2023 Commencement Speaker Announced

Fountain Valley School is pleased to announce Dr. Jill Tiefenthaler P’16, ’19 as our 2023 Commencement speaker. As chief executive officer at the National Geographic Society, Dr. Tiefenthaler oversees the development and implementation of the Society’s mission-driven work and programmatic agenda. Jill also sits on the Society’s Board of Trustees and the board of National Geographic Partners.

Prior to joining the National Geographic Society, Jill served as the president of Colorado College for nine years. During her tenure at CC, Jill helped to implement lasting change and facilitated systemic and financial growth within the institution; Jill’s vision helped steer the school in a new direction. Under her leadership, CC executed the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the college’s history and developed and implemented a comprehensive strategic plan that fostered an engaged and globally-connected academic community. Under Jill’s leadership, the school developed a Campus Master Plan, integrated the world-class Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center as part of the college, and expanded its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality. Jill also served as the driving force behind an external review of Colorado College’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practices, which led to significant increases in diversity among the faculty and student body, as well as the creation of their Antiracism Implementation Plan.

Before leading Colorado College, Jill served as provost of Wake Forest University, where she helped to redesign the admissions process to include an SAT-optional policy, integrate the university’s undergraduate and graduate business schools, establish the Institute for Public Engagement and The Humanities Institute, and implement “Living Our Values,” a plan to strengthen residential and campus life.

Jill began her professional academic career at Colgate University, as a full professor of economics. She also held various administrative roles, including consultant to the president; associate dean of the faculty; founding director of the Upstate Institute; and chair of the department of economics.

Jill grew up on a farm in Iowa, where she worked for her family’s popcorn business before attending Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Duke University. We are thrilled to welcome Jill back to the FVS campus for Commencement this coming May.
FVS is a private, college-preparatory, co-ed, day and boarding school for grades 9-12 in Colorado Springs.
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