Colorado College President to Serve Final Year - Colorado College

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For Immediate Release

Jane Turnis
(719) 659-5821

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038


Board of Trustees chair: Dick Celeste a boon to Colorado College

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – May 14, 2010 – Colorado College President Richard F. (“Dick”) Celeste announced today to the Board of Trustees and campus that he will serve a ninth and final academic year at CC.  Celeste, the 12th president of the private liberal arts college founded in 1874, assumed the position in July 2002.

“Dick Celeste has been a boon to Colorado College,” said Chair of the Board of Trustees Suzanne Woolsey. “During his tenure, academic quality has increased and programs have become more exciting, enhancing CC’s ‘Unique Intellectual Adventure.’ He is responsible for increasing CC’s visibility locally, nationally and internationally and for leading the effort that has already raised more than twice the gifts realized in the last fundraising campaign. He also exudes energy that is inspiring to all. President Celeste will be retiring at the top of his game, and we’ll be sorry to see him go.”  

Said Celeste, “I love Colorado College. This year matches my longest tenure in any position I have held, including two terms as Governor of Ohio. I have been honored to lead this remarkable institution and still consider it a privilege each and every day. I will approach my final year with the same enthusiasm and dedication I have invested over the past eight years.”

Institutional achievements under Celeste’s leadership include:

  • The addition of 20 tenure-track faculty positions
  • A significant increase in the size of the applicant pool, from 3,533 in 2003 to 4,455 in 2010
  • Improved student retention and graduation rate
  • An increase in selectivity, with 55.9 percent of applicants accepted in 2003 to 33.3 percent accepted in 2010
  • Major renovations of campus buildings, including Palmer Hall, Cossitt Hall and Packard Hall
  • Construction of the interdisciplinary Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center
  • Significant historic preservation renovations, including Arthur House, Cossitt Hall, Cutler Hall, Jackson House, Lennox House and Spencer Center

The college also has made significant strides on sustainability, including:

  • LEED certification for the Tutt Science Center
  • LEED certification for the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center
  • Signing of the University Presidents Climate Commitment (already having completed the pledge’s first two years of requirements)

In addition, CC adopted a new Long Range Development Plan for the campus and secured city approval for the main features of the plan. The college also has developed several visibility initiatives, including an annual State of the Rockies Conference and Report Card, various symposia and a regional news program heard on KRCC, the college’s NPR-member station.

The Board of Trustees will form a trustee search committee, to include faculty, staff and others, to seek Celeste’s successor.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,975 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit <>