September 2016
Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano Philip P. DiStefano

Dear Friends,

Our students benefit from the increasing diversity and academic qualifications of their peers on the campus.

As I mentioned last month, we have the most prepared and diverse freshman class ever and the official 2016-17 campus census was just published this month. It reveals a freshman class with an average high school grade-point average of 3.66.

One-third of our resident freshmen are Esteemed Scholars – admitted into our merit scholarship program for Colorado’s top-achieving high-school students. Below you will see inspiring stories of a Boettcher Scholar and a first-generation student.  

Seventeen percent of our 6,439 new students are first-generation college students and 26 percent are students of color, not including international students. We also have 484 international students, 7.5 percent of the incoming class.

The growing diversity of both domestic and international students allows all students to experience different viewpoints and cultures to prepare for success in the world marketplace.

Students are also being exposed to a diversity of viewpoints during this campaign season. Our campus has historically been a popular campaign stop for all political parties, presenting unique learning opportunities. We recently had the Green Party presidential candidate on campus, and you may recall we had one of the Republican presidential primary debates here last October.

During an often-acrimonious campaign season, we are working to emphasize and model civil discourse for our students to help foster respect for opposing viewpoints and the ability to respond in a collegial fashion. It’s a lifelong skill that will serve our students well, especially in this electronic era, when it is easy to wall oneself off from other viewpoints.

Respect for cultures and viewpoints unlike our own is a hallmark of higher education and one we hope will remain paramount at CU Boulder.

Please keep reading for recent examples of student engagement during this political season.  


Philip P. DiStefano

Two students give Chip a high-five as they walk across campus

Most diverse, academically qualified freshman class settles into college life

Maureen McNamara and Edwin Mendoza Olea, both Coloradans from the metro area, are two of the many freshmen settling into college life at CU Boulder. Find out how they made the decision to come here and what their impressions are so far.

Speakers in the diverse political perspectives series

Diverse political perspectives the theme of upcoming lecture series

Diverse political perspectives from two notable scholars and media professionals will be the theme of a lecture series presented this fall by the College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI). Journalist and intellectual Thomas Frank will give a talk titled “What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?” on Oct. 3. Author, columnist, talk radio host and Fox News contributor Meghan McCain will speak at a town hall on Nov. 14.

Former Libyan Prime Minister speaks in Math 100

Ex-Libyan prime minister says technology won’t save the world

Five years after the Arab Spring uprisings rocked the Middle East, former Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril offered CU Boulder students a front-row perspective on the protests’ genesis, their shortcomings and the lessons the world should absorb in the coming decades.