Colorado College

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Colorado College
Colorado College seal.svg
MottoScientia et Disciplina (Latin)
Type Private
Endowment $765.035 million (2018) [1]
President Jill Tiefenthaler
Undergraduates 2,012
Location, ,
United States

38°50′53″N104°49′23″W / 38.848°N 104.823°W / 38.848; -104.823 Coordinates: 38°50′53″N104°49′23″W / 38.848°N 104.823°W / 38.848; -104.823
CampusUrban, 90 Acres
Colors Black and Gold [2]
Athletics NCAA Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC)
Division I National Collegiate Hockey Conference, men's ice hockey
Division I Mountain West Conference, women's soccer
Nickname Tigers
Colorado College logo.svg

The Colorado College (CC) is a private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was founded in 1874 by Thomas Nelson Haskell in his daughter's memory. The college enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduates at its 90-acre (36 ha) campus, 70 miles (110 km) south of Denver. The college offers 42 majors and 33 minors, and has a student-faculty ratio of 10:1. [3] Famous alumni include James Heckman, Ken Salazar, Lynne Cheney, Thomas Hornsby Ferril, Marc Webb, and Steve Sabol. Colorado College had an acceptance rate of 15% [4] for the Class of 2022, was ranked as the best private college in Colorado by Forbes, [5] and was listed as tied for the 23rd-best National Liberal Arts College, and as the No. 1 Most Innovative Liberal Arts School, in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report rankings. [6] In addition, Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranked Colorado College 16th in its 2018 rating of best value liberal arts colleges in the U.S. [7]

Private universities are typically not operated by governments, although many receive tax breaks, public student loans, and grants. Depending on their location, private universities may be subject to government regulation. This is in contrast to public universities and national universities. Most private universities are non-profit organizations.

Liberal arts colleges in the United States are certain undergraduate institutions of higher education in the United States. The Encyclopædia Britannica Concise offers a definition of the liberal arts as a "college or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general intellectual capacities, in contrast to a professional, vocational, or technical curriculum." Generally, a full-time, four-year course of study at a liberal arts college leads students to earning Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and on rare occasion Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) degrees.

Colorado Springs, Colorado Home rule municipality in Colorado, United States

Colorado Springs is a home rule municipality that is the largest city by area in Colorado as well as the county seat and the most populous municipality of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Colorado Springs is located in the east central portion of the state. It is situated on Fountain Creek and is located 60 miles (97 km) south of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.


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.

Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) is a consortium of 14 private liberal arts colleges, primarily in the Midwestern United States. The 14 colleges are located in five states. The ACM was established in 1958 and is headquartered in Chicago. The consortium's current president is Chris Welna.

Colorado College Tigers mens ice hockey

The Colorado College Tigers men's ice hockey team is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college ice hockey program that represents Colorado College. The Tigers are a member of National Collegiate Hockey Conference. They play at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


William Jackson Palmer, founder of Colorado Springs and founding trustee of Colorado College William Jackson Palmer.jpg
William Jackson Palmer, founder of Colorado Springs and founding trustee of Colorado College

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. [8] 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, and it retains its liberal arts focus.

Oberlin College private liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio, United States

Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio. Founded as the Oberlin Collegiate Institute in 1833 by John Jay Shipherd and Philo Stewart, it is the oldest coeducational liberal arts college in the United States and the second oldest continuously operating coeducational institute of higher learning in the world. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the United States. In 1835 Oberlin became one of the first colleges in the United States to admit African Americans, and in 1837 the first to admit women.

Cutler Hall, the college's first building, was completed in 1880 and the first degrees were conferred in 1882.

Cutler Hall library

The Cutler Hall is a Gothic library building on the Colorado College campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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. [8] 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).

William Frederick Slocum, Jr. was a United States educator. In 1917 he was forced to retire as President of Colorado College after an investigation confirmed the accusations of multiple women that he had sexually harassed and sexually assaulted them.

Katharine Lee Bates wrote "America the Beautiful" during her summer teaching position at Colorado College in 1893.

Katharine Lee Bates American poet and songwriter

Katharine Lee Bates was a prolific American writer, college professor, scholar, and social activist. Although she published volumes of poetry, travel books, essays, children's books, books for young adults, and editions of many earlier writers' works, today Bates is primarily remembered as the author of "America the Beautiful". While on the Wellesley College faculty, Bates mentored many young poets and helped establish American literature as a field for college study by creating a new college course on the genre and writing one of the field's first textbooks. She was the first woman to write such a book. Some late 20th-century scholars have asserted that Bates was a lesbian who live for 25 years with long-time friend and companion Katharine Coman; but Dr. Melinda M. Ponder, author of the definitive full-length biography, has presented conflicting evidence and reached a more nuanced conclusion.

America the Beautiful American patriotic song

"America the Beautiful" is an American patriotic song. The lyrics were written by Katharine Lee Bates, and the music was composed by church organist and choirmaster Samuel A. Ward at Grace Episcopal Church in Newark, New Jersey. The two never met.


Russell T. Tutt Science Center at Colorado College Russell T Tutt Science Center.jpg
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. [9]

Block plan

Colorado College follows a unique schedule known as the "block plan" in which students study one subject intensively for three-and-a-half-week "blocks", followed by a 4.5 day break. The intensity stems from the time commitment (classes meet for a minimum of three hours Monday through Friday) as well as the demand for engaging rapidly with complex content. Advocates say this allows for more lab time, field research, and an intensive hands-on learning experience with fewer distractions. Critics say that this approach to learning does not allow adequate time for students to digest complex topics.

The block plan epitomizes experiential learning. It is common for classes to take short or extended trips to apply classroom concepts in the real world. Because students only take one course for the duration of the block, professors have the flexibility to develop these types of excursions. For example, a renewable energy course might travel to a local wind farm or a geology class may take a week in Moab, Utah to study geological patterns in the region. A satellite campus in Crestone, Colorado at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains known as "Baca Campus" offers a retreat destination often utilized by language, philosophy, writing, and religion courses. Baca Campus boasts a lodge, conference center, classroom, restaurant, and student townhouse facilities. Some courses will even spend an entire block immersed in an area of interest. These occur both domestically and internationally.

After each block, students are rewarded with 4.5 days off. Most students head off campus, often involving some type of outdoor exploration.

Every student begins the Colorado College journey with a "First Year Experience" course, or FYE. This is a back-to-back block spanning 8 weeks and functions as a freshmen seminar course.

Students can also take blocks during winter and summer breaks. In January, the college offers "half blocks," an intensive 10-day course fulfilling a half credit. Meanwhile, summer blocks are three weeks long, and 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 students to encourage a more personalized academic experience.


Colorado College is considered a "most selective school" by U.S. News & World Report. [10] The admissions rate to the college was tied for the 8th lowest among national liberal arts colleges in the U.S. (excluding military academies) in 2017. When statistical ties are taken into account, the admission rate, excluding military academies, was the 5th lowest for all national liberal arts colleges. [11]

For the Class of 2022 (enrolled fall 2018), Colorado College received a record 8,552 applications and admitted 15%, tied for the lowest acceptance rate in the school's history, with 551 incoming students. [12] For the seventh year in a row, more than a quarter of the incoming class self-identify as students of color, and 9 percent are international students. The class includes 44 QuestBridge students. Now in the fifth year of its affiliation with the QuestBridge organization (, the college has more than 150 QuestBridge students enrolled. [12]

For the class of 2022, the median ACT Composite score of accepted students was 32 (English: 34; Math: 30), with a median SAT combined score of 1430 (Evidence Based Reading & Writing (EBRW): 705; Math: 730). [12]


University rankings
Forbes [13] 57
Liberal arts colleges
U.S. News & World Report [14] 23
Washington Monthly [15] 176

In its 2018 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranks Colorado College as tied for 23rd-best liberal arts college in the nation and No. 1 among the most innovative national liberal arts colleges. [6] The most innovative schools are those "making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities." [16]

Kiplinger's Personal Finance places Colorado College 16th in its 2017 ranking of best value liberal arts colleges in the United States. [7]

In 2016, Forbes rated it 57th overall in "America's Top Colleges," which ranked 660 national universities and liberal arts colleges.

CC is considered a "Hidden Ivy."

In 2010, Colorado College was ranked 21st in Newsweek 's list of "25 Most Desirable Small Schools," which ranks schools based on selectivity, yield rate, retention rate, and quality of facilities and housing. [17] CC was also ranked 19th on Newsweek's "Most Desirable Urban Schools" list in the same year. [18]

In 2012, Colorado College placed 12th in Niche's "Colleges with the Happiest Students." [19]


Students must satisfactorily complete 32 credits to graduate in addition to specifying a major of study and fulfilling those requirements. The college offers a unique alternative for students who wish to design their own major. However, standardized cross-cutting requirements still apply, though these criteria are fairly broad compared to those at comparable colleges. [20]

Student Life


The small campus of 2,000 boasts more than one hundred clubs and student groups, ranging from professional groups, interests clubs, and social groups. Among them are intramural sports groups, which have a strong presence on campus. There are a vibrant array of intramural teams, ranging from broomball to ultimate frisbee. [21]


Most students live on or directly adjacent to the college campus, fostering a closed and tight-knit community. During the first two years of study, students are required to live on campus in one of the student dorms, while apartments and student-owned housing become available as upperclassmen. [22]


Both inside and outside of the classroom, students at Colorado College have a reputation for being collaborative, intellectual, and adventurous. A 'work hard, play hard' motto is commonly referenced on campus. However, 'play' for Colorado College students is distinctive. Many students share a thirst for outdoor exploration, and can be found hiking, biking, climbing, and skiing, among other things. Colorado College's proximity to the Rocky Mountains and several mountain resort communities create an ideal environment for these types of activities. Students are also active in community engagement activities to advance social justice and sustainability.


Cutler Hall, located at 912 North Cascade Avenue, on the Colorado College campus, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Cutler Hall.JPG
Cutler Hall, located at 912 North Cascade Avenue, on the Colorado College campus, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Many of the earliest campus buildings, including Bemis, Cossitt, Cutler, McGregor, Montgomery, Palmer, and Ticknor Halls, are on the National Register of Historic Places, along with Shove Memorial Chapel and the William I. Spencer Center. Arthur House or Edgeplain, once home to the son of President Chester A. Arthur, is also on the National Register. [23]

Since the mid-1950s, newer facilities include three large residence halls, Worner Campus Center, Olin Hall of Science and the Barnes Science Center, Honnen Ice Rink, Boettcher Health Center, Schlessman Pool, Armstrong Hall of Humanities, and the El Pomar Sports Center. 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."

Some of the more recent notable buildings include Tutt Library, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and later expanded and renovated to be the largest carbon-neutral academic library in the United States, Packard Hall of Music and Art, designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, and the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, which was designed by Antoine Predock with input from faculty and students.

Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center at Colorado College EdithKinneyGaylordCornerstoneArtsBldg-TimothyHursley.jpg
Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center at Colorado College

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. The building is also LEED certified.


Map of CC Colorado College map.svg
Map of CC

The school's sports teams are nicknamed the "Tigers." 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 the Mountain West Conference. CC dropped its intercollegiate athletic programs in football, softball, and women's water polo following the 2008–09 academic year. [24]

In 1994, a student referendum to change the athletic teams' nicknames to the Cutthroat Trout narrowly failed, by a margin of 468-423. [25]

The Tigers hockey team 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. [26] In 1996, 1997, and 2005, CC played in the Frozen Four, finishing second in 1996. Fifty-five CC Tigers have been named All-Americans. [27] Hockey Hall of Fame coach Bob Johnson coached the Tigers from 1963 to 1966. [28]

The current hockey coach is Mike Haviland, who had been head coach of the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League and was an assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League.

KRCC radio

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.

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).

Notable people


Colorado College's alumni include a Nobel Prize winner, a Pulitzer Prize winner, 2 MacArthur Fellows, 14 Rhodes Scholars, 31 Fulbright Scholars, and 68 Watson Fellows. [29] CC has also graduated 18 Olympians [29] and 170 professional hockey players, including over 30 current and former NHL players. [30] [31]

Selected notable graduates include:

James Heckman James Heckman.jpg
James Heckman
Ken Salazar Ken Salazar official DOI portrait.jpg
Ken Salazar
Brett Sterling Brett Sterling 2010 11 20.jpg
Brett Sterling
Abigail Washburn Abigail Washburn 6273170.JPG
Abigail Washburn

Faculty and staff

Notable faculty members include:

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Further reading