Visualizing the Importance of Alumni Giving for Scholarships and Innovation

(Above: video of sketchnotes of speakers at Colorado College Across the Country Alumni event)

Scholarships are a critical steppingstone to opportunity to students who don’t have the financial resources to pay for college. Giving capable students the opportunity to get a top flight education doesn’t just help them, it helps all of us by making their skills and passions available to the community. To this end, my alma mater, Colorado College is trying to increase the amount of scholarships it can provide to capable young people who need financial assistance to attend. I was invited to an alumni event in Denver to use my visual storytelling skills to capture what the college is trying to do to boost investment in scholarships, and to give current scholarship students the opportunity to share the incredible work they are doing with alumni. I created the video above by taking notes on my iPad while students, and the faculty and administrators who introduced them, spoke live to a multigenerational crowd of Colorado College Alumni.

Before and after the talks, I did visual interviews with alumni who attended the event. Talking to them reminded me why I loved my experience at Colorado College so much—-the variety of interests and experiences really struck me.


Here are a couple of CC alumni who are busy making a difference in the world. Angela Cobian is an elected official and community organizer in Denver, and Meghan Holseth is working as graphic designer making communications materials for folks like Angela.


Cristina Garcia grew up in an economically strapped town in Colorado, identifying with her native and Latinx heritage. She was one of the scholarship recipients who spoke at the event. Her involvement in student organizations led her to participate in protests to protect native land out of state and then led her to work to create a more welcome environment at Colorado College for students with indigenous heritage.


In the two years since David Mulcahy graduated from Colorado College he has rapidly climbed the ladder at the mutual fund where he works. Colorado College helped him develop the flexibility and discipline he needed to excel at work in multiple roles.


Professor Jane Hilberry talked about how to help students become change makers through an approach she is developing with students and other CC faculty and staff to give them a structured experience to allow for experimentation and mutual support to take the kind of risks needed for innovation.


Colorado College scholarship recipient Annie Bronfman talked about how meaningful and powerful her learning experience has been, particularly when she and her classmates gave up their cell phones for several days to immerse themselves in the creative process.


Jack Wold, Colorado College Board of Trustees member stressed how important alumni support is to support Colorado College’s well deserved #2 ranking in the US News Most Innovative Schools list.

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The event took place at the History Colorado Center. After the scholarship students spoke, we projected the digital sketchnotes above the mixing and mingling crowd. This was a wonderfully crafted experience that made me proud to be an alum of such a curious, humane, and powerful learning community.