February 10, 2020

Good morning, everyone! I am especially excited to share this week’s updates with you, because the first thing I want to tell you all about is not just national news—it’s truly international, and a shining example of CSU’s commitment to making our world a better place. 

We are so very proud to have earned the designation of Platinum — for the third time! — in our most recent Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System report! STARS is an independent program that measures comprehensive sustainability efforts at 990 universities around the world. It took everyone at CSU to reach this benchmark and proves that sustainability is a fundamental value we all share. New programs, new building space, and incredible researchers all had a hand in getting CSU the No. 1 score in the United States.   

We are also proud to be celebrating Founder’s Day this week: Happy Birthday, Colorado State University! Come by the Foundry on Tuesday, February 11, 11:30-1 to join the party!   

And one of the most wonderful new traditions connected to CSU’s Founder’s Day is the annual awarding of the Founder’s Day Medal. This year, we are proud to award the medal posthumously to CSU’s first woman graduate—and a member of our very first graduating class!—Libbie Coy.  And for those who may wonder why Libbie deserves this honor, I note that in a speech she gave at CSU’s Commencement in 1883, she predicted the rise of academic fields from astrophysics to mining engineering to computer science. Oh, and she also predicted that “woman will be ruler of the world and assert her undisputed power.”   

Congratulations to CSU’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 90 being recognized best in the nation! CSU’s Air Force ROTC won the prestigious Right of Line Award based on the cadet performance, community service, officer production, recruiting and scholarships. This is tremendous recognition of the hard work done by this group, which includes students from the University of Northern Colorado, Aims Community College and Front Range Community College. We’re proud of these students, and grateful for the leadership of Col. Tim Childress, commander of Detachment 90 and professor of aerospace studies here at CSU. 

I had the opportunity to spend much of last week getting to know this wonderful state. We went to Castle Rock, Pueblo and Rocky Ford and met with County Commissioners, Extension agents and faculty and 4H leaders. Everyone we met shared some of our state’s historyalong with their vision for the future and what CSU can do to make a difference. It is exciting to know so many good people care so deeply. 

Finally, you probably know (if you’ve been into any store in town!) that Valentine’s Day is this Friday. Did you know that February 14 is also the date Frederick Douglass chose to celebrate as his birthday? (Having been born into slavery, he did not know his actual birthdate.)  We are celebrating this remarkable American—and his peer scholar and activist Anna Julia Cooper–this week in the Morgan Library. Come learn more about Cooper, credited today as “the mother of Black feminism”! 

So Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone, and happy Frederick Douglass Day too!