May 19, 2002 - Colorado Springs Gazette: Former Director Celeste new President of Colorado College

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By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 1:06 pm: Edit Post

Former Director Celeste new President of Colorado College

Read and comment on this story from the Colorado Springs Gazette on former Peace Corps Director Richard Celeste, 64, who will become President of Colorado College at:

Ex-Ohio governor gets top CC post/New president Celeste a proven fund-raiser *

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Ex-Ohio governor gets top CC post/New president Celeste a proven fund-raiser

May 19, 2002 - Gazette Author(s): Barry Noreen; The Gazette

For the first time, Colorado College has gone outside the traditional halls of academia to select a new leader: former Ohio governor and ambassador to India Richard Celeste.

Celeste, 64, will start the job in July, replacing President Kathryn Mohrman, who announced her resignation months ago and has won a Fulbright scholarship to study in China. Mohrman has been CC's president since 1993.

At a news conference on the CC campus Saturday, Celeste said, "The challenge for me is to join the faculty and the students and lift this institution even higher."

In introducing Celeste, Bill Ward, chairman of the CC Board of Trustees, said the new president "has a heart for young people."

Celeste takes over as CC is in the midst of modest enrollment growth and a building boom. New dormitories were completed last year, and a new science building will be finished in 2003.

The college's annual budget is about $88 million. The value of CC's endowment is about $355 million, college sources say.

The college, with an enrollment of 1,952, has high admissions standards and annual tuition is $25,968. Although CC maintains a strong liberal arts tradition, there's been a trend toward science majors; one-third of its graduates last year earned degrees in the sciences.

Dan Tynan, an English professor who served on the search committee for a new president and who chairs the Faculty Executive Committee, acknowledged this is the "first time we've hired someone from outside the liberal arts community."

Noting Celeste is a veteran of the Peace Corps and has been ambassador to India, Tynan said, "I think we all benefit from that."

Having won two statewide elections in Ohio, Celeste is a proven fund-raiser and he said Saturday he's aware of the importance of that part of the job.

"Fund raising is the top responsibility of a college president," Celeste said. "Part of the job will be to generate those resources. We haven't put a number to our ambitions."

Celeste is the 12th president at CC, one of Colorado Springs' oldest institutions, which opened in 1875. Although he doesn't have experience running college campuses, Celeste is an alumnus of Yale University and was a Rhodes Scholar.

His resume includes two terms as governor of Ohio (1982 to 1990), ambassador to India, (1997 to 2001) and director of the Peace Corps (1979 to 1981).

The Board of Trustees chose Celeste over two other finalists: Marvalene Hughes, president of California State University- Stanislaus, and Geoffrey Bannister, a former president of Butler University.

"It is the first time I ever won anything by a unanimous vote," Celeste joked.

The usually quiet campus has been troubled lately. In May, KRCC radio personality Jocelyn Sandberg was slain on campus and in April the student newspaper published racist April Fools' articles that embarrassed the administration.

Members of the Black Student Union and others protested the racial slurs and Mohrman issued an apology, pledging to increase recruitment of minority students and faculty.

Those goals, however, had been mentioned months before, when the search for the new president began.

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