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For Immediate Release

Contact: Jane Turnis
(719) 389-6138
jturnis@ColoradoCollege.edu

OPENING CONVOCATION TO MARK COLORADO COLLEGE’S 131st ACADEMIC YEAR

About 2,000 Students to Begin Classes on Monday

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Sept. 3, 2004 – About 2,000 Colorado College students will begin classes on Monday, Sept. 6, immediately after Opening Convocation marks the beginning of the college’s 131 st academic year.

Opening Convocation, beginning at 9 a.m. in Shove Chapel, 1010 N. Nevada Ave., will feature conferral of honorary degrees and an address by alumnus and New York Times Pentagon correspondent Thomas D. Shanker, who graduated from Colorado College in 1978. [See a transcript of Shanker's remarks]

Olivia Chow (left), a first-year student from Boston, and Chet Lisiecki, a sophomore group leader from Denver, work at Wildcat Bluff Nature Center in Amarillo, Texas, as part of a new-student orientation service trip.

New first-year students arrived at Colorado College on Aug. 28, and participated in a week of orientation activities, which culminated in community-service and wilderness trips in Colorado and nearby states. Most returning students will arrive on campus beginning Saturday.

The incoming first-year class is one of the most talented and diverse classes ever to attend Colorado College. A record 4,171 students – 18 percent more than last year – applied to the college for admission, and the final class of 585 students includes many outstanding young people.

Fourteen percent of them were valedictorians or ranked in the top 1 percent of their high-school classes, and 51 percent are ranked in the top 10 percent of their high-school classes. Of these 585 students, 207 are fluent in a second language, 163 were captains of athletic teams in high school, and 345 have participated in community service.

Among them are:

  • a student who performed DNA research at Harvard Medical School
  • a student who built a computer chip at the University of Washington
  • a student who breeds snapping and loggerhead turtles
  • a student who raised $40,000 for a theater program
  • a student who built a robot
  • a student who participated in international clown tours with Patch Adams
  • two bagpipers
  • a student who co-authored a paper in a science journal
  • a filmmaker who placed 4 th in a national film festival
  • an official ambassador to a national peace symposium
  • four certified scuba divers
  • a student who participated in research on an active volcano in Hawaii
  • a breakdancer
  • a student who shepherded water buffalos in Thailand

Twenty-seven percent of these new students come from Colorado. They will be part of a student body that comes from each of the 50 states and 24 countries.

From left, Eric Stover '74, Ricki Spector Booker '90, and Thom Shanker '78, after opening convocation ceromonies -- see a transcript of Shanker's remarks.
At Opening Convocation, three alumni will receive honorary degrees:

  • Ricki Spector Booker graduated with a degree in anthropology from Colorado College in 1990 and went on to build an extremely successful career in the Los Angeles entertainment industry. She has worked as vice president/associate producer, vice president for creative affairs, production assistant, and executive assistant for MGM/UA, Nickelodeon/Nick Movies and 20 th Century Fox on films including “Point Break,” “Forces of Nature,” “Grosse Pointe Blank,” “Legally Blonde,” “Heartbreakers,” “Autumn in New York,” “Rugrats Go Wild,” “Jimmy Neutron,” “Clock Stoppers,” and “Rugrats in Paris.”
  • Thomas D. Shanker graduated with a degree in political science from Colorado College in 1978 and is now the Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times. Shanker has covered foreign policy, military affairs, military operations, national security strategy, and intelligence. His journalism career has also included work at The Chicago Tribune, and the Daily Oklahoman. He joined The New York Times in 1997 and became assistant Washington editor, responsible for managing the newspaper’s coverage of foreign policy, national security and economics from the Washington bureau. He has also written for the New York Review of Books, The New Republic, The American Journalism Review, and The New York Times Magazine.
  • Eric Stover graduated with a degree in English from Colorado College in 1974 and is now director of the Human Rights Center at the University of California-Berkeley. He joined the Office of Science and Human Rights with the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1980, and is credited with jump-starting AAAS activism in human rights. In the early 1990s he served as executive director of Physicians for Human Rights. His work has included a survey of mass graves in Rwanda, being “expert on the mission” to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, researching the social and medical consequences of land mines in Cambodia, and investigating mass murders of Kurds in Iraq.

About Colorado College

Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts and sciences college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,900 students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks.