A Life in the City
Letter from the Chairman
This is an extraordinary time for Columbia College Chicago. It is a time of growth, of national recognition, of improved student outcomes, of faculty excellence, of involvement by the board of trustees, of participation in the life of the city. Columbia College has arrived. We are a mature institution of higher education and an important cultural contributor, not only to the city of Chicago, but to the national and international arts, media, and communications communities.
We have achieved national prominence—our students hail from all 50 states and 47 other countries. They come to Columbia College for our “hands-on, minds-on” approach to education, which encourages active participation in one’s creative field from the beginning. They come because the college offers a great value. And they come for our spectacular campus—our gritty, urban, vibrant, downtown-Chicago campus that is fully enmeshed in the life of the city. Here our students, in accordance with our mission, learn “in close relationship to a vital urban reality,” immersed in “an important civic purpose” and actively engaged in the life and culture of the city of Chicago—and beyond.
The success of our students in their creative endeavors is impressive. Every field in the visual, performing, media, and communication arts feels their impact. Our alumni are nominated for Oscars, Emmys, Pulitzers, Cleos, Tonys, Obies—but these awards are simply an external representation of what we have always known as an institution: we do, indeed, “create … change.” The perseverance of our students, the creativity of our campus culture, and the outstanding leadership of our faculty
and staff have all contributed to this success.
As chairman of the college’s board of trustees, I am happy and proud to play my small part in that success. In the past year, the board has renewed its commitment to making this school even better than the extraordinary place it already is. As we prepare to launch the first comprehensive campaign in the college’s history, our endowment is at an all-time high. Our resources have been invested prudently and are performing well. And based on early contributions from our trustees and others, we have every reason to be confident that the upcoming Campaign for Columbia will be absolutely successful.
The Campaign for Columbia will fund the college’s first new-construction building, an innovative Media Production Center with a motion-capture studio, state-of-the-art sound stages, and other amenities that will offer students working in disciplines ranging from dance to video-game design and film the most current facilities in which to experiment, create, and learn.
The campaign will also support our academic programs. It will enhance scholarship and artistic enterprise through our centers and presenting entities. And it will provide much-needed scholarship support for deserving students. Although Columbia’s tuition is more affordable than that of our peer institutions, only about six percent of our undergraduates receive institutional scholarship support—we must increase this support as a matter of commitment to our mission.
Columbia College Chicago is an integral part of the life of the city—our 11,500 students and 2,000 faculty and staff are helping to create the culture of our time every day. We are part of it, we help create it, and we all benefit from Columbia’s thriving presence.
We do, indeed, “create … change.”
Allen M. Turner