A Year In Photos Colorado College | 2020

Colorado College is, first and foremost, a community. A community of learners and teachers, of the curious and creative, and of the spirited and the resilient. The year 2020 challenged that spirit and resilience beyond measure. There were hardships unlike any we’ve experienced in a century in the form of an ongoing pandemic. There were confrontations over systems that inflict violence upon Black, Brown, and Native bodies, and we experienced the most polarized political landscape in living memory. It was a hard, hard year.

There were also moments, many of them, of absolute joy. Of dance. Of shared meals and laughter with loved ones. Times when we learned profoundly, drove ourselves to experience more, and sought to better ourselves, our community, and the world around us. Real progress was charted, with our course set for an exciting, equity-driven, and opportunity-rich future. We appointed the first woman of color president in the history of the college, and welcomed a team of diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders to campus. We achieved carbon neutrality. We graduated a former mascot and matriculated a new one. We broke ground on a new world-class, multi-purpose arena and student-support venue. We doused each other in champagne, and we graduated the Class of 2020, against all odds. We took care of each other. We innovated to respond to a crisis, wore masks, created pods, and washed our hands. We adapted, survived, and thrived, in the face of everything else. We kept our promises to each other, to this community.

Our team of visual storytellers, including Photographer and Photo Editor Jennifer Coombes and a group of student photographers, is charged with the joyous and demanding task of documenting the fullness of our community every day. In this selection of images from the last 12 months, we revisit the struggles and successes that 2020 brought to CC.

Milestones & Moments

Ethan Klickstein ’22 and Kieran Blood ’22 use their bodies as paintbrushes as they explore the creation of large, playful, action-based paintings in a workshop at the Cornerstone Arts Center. The workshop was part of the Art Department’s Design Week 2020, held the first week of March and hosted by Sheila Kennedy and Frano Violich of KVA Architecture. Photo by Vivian Nguyen ’20

Toddi Gutner, design-thinking expert and parent of a CC student, taught the Art of Innovation Half Block in January to introduce students to design-thinking methods to solve problems. Students in the class were asked to solve the problem of food waste at Rastall Dining Hall. / On March 1, Amy Raymond ’21 and Sally Hedderman ’21 participated in Outdoor Education's Snow Day, an opportunity for students who are new to winter sports to spend a day learning to ski/snowboard. Photo by Chidera Ikpeamarom ’22 / Art Professor Kate Leonard brightens the classroom by having students practice drawing balloons in her Introduction to Drawing class at Packard Hall in early March. Photo by Vivian Nguyen ’20
Daya Stanley ’21, front row center, organized this year’s Black Women’s Formal. The annual event was held on Jan. 24 at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.
David Amster-Olszewski ’09, CEO of SunShare Community Solar, celebrates with Office of Sustainability Director Ian Johnson at a Jan. 22 event in honor of the college achieving its goal of carbon neutrality by 2020. President Jill Tiefenthaler, Provost Alan Townsend, Amster-Olszewski, and Johnson spoke about the current and future goals for CC at a reception and celebration at Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center.

JANUARY The year 2020 began with an incredible moment in the history of the college — finally reaching our long-standing goal of carbon neutrality. President Jill Tiefenthaler and her husband, college research professor Kevin Rask, co-taught their final CC class, Economics of Higher Education, during which they and students visited the Colorado state capitol building in Denver and took in the Hall of Presidents.

A New Home for Glory

February The excitement of the year continued as we broke ground on the Ed Robson Arena, a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art, sustainable sports arena and the new home of CC Tiger Hockey games, along with the adjacent Mike and Barbara Yalich Student Services Center. The CC Tiger Athletics logo got its first update in three decades, ushering in a new era of excitement. Last but by no means least, Prowler, our much-loved mascot, finally graduated, and RoCCy matriculated into the role.

The CC Hockey team, President Jill Tiefenthaler, Ed Robson ’54, Trustee Mike Slade ’79, Head Hockey Coach Mike Haviland, and family members pose for a photo during the Feb. 15 groundbreaking ceremony for the Ed Robson Arena, scheduled to open in Fall 2021.
Students take in the Hall of Presidents during a Block 5 class visit to the state capitol building in Denver. It was the last time President Jill Tiefenthaler and her husband, college research professor Kevin Rask, would co-teach their Economics of Higher Education class at CC.

March Some members of the Class of 2020 held an impromptu celebration on March 11 at the Earle Flagpole, trying to keep tradition alive with a quick moment in the sun (and champagne!) before social distancing orders went into effect. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, classes were shifted to remote learning, bringing the curtain down early on the on-campus experience for the 2019-20 academic year.

April/May Staff from Advancement and Alumni Relations work in Reid Arena on May 25 to coordinate and pack graduation boxes that were delivered to members of the Class of 2020. The boxes, which featured a photo from the Class of 2020’s first days on campus and their class motto, “Hindsight is 2020,” were organized in lieu of a graduation ceremony, which was canceled due to COVID-19. Inside the surprise graduation boxes was the message “You’ve Earned This!” along with diplomas, caps, and other gifts.

With the rapid spread of the pandemic, we strove to help our campus and community address the threat. Innovating through 3-D printing of masks and other PPE, CC students, faculty, and staff provided needed relief and supplies to first- and frontline-responders.


June/July/August From re-configuring a campus for the day-to-day of living through a pandemic, to practicing self-care and community, Summer 2020 was a busy time. Our acting co-presidents, Robert G. Moore and Mike Edmonds, took the reins after President Tiefenthaler’s departure in July, with Edmonds being the first person of color to serve in the presidential capacity.

Genaveve Davis ’21 and her father, Claude Davis, return to campus in early June from Tucson, Arizona, to clean out her room. Like many students, Davis left campus in March and returned at the end of the semester to gather personal belongings.

Noah Smith ’20 pours chemicals into molds in a process he and several other students and CC faculty worked on at Creativity & Innovation at CC in June to create masks for COVID-19 responders. The masks were donated to medical facilities. Innovation is using the molds as well as 3-D printers to make the masks.
Most campus spaces remained closed over the summer as classes went to remote learning.

With safety as a top priority, Colorado College organized an on-campus COVID-19 screening for students, just one of many to come. Students arrived at scheduled times and waited six feet apart from one another to register for and receive their quick and easy COVID-19 tests at the Hybl Community Center. Here, Abigail Opperman ’23 registers for her screening as other students social distance and wait their turns. Photo by Josh Birndorf ’20

Above: Colorado College staff work together to deliver food and activities to students quarantining in Loomis Hall. Dillon Campbell, David Ziemba, and Dave Reed wear their protective gear in front of Loomis Hall. Photo by Patil Khakhamian ’22 Left: Masked up and ready to go, Dalles Tranquille ’23 poses for a photo while waiting to be screened for COVID-19. Photo by Josh Birndorf ’20
Above: On the final day of New Student Orientation, Outdoor Education and Campus Activities set up socially distanced activities for students before their first day of classes. Activities included tie-dying, creating care boxes for hospitalized youth, showing support for quarantined students living in Loomis Hall, and more.Photo by Chidera Ikpeamarom '22 Left: CC staff work together to deliver food and activities to students quarantining in Loomis Hall. Sergio Portesan ’16, a residential life coordinator at Loomis Hall, holds a bag of delivered food from inside his room.
Students in Professor Murphy Brasuel’s general chemistry lecture listen as Brasuel ’96 works out problems on the board, answers questions, and reviews questions students have about problems that will be on an upcoming quiz.

The New Normal

September/October As fall approached, we welcomed first-year students to campus for New Student Orientation. Following “enhanced social distancing” and enduring whole-hall quarantines, students took classes online, in-person, or through a hybrid of the two. It wasn’t normal, but it was us as a college carrying on, as safely as possible and in support of each other.

Students from CC Votes worked diligently this semester to get out the vote. As Election Day neared they brought out CC's iconic "VOTE" letters.

Staying Engaged & Well

November November brought great peaks and valleys of political engagement and activism, with the U.S. presidential election marking an important juncture for our community. Throughout the stress, the coverage, and the constant #doomscrolling, we carried on, making time for moments of care, reflection, and uniquely CC levity.

Caring for Ourselves

Emily Hildalgo ’22, RA of The Enclave, and the Bemis School of Art held a painting event on Sept. 2 for Enclave residents and their friends. The students began by writing letters to themselves and then painted their canvases. Photo by Chidera Ikpeamarom '22

Acting Co-Presidents Robert G. Moore, left, and Mike Edmonds, right.

On June 15, we announced that Mike Edmonds, dean of students and vice president for Student Life, and Robert G. Moore, senior vice president for Finance and Administration, would share leadership duties as co-presidents of Colorado College, while CC conducted a national search for a new president. Edmonds, with nearly three decades of service to the college, became the first Black leader to serve in a presidential capacity in the college’s 146-year history.

A New Era

December On Dec. 9, the college announced the appointment of its 14th president, L. Song Richardson — the first Black and Korean woman president in our history. A legal scholar, educator, lawyer, and expert on racial and gender bias, Richardson’s forthcoming leadership marks a new and exciting chapter in the college’s history, one that will drive us as a community toward a more inclusive, equity-driven, antiracist future, while retaining and developing the best of what makes our CC experience challenging and invigorating.


Jennifer Coombes, Josh Birndorf, Chidera Ikpeamarom, John Le, Patil Khakhamian, Katie Klann, Vivian Nguyen, Skye Schelz