There has been a lot of discussion about diversity and inclusion in our community.
In last weeks CSBJ there was an article by Glen Bruels in the Leadership Quarterly section that addressed some of our diversity issues. Bruels wrote about the diversity forum, a group of nearly 30 organizations whose mission is to “create opportunity for our citizens to appreciate the rich diversity in our community and to communicate that appreciation to those inside and outside our community.”
Tuesday night I learned a lot more about Colorado College during a dinner at President Dick Celeste’s house. The school has recently started reaching out more to the community through a group called the Business and Community Alliance.
“The roll of the B&CA is to facilitate a connection with the community and Colorado College,” said B.J. Hybl of Griffis Blessing, chairman of the group.
We have a rich and diverse community at least on the north side of downtown. There are a lot of good things going on at CC, but I don’t think the community as a whole really is connected to the college. Maybe people just think of CC as that liberal arts school. It is really much more than that. CC is on the level of an Ivy League school.
Applications for enrollment are up almost 15 percent during the past several years and international applications are up 17 percent. CC has 13 buildings on the National Historical Registry, and some alumni argue that the education they received at CC is comparable or even better than Harvard.
Economically the college has an impact of $110 million in local sales that are generated each year. Nearly 1,800 jobs are created as a result of CC-community expenditures and CC ranks among the top 30 employers in Colorado Springs, according to a study done in 2004.
The school’s Cornerstone Arts building, which is in the area being called the fine arts district, represents part of a local investment exceeding $65 million.
Do we celebrate this diverse treasure enough? Do we as a community engage with CC? I think CC provides a balance for our community that otherwise might not be there. I know I am going to be more attuned to the happenings at Colorado College. The more I learn about our community, the prouder I am of our diversity.
Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at Lon.Matejczyk@csbj.com or 329-5202.