Colorado College

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This article is about the private institution in Colorado Springs, Colorado. For the public university, see University of Colorado System.

Coordinates: 38°50′48″N 104°49′27″W / 38.8466768°N 104.824097°W / 38.8466768; -104.824097

Colorado College
Motto Scientia et Disciplina
Established 1874
Type Private
Endowment $593 million
President Jill Tiefenthaler
Undergraduates 2,011
Location Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Campus Urban, 90 Acres
Publications The Catalyst
(student weekly newspaper)
(semi-annual alternative news magazine)
(annual literary journal)
Colors Gold and Black
Nickname Tigers

The Colorado College (familiarly known as CC) is a private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It was founded in 1874 by Thomas Nelson Haskell. The college enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduates at its 90-acre (36 ha) campus, 70 miles (110 km) south of Denver in Colorado Springs.

Colorado College is known for its unconventional "block plan," which divides the year into eight academic terms called "blocks"; a single class is taken during each block.

Colorado College is affiliated with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. Most sports teams are in the NCAA Division III, with the exception of Division I teams in men's hockey and women's soccer.


Colorado College was founded in 1874 on land designated by U.S. Civil War veteran General William Jackson Palmer, the founder of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad and of Colorado Springs. Founder Thomas Nelson Haskell, described it as a coeducational liberal arts college in the tradition of Oberlin College. Like many U.S. colleges and universities that have endured from the 19th century it now is secular in outlook, though it retains its liberal arts focus.

Cutler Hall, the college's first building was completed in 1880 and the first degrees were conferred in 1882. The Beta-Omega Chapter of The Kappa Sigma Fraternity was chartered in 1904. William F. Slocum, president from 1888 to 1917, oversaw the initial building of the campus, expanded the library and recruited top scholars in a number of fields. In 1930 Shove Chapel was erected by Mr. John Gray, to meet the religious needs of the students (though Colorado College is not religiously affiliated).


Russell T. Tutt Science Center at Colorado College

The college offers more than 80 majors, minors, and specialized programs including: Southwest studies, feminist and gender studies, Asian studies, biochemistry, environmental science, neuroscience, Latin American studies, Russian and Eurasian studies, and American cultural studies, as well as an across-the-curriculum writing program. In addition to its undergraduate programs, the college offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree. Tutt Library has approximately half a million bound volumes. In 2012, Colorado College yielded a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1.

Block plan

Colorado College follows an unconventional "block plan"; in which students study one subject for three and a half week "blocks", which advocates say allows for more lab time, for research and study in the field, more intensive learning experiences and fewer distractions. Blocks are only three weeks long during the summer session, during which there are also graduate blocks of differing lengths. In parallel with the students, professors teach only one block at a time. Classes are generally capped at 25 (32 for two professors) to encourage a more personalized academic experience.

Rankings and admissions

In its 2012 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked Colorado College 28th best in the nation among liberal arts colleges.

Kiplinger's Personal Finance places Colorado College at 11th in its 2012 ranking of best value liberal arts colleges in the United States.

In 2013, Forbes rated it 76th overall in "America's Top Colleges".

For the Class of 2016 (enrolled fall 2012), Colorado College received 5,606 applications and accepted 1,289 (23.0%). The number enrolling was 514; the yield rate (the percentage of accepted students who enroll) was 39.9%. In terms of class rank, 62% of enrolled freshmen were in the top 10% of their high school classes; 90% ranked in the top quarter. Of the 31% of enrolling freshmen who submitted SAT scores, the middle 50% range of scores were 630-720 for critical reading, 610-710 for math, and 620-720 for writing. The middle 50% range of the ACT Composite score was 28-32 for the 31% of enrolled freshmen who submitted the score.


In 2009, Colorado College developed a sustainability plan and implemented the “aCClimate 14” conservation campaign. The campus saved $100,000 in utility costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 378 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent during the campaign. Other sustainability initiatives at CC include: a 25-kilowatt solar PV array, composting of kitchen and dining waste, and a singlestream recycling program.


Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center at Colorado College

Since the mid-1950s, new facilities include three large residence halls, Worner Campus Center, Tutt Library, Olin Hall of Science and the Barnes Science Center, Honnen Ice Rink, Boettcher Health Center, Schlessman Pool, Armstrong Hall of Humanities, Palmer Hall, El Pomar Sports Center, and Packard Hall of Music and Art. Bemis, Cossitt, Cutler, Montgomery, and Palmer Halls are some of the remaining turn-of-the-century structures on the National Register of Historic Places, along with the William I. Spencer Center.[citation needed]Arthur Hall, once home to the son of President Chester A. Arthur, is another campus building on the historic register.

The face of campus changed again at the beginning of the 21st century with construction of the Western Ridge Housing Complex, which offers apartment-style living for upper-division students and completion of the Russell T. Tutt Science Center. The east campus has been expanded, and is now home to the Greek Quad and several small residence halls known as “theme houses.”

Other notable buildings include Tutt Library, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Packard Hall, the music building, designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes.

Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center

Colorado College’s Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, completed in 2008 and located at the intersection of a performing arts corridor in Colorado Springs, was designed to foster creativity and interdisciplinary collaboration. It is home to the college’s film, drama and dance departments and contains a large theater, several smaller performance spaces, a screening room, the I.D.E.A Space gallery, and classrooms, among other rooms. Architect Antoine Predock designed the building with input from professors and students.


Map of CC

The school's sports teams are nicknamed Tigers, though in 1994 a student referendum to change the name to the Cutthroats (Trout) narrowly failed. Colorado College competes at the NCAA Division III level in all sports except men's hockey, in which it participates in the NCAA Division I National Collegiate Hockey Conference, and women's soccer, where it competes as an NCAA Division I team in Conference USA. CC dropped its intercollegiate athletic programs in football, softball, and women's water polo following the 2008-09 academic year.

The Tigers won the NCAA Division I championship twice (1950, 1957), were runners up three times (1952, 1955, 1996) and have made the NCAA Tournament eighteen times, including eleven times since 1995. In 1996, 1997, and 2005, CC played in the Frozen Four, finishing second in 1996. Fifty-five CC Tigers have been named All-Americans. Hockey Hall of Fame coach Bob Johnson coached the Tigers from 1963 to 1966. Despite the relatively small size of the school, the hockey team is often ranked quite highly nationally, although it has been over 50 years since the Tigers last won an NCAA title. Their current coach is Scott Owens, who played for Colorado College and graduated from the school in 1979.

Notable people

Several CC alumni are engaged in political careers. Its graduates include Lynne Cheney, wife of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, and their two daughters, as well as U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and United States Representative Diana DeGette.

Other well-known government figures, such as Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama David Axelrod, former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Martin Neil Baily, and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor have seen their children graduate from CC in recent years. The distinguished faculty is noted for outstanding teaching, and a closeness to students. No class exceeds 25, and an end-of-block breakfast or dinner at a professor's home is not unusual. The college also conducts classes in a cabin it owns nearby. It has an extensive mountain campus known as the "Baca," located in Crestone, Colorado.

While the focus at Colorado College is primarily on teaching, and its academics involve a high level of rigor and intensity on the block plan, a significant number of faculty are widely published and renowned in their fields. Professor Dennis Showalter, the 2005 recipient of the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Military History, is an expert on World War II, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at West Point and the United States Air Force Academy, reviewer for the History Book Club, and author of Tannenberg: Clash of Empires, the 1992 winner of the American Historical Association's Paul Birdsall Prize. In 2005, he published Men of War, the first single volume dual military biography of Patton and Rommel.

Notable music and arts representatives include Susan Grace, a pianist with appearances at Carnegie Hall, Stephen Scott, a neo-classical composer, and Ofer Ben-Amots, an Israeli composer. Filmmaker Marc Webb (class of 1995) was nominated for several awards including two Golden Globes for his 2009 film (500) Days of Summer.

Other notable alumni include economist James Heckman. In 2000 Heckman received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on selection bias and the Heckman correction. He was also awarded the John Bates Clark Medal in 1983.


Colorado College operates National Public Radio Member Station KRCC-FM. In 1944, KRCC began as a two-room public address system in the basement of Bemis Hall. Professor Woodson "Chief" Tyree, Director of Radio and Drama Department at Colorado College was the founder and inspirational force in the program that one day became KRCC-FM. In 1946, KRCC moved to South Hall (where Packard Hall now stands) on campus where two students, Charles "Bud" Edmonds '51, and Margaret Merle-Smith '51, were instrumental in securing a war surplus FM transmitter. KRCC began over the air broadcasting in April 1951 as the first non-commercial educational FM radio station in the state of Colorado.

Today, KRCC broadcasts through a series of eleven transmitters and translators throughout southern Colorado and a portion of northern New Mexico. KRCC's main transmitter, atop Cheyenne Mountain, broadcasts three separate HD multi-cast channels, including a channel run completely by Colorado College students called the SOCC (Sounds of Colorado College).

Free speech concerns on campus

The civil liberties organization Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has named Colorado College on its Red Alert list for several years over its treatment of two students who distributed a satirical flyer which parodied the college's Feminist and Gender Studies newsletter.


  1. As of June 30, 2013. "Endowment". 
  2. "The Catalyst". Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  3. "Cipher". Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Loevy, R. 11 Myths About Colorado College. Retrieved on: 2010-05-19.
  5. ^ Colorado College. History of Colorado College. Retrieved on: 2010-05-19.
  6. Colorado College at Locate Colleges
  7. "National Liberal Arts College Rankings-2012". U.S. News & World Report. 
  8. "Best Values in Private Colleges". Kiplinger's Personal Finance. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 
  9. "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. July 24, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Colorado College Common Data Set 2012-2013, Part C". Colorado College. 
  11. El Paso County - Colorado State Register of Historic Properties. History Colorado. June 8, 2013.
  12. Colorado College | Ice Hockey History NCAA Tournament[dead link]
  13. Colorado College | Ice Hockey History All-Americans[dead link]
  14. Colorado College | Ice Hockey History Coaches[dead link]
  15. The University of Chicago Department of Economics. "Professor James J. Heckman." The University of Chicago.
  16. Colorado College: Students Found Guilty for Satirical Flyer,, March 31, 2008.

Further reading

  • Dunn, Joe P., “A Mission on the Frontier: Edward P. Tenney, Colorado College, the New West Education Commission, and the School Movement for Mormons and ‘Mexicans,’” History of Education Quarterly, 52 (Nov. 2012), 535–58.
  • Loevy, Robert D. Colorado College: A Place of Learning, 1874-1999. Colorado Springs: Colorado College, 1999.
  • Reid, J. Juan. Colorado College: The First Century, 1874-1974. Colorado Springs: Colorado College, 1979.

External links

  • Official website
  • Official athletics website

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