From March 28-30, 2014, C3 held its inaugural Summit at Connecticut College with the theme of “Launching Transformation.” The Summit gathered 175 faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, administrators, and higher education leaders from liberal arts colleges, research universities, and other associations and organizations. It provided an opportunity to connect the efforts and energies of participants in the other C3 programs, and served as a platform to extend C3’s visibility and reach. The C3 Summit planning committee designed an interactive, action-oriented gathering, with 24 sessions, six of which included research presentations by 20 graduate students and five undergraduates. The workshops focused on connecting individual thriving and success within higher education to common strategies to think about, plan, and act towards institutional transformation.
The Summit created a cross-sectoral, cross-institutional and cross-generational community of individuals who share C3’s values and have a deep sense of commitment for its mission by providing a shared language and vision to connect people across position, institution, and field, and facilitating the development of new relationships and networks. Overall, the Summit was a platform for ideas and interests in how best to structure connections and cross-institutional collaboration, notably around mentorship training and building capacity for difficult dialogues. Undergraduate and graduate students’ intellectual contributions and perspectives anchored the event, and sparked collective energy to sustain and act on the conversations begun at the Summit.