Menendez, who explains that through innovation students can develop the confidence “to step into the darkness and do anything.”