Colorado College Welcomes New Students at Opening Convocation - Colorado College

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For Immediate Release


Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038


Journalist, classics scholar to receive honorary degrees at Opening Convocation

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – September 2, 2010 – Colorado College will welcome 538 first-year students and 31 transfer students at its Opening Convocation at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 6 at Shove Memorial Chapel, 1010 N. Nevada Ave. The ceremony marks the beginning of Colorado College’s 137th academic year.

The Opening Convocation ceremony begins with faculty members, dressed in their academic robes, marching into Shove Memorial Chapel from the quadrangle directly west of the chapel. Colorado College’s approximately 1,975 students will begin classes at 10:30 a.m., immediately after the ceremony.

Vincent Bzdek, a 1982 graduate of Colorado College and news editor for The Washington Post, will give the keynote address, titled “The Joshua Generation.” Bzdek and Diane Rayor, a 1980 graduate of Colorado College, both will receive honorary degrees at Opening Convocation.

Bzdek served as a news editor of the Catalyst, the CC student newspaper, and after college worked as a reporter and editor for the Colorado Springs Sun and The Denver Post. In recent years he has been a news editor and senior editor for The Washington Post and writes occasional feature articles for that paper as well as The Wall Street Journal and Wired Magazine.  He offers guest political commentary for CBS Evening News, MSNBC, BBC radio, Fox-TV, Inside Edition and others.

Bzdek also is the author of two bestselling trade books Woman of the House: The Rise of Nancy Pelosi (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2008) and a more recent book, The Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby, and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled (2009).

Rayor is a leader in the field of classics. After a series of appointments combining classics with general humanities in the Chicago area, she moved to the Grand Rapids campus of the University of Michigan system. Starting with one position in the English department of Grand Valley State in 1991, she and colleagues engineered an expansion job by job, becoming a free-standing classics department in 2000.

Her senior classics thesis consisted of 14 poems by the early Greek writer Sappho, translated in mature, well-considered and beautiful English, presented face-to-face with Greek text and all set by hand and printed at The Press at Colorado College.

Nearly 5,000 students applied to Colorado College this year. The class of 2014 brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and talent to the campus. The incoming class features:

  • Students who speak 21 different languages, including Persian, Telugu and Greek.
  • 46 editors of student publications.
  • An internationally recognized Irish step dancer.
  •  Eight nationally ranked competitors, including a three-time national champion in alpine skiing, a national gold medal in jump rope and a gold medal for equestrian.
  • Two members who coached Special Olympic athletes.
  • 18 members who have finished screenplays, 13 of which were converted into shows.
  •  A student who earned more than $40,000 from a self-started ultimate Frisbee T-shirt company.
  •  A two-time grand prize winner in a national gingerbread competition.
  • An ultra-distance runner, who has finished the Leadville Trail 100, a 100-mile course in the Rocky Mountains, with its lowest elevation falling just above 9,000 feet.
  • A variety of leaders, including 17 student government presidents, 24 service organization leaders and 75 heads of school groups, ranging from Quidditch Club to philosophy societies to ski and snowboard groups.

First-year and transfer students arrived on Aug. 28 and participated in a week of orientation activities, which culminated in a variety of 60 community-service trips throughout the Southwest. CC’s new-student orientation trips include opportunities in the backcountry for trail maintenance and campsite rehabilitation work; other students volunteer at animals shelters, including a horse shelter and several wolf shelters, charter schools, museums and emergency food and shelter organizations.

For information, directions or disability accommodation at the event, members of the public may call (719) 389-6607.

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 <>