Carlotta Walls Lanier of the Little Rock Nine told the story at CU-Boulder's 20th annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit of the nine courageous young students who changed the face of education in the United States in 1957.
On Nov. 11 and 12 we held our 20th annual campus Diversity and Inclusion Summit with Carlotta Walls Lanier as our keynote speaker. Mrs. Lanier was one of the Little Rock Nine students who integrated Central High School there in 1957 with the U.S. 101st Airborne Division paratroopers providing protection. Her inspiring speech directly addressed the need for a campus to be welcoming and inclusive for everyone. This is a critical element to achieving our top priority of ensuring the success of each of our students.
Carlotta was but 14 years old when she and eight school children bravely tested the Supreme Court decision outlawing racial segregation in public education. Their unwelcome integration of their local public high school is now a part of American history. They courageously blazed a trail of access to education for all, and we must continue the vital journey down that trail. Mrs. Lanier entrusted her daughter, Brooke, to us and we are proud that Brooke is an alumna of CU-Boulder.
At the diversity summit we celebrated the biggest enrollment in our history of students from underrepresented populations in both our freshman class and the overall student body. But more importantly, we challenged ourselves to improve on creating a more welcoming climate and culture for all students, faculty and staff. You can read my speech here.
Ending sexual assault on the nation’s campuses
A welcoming culture includes a safe campus. The University of Colorado Boulder is participating in a national call to make our nation’s campuses safer and to better enforce Title IX, including preventing acts of sexual assault, discrimination and harassment.
Title IX is the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance. We want to be a national model for compliance. As part of that we joined the White House’s "It's On Us" campaign aimed at getting more men and bystanders involved in preventing sexual violence.You can see our one-minute “It’s On Us” video here.
Honoring our 700-plus student veterans
CU-Boulder has a robust community of veterans with more than 700 student veterans, 380 ROTC students, and faculty and staff who are veterans. The campus paid tribute to them and all veterans on Nov. 11.
Nov. 11 was a big day on campus. Not only did we have our Diversity Summit, we also honored our veterans on Veterans Day. CU-Boulder is extremely fortunate to have a strong military community on campus, with more than 700 student veterans and 380 ROTC students. The leadership and life experience that our student veterans bring to campus, the classroom, and student government is a significant factor in CU-Boulder’s success. It was my privilege to recognize them, and all veterans, in this speech during the campus ceremony.
In recent years we have expanded campus veteran services in response to the influx of post-9/11 student veterans, including the support of our veterans in transitioning from military to campus life, in their academic success, and in moving from college to a career.
Geosciences named No. 2 in the world
CU-Boulder and University of Iceland undergraduate geology students participated in an international global seminar in southern Iceland recently. CU-Boulder was ranked No. 2 in the world in geosciences last month.
I am often told by our friends and community that they do not know CU-Boulder is among the top research universities in the country, or of its many high-ranking programs competing with the likes of Cal-Tech, Berkeley and MIT. Just last month U.S. News & World Report ranked our geosciences programs No. 2 in the world behind only Cal-Tech. This ranking joins our No. 1 national ranking in atomic, molecular and optical physics. In fact, we have seven graduate programs in the Top 10.
Rankings are a nice feather in our cap and certainly boost our reputation, but the real beneficiaries are our students, who work in the labs of world-class researchers and learn from professors conducting cutting-edge research.
Four-peat for men’s cross country
The CU men's cross-country team celebrates a four-peat Pac-12 championship this month. It has won the conference championship every year since CU joined the Pac-12.
Congratulations to the men’s and women’s cross-country teams. The men’s team won its fourth consecutive Pac-12 title! The Buffalo men have won every Pac-12 cross-country championship since joining the conference in 2011. And, for the first time since 2006, both the men and women won the NCAA Mountain Regional title. Both advance to the NCAA Championships Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Soccer, volleyball make strong showing against tough competitors
The CU soccer team battled snow, cold and Brigham Young University to advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament against North Carolina.
The soccer team went 3-0-1 in its last four games to make the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year under Coach Danny Sanchez and then braved snow and a 6-degree wind chill last Saturday to beat Brigham Young in its first-round home game. The team plays No. 6 North Carolina on Friday in Chapel Hill.
The No. 19-ranked Buffs volleyball team turned in a huge upset over No. 2 Washington, handing the Huskies their first loss of the season, and followed up with a victory over Washington State last weekend. The men’s and women’s basketball teams opened their seasons with victories and the football team completes its season with a home game against Utah on Sat. Nov. 29.
I know we are collectively impatient for CU’s return to greatness on the football field but I am seeing greatness already in the way these young men are competing. Three conference games have gone down to the wire, including two double-overtime games. There is a bright future ahead for the Buffs in a soon-to-be renovated Folsom Field, and I'm confident some of these close losses will become wins as the team – the youngest in the Pac-12 and the 11th youngest in the nation – matures.
Donors support vital improvements to Folsom Field
The renovation of the northeast corner of Folsom Field with new fan seating is basically completed with finishing touches at season’s end. The construction of the administrative building, including a high-performance sports center, is in full gear. This will eventually include the renovation of a good portion of the Dal Ward Athletic Center with completion expected next summer. The indoor practice facility, with an underground garage, is expected to be finished by the end of 2015. Donors are supporting these vital improvements and it will transform the experience of both fans and student athletes at Folsom Field!
Philip P. DiStefano