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Opening Convocation Kicks Off 145th Academic Year

Colorado College’s Opening Convocation will be held at 9 a.m., Monday, Aug. 27, in Shove Memorial Chapel, marking the beginning of the college’s 145th academic year. The event will help welcome the 548 members of the Class of 2022 and 36 transfer students. The Class of 2022 was selected from a record 8,552 applicants, and had a 15 percent admittance rate.

Following a welcome from Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler, EllaMaria Ray ’85 will deliver the keynote address, titled “Sculpt Your Own Experience.” Ray, who earned a B.A. in anthropology from Colorado College and a M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Johns Hopkins University, is an anthropologist and visual and performing artist in the Department of Africana Studies at Metropolitan State University at Denver. Through national and internal exhibitions and storytelling, she explores the relationship between ethnographic data and visual art as a tool for understanding the human experience.

Ray’s sojourn has led her to Cortona, Italy, as an artist-in-residence for University of Georgia’s Study Abroad Program, and two fellowships at the University of California, Davis, and Colorado College, to analyze ethnographic data and explore humanity through visual art. Her fieldwork has taken her to Jamaica, Botswana, and the Midwest and Southern United States, where she always seeks the African roots of contemporary diasporic African cultural manifestations.

Ray will receive an honorary degree at Opening Convocation, as will two other CC alumni, Jena Hausmann ’93 and Richard Koo ’82.

Hausmann, who earned a B.A. in political science from Colorado College and a master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota, is president and chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital Colorado, where she oversees the Children’s Hospital Colorado at the Anschutz Medical campus and the Children’s Hospital Colorado network of care in 17 locations in the metropolitan Denver area. She joined Children’s Hospital Colorado in 2004 as the vice president of strategic planning and network of care operations, assumed the role of senior vice president and chief operating officer in 2008, and has served as president and CEO since May 1, 2015.

Koo, who earned a B.A. in mathematics at CC, learned how to program in his spare time as an undergraduate because there was no computer science department at the time — and his advisor, Professor Emeritus Steven Janke, told him he could and that the experience would be fun. After graduation, Koo pursued a graduate degree in computer science at Cornell University, becoming the first Colorado College graduate to receive a Ph.D. in that field. Before he finished his doctorate in 1987, Koo interned at the famed Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in Silicon Valley. Since 2003, he has held engineering leadership roles at several startups, building products for markets such as Internet advertising, mobile computing, and data analysis. He now serves as advisor to a number of nonprofit organizations and startups, including the Cancer Commons and the Canary Center at Stanford University, and returns to CC each year at teach a block.

Also speaking at Opening Convocation will be Student Government Association President Zac Schulman ’19, who will deliver the student welcome.

Following the ceremony, students and faculty will head to classes for the first day of the 2018-19 academic year.

See event information or watch the livestream.