Published: June 16, 2022

Title image: Photo by Greg Tally/Wikimedia Commons

With the weather in full swelter, CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano and a group of distinguished campus leaders headed for the cooler climes of Vail on June 10–11 as part of the ForeverGold alumni group’s annual summer retreat. 

Chancellor Philip DiStefano

Chancellor Philip DiStefano

Athletic Director Rick George

Athletic Director Rick George

Ryan Chreist, CU employee and volunteer fire fighter

Ryan Chreist, CU employee and volunteer fire fighter

In addition to an update on the latest campus developments, the group provided a sneak preview of the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit taking place in Boulder on Dec. 1–4.      

Chancellor DiStefano was joined by Athletic Director Rick George; Dean of Libraries Robert McDonald; women’s soccer coach Danny Sanchez; Matt Burgess, a CU environmental studies professor and CIRES fellow; Clint Carroll, associate professor of ethnic studies; and Kathryn Wendell, executive director of the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility in the Leeds School of Business, for events on Friday night and Saturday at The Lodge at Vail. The visit demonstrated CU Boulder’s continuing commitment to bringing research and innovations from campus directly to audiences all over the state.    

“The University of Colorado Boulder exists for the benefit of the entire state of Colorado, and we can’t achieve our mission in isolation,” DiStefano said. “It takes support from all corners of the state to make CU Boulder the successful and vibrant community it is and to ensure our alumni are achieving personal and professional success.”  

Friday night’s event, which was exclusively for ForeverGold members, consisted of dinner and a spirited CU trivia competition. The following day, ForeverGold members were joined by community leaders from throughout the Vail Valley for a series of presentations highlighting CU Boulder’s efforts throughout campus to develop solutions for the climate change crisis.  

“We are the nation’s first college sports program to sign on to the U.N.’s Sports for Climate Action framework and the Race to Zero commitment that pushes us to eliminate 50% of our carbon emissions by 2030—just eight years from today,” said Athletic Director Rick George. “I am very proud of what we’ve accomplished and excited about what is ahead in this area. It’s great to work on a campus that emphasizes sustainability in everything they do. It’s what makes CU Boulder great.”

Climate summit sneak peek

Participants also got a taste of the upcoming Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit with three presentations from faculty experts highlighting the far-reaching and diverse impacts of climate change on our world. 

Topics included how political polarization drives climate change economic policy; empowering business leaders to drive solutions to environmental, social and ethical challenges; and the effects climate change has on marginalized communities, particularly Indigenous people in the United States. 

The day’s program concluded with a riveting and emotional first-person account of fighting the Marshall Fire from Ryan Chreist, assistant vice chancellor and executive director of the CU Alumni Association, who is also a volunteer member of the Louisville Fire Department.  

The Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit is a partnership between CU Boulder and United Nations Human Rights that will gather some of the world’s foremost human rights, scientific, political, educational, cultural and industry leaders to address the adverse effects of climate change on human rights.

As a global leader in climate, environmental and energy research, the University of Colorado Boulder is partnering with United Nations Human Rights to co-host the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit in fall 2022. 

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