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Colby College, founded in 1813, is an American private liberal arts college located on Mayflower Hill in Waterville, Mainemarker.

Colby is the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the United States. Approximately 1,800 students from more than 60 countries are enrolled annually; the college offers 52 major fields of study and 32 minors, and emphasizes project-based learning. Volunteer programs and service-learning take many students into the surrounding community. More than two thirds of Colby students participate in study-abroad programs. Together with Bates Collegemarker and Bowdoin Collegemarker, Colby is one of three highly selective liberal arts colleges in Maine. Colby College competes in the NESCAC league and is considered to be among what are known as the "Little Ivies." In 2008, Colby was ranked the 15th best liberal arts college by both Forbes and Kiplingers and 22nd in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Colby was named one of the "25 New Elite Ivies" by the Kaplan College Guide. Although one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the nation, Colby recently completed several major building projects, including the Diamond Building, opened in 2007 for social sciences and interdisciplinary studies. Diamond houses academic departments and the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement.

History

The original name of the college, as chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1813, was the Maine Literary and Theological Institution. After Maine separated from Massachusetts, the Maine legislature conferred upon the school the right to grant degrees. Soon afterwards, in 1821, the college was renamed Waterville College. During the Civil War, the school was on the verge of closing due to many students leaving to fight the war. Gardner Colby, a Boston merchant and Maine native gave a large donation that allowed the college to remain open. The college was renamed Colby College in gratitude.

In 1871 Colby College was the first all-male college in New England to accept female students. One of the buildings is named after the first woman to attend, Mary Low, who was the valedictorian of the Class of 1875.

The original campus was located close to the center of Waterville, but the college outgrew it. In the 1930s, in an effort to keep Colby from relocating to a different community, the city of Waterville deeded on Mayflower Hill, near the outskirts of the city, to the college. Despite the Georgian Revival architecture and 19th-century look of the present-day campus, the Mayflower Hill campus was all developed since 1930..

Image:Colby College, by S.S. Vose & Son.jpg|Early view of Colby CollegeImage:Colby College, by C. G. Carleton.jpg|Memorial Hall, 1869-1962Image:Adapted from Thorwaldsen's Lion of Lucerne. Memorial Hall, Colby University (now Colby College), from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views.jpg|Memorial Hall monumentImage:Foss Hall, Colby College, Waterville, ME.jpg|Old Foss Hall c. 1910

Academics

Students choose from courses in 52 major fields and have wide flexibility in designing independent study programs, electing special majors, and participating in internships and study-abroad programs.

Major options include: African-American Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Art, Biology, Chemistry, five options in Classics, Computer Science, East Asian Studies, Economics, Economics-Mathematics, English, Environmental Studies (Policy), Environmental Studies (Science), French Studies, Geology, Geoscience, German Studies, Government, History, International Studies, Latin American Studies, Mathematics, Mathematical Sciences, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Russian Language and Culture, Science, Technology, and Society, Sociology, Spanish, Theater and Dance, and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Libraries

Colby’s libraries—Miller Library, the Bixler Art and Music Library, and the Olin Science Library—have a collection of more than 900,000 books, journals, microfilms, music scores, sound recordings, videos/DVDs, and manuscripts. They provide access to more than 100 electronic databases and more than 47,500 electronic journals. Computer labs, wireless networks, laptops, study areas, and a listening center are available for student use.

Miller Library stands at the center of campus and houses the humanities and social science collections, the College archives, and Special Collections. Miller also contains a computer cluster and study areas that are open around the clock, and is equipped with wireless Internet access. The Art and Music Library, in the Bixler Art and Music Center, maintains a collection of art and music books, journals, sound recordings, music scores, a computer lab/listening center, and study spaces. Internet ports and wireless access are provided. The Science Library, in the F.W. Olin Science Center, houses books, journals, videos, and topographic maps that support programs in the natural sciences, computer science, and mathematics.

An open-stack system allows access to the collection with the online catalog and electronic indexes and Internet files are available on library workstations and computers campus-wide. The collection supports all curriculum areas and contains more than 600 currently received print journals, more than 47,000 electronic journals, and domestic and international daily newspapers. The Colby libraries are a repository for U.S. government and Maine state documents.

As a member of both the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin consortium of libraries and MaineCat, Colby provides access to a merged catalog of more than eight million items with daily courier service from libraries in Maine. Another consortium, NExpress, comprising Colby, Bates, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Northeastern, Wellesley, and Williams, provides additional access to research materials. Twelve professional librarians provide research assistance to students, faculty, and outside researchers. Instruction in the use of the library and its research materials is offered throughout the curriculum, from an introduction in beginning English classes to in-depth subject searching using sophisticated tools in upper-level classes.

Special Collections

Miller Library’s special collections of first editions and manuscripts have achieved international recognition. The Edwin Arlington Robinson Memorial Room, named for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Maine poet, contains his books, manuscripts, letters, and memorabilia. Colby’s Thomas Hardy Collection is one of the most extensive in the country. Other authors represented in the Robinson Room include A.E. Housman, Sarah Orne Jewett, Kenneth Roberts, Henry James, Willa Cather, John Masefield, William Dean Howells, Wesley McNair, and Thomas Mann.

The John and Catherine Healy Memorial Room contains the James Augustine Healy Collection of Modern Irish Literature, with inscribed copies, manuscripts, and holograph letters of William Butler Yeats, Sean O’Casey, James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, and others. The Healy Collection has 7,000 primary and critical sources representing the Irish Literary Renaissance, 1880-1940. The Alfred King Chapman Room houses the College archives, which hold more than 4,000 manuscript files pertaining to Colby alumni, faculty, and staff dating from 1813 to the present. The archives include an extensive collection of books by Colby graduates and faculty members.

Student body

Today Colby’s 1,800-plus students, evenly divided between men and women, come from virtually every state and more than 60 countries. In 2005, Colby was presented the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization.

Students have also participated in humanitarian projects to reduce the malaria problem in the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Colby students are listed as 62-percent white, 18-percent unknown race, 14.5-percent ALANA (Asian American, Latino/a, African American, Native American), and 5.3-percent international (2009-10).

Alumni, now numbering more than 25,000, are represented in all 50 states and 75 foreign countries. Alumni remain engaged with the College through alumni programs, affinity groups, and a directory and related services online, all offered by the Office of Alumni Relations.

Student life on campus

In 2003 the college created a Student Programming Board (SPB) to produce social events on campus. This student-run organization sponsors multiple programs every week ranging from dances to special lectures to bingo nights to large-scale live performances. In the past, SPB has brought such acts as Jurassic 5, Citizen Cope, Blackalicious, Ben Folds, Ben Kweller, OK Go, Dane Cook, Talib Kweli, Matisyahu, State Radio, Lupe Fiasco, Blue Scholars, Guster, Common, Mates of State, CAKE, and Naughty By Nature. In addition to SPBs programming, clubs on campus often put on all-school events.

In 2004 and 2005 Colby received press for a Student Government program offering beer and wine to of-age students in a dining hall. For a nominal cost, students may consume up to two beverages during their meal on specific Beer and Wine nights held periodically throughout the year.

Colby's student newspaper, The Colby Echo, has been published since 1877. The paper distributes 1,600 papers weekly in academic buildings, dining halls and throughout Waterville and publishes online at http://www.colby.edu/echo. Colby's radio station, WMHB 89.7 FM, has been on air since March 1949. WMHB broadcasts new and diverse programming to central Maine and around the world. Colby also has a vibrant a cappella scene. There are six groups on campus: The Blue Lights (Men), The Colby Eight (Men), The Megalomaniacs (Co-ed), The Sirens (Female), The Colbyettes (Female), and EVE (Female).

April 12th, 2009

The college has recently come under criticism for an incident on campus involving students, Colby Security officers, and local police. Early on the morning of April 12, 2009 a student was detained by Colby Security inside the Student Union. When two other students arrived on the scene and began questioning security in an animated manner there was an escalation of force on the part of security officers. This led to a series of events where the two students were ultimately pinned down by campus security. With the two students brought down to the floor, the officers issued an emergency call to local police, because they do not have handcuffs. Meanwhile a group of students had passively gathered. A video of the scene was recorded. In the video a student who was already detained was maced by local police officers responding to the scene. Another student can be seen in the video pinned down with sufficient force to cause nasal bleeding. While the students had been drinking, all were 21 or older. The two Colby students detained have been criminally charged with trespassing in the Colby College Student Union.

Colby College Museum of Art

The Colby College Museum of Art Colby museum, one of the largest art museums in Maine, has a number of collections covering a variety of different styles of paintings, sculpture, and other media. Its collection is particularly strong in American art. The museum is notable for an entire wing dedicated to works by American painter Alex Katz. It has major outdoor sculptures by Richard Serra and Sol LeWitt. The Colby museum plans to open an expansion in 2013 to display works from the Lunder Collection, promised to Colby in 2007. Admission is free.

Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips (COOT)

In 1975 Colby instituted its first outdoor orientation trip. From 15 first-year students, two upperclassmen and a professor on the first trip, the program has grown to include all members of incoming classes participating in a COOT (Colby Outdoor Orientation Trip). The program, which has been expanded to include on-campus orientation and is called COOT2, now offers 52 trips in the fall semester and an ICED COOT program for those students who spend the first semester of their freshman year abroad. Destinations for fall trips include hiking trips at Acadia National Parkmarker, Mount Katahdin, and other locations around Maine; canoe trips on the Kennebec and Moose Rivers, along with other trips around the state. The various trips are designed to appeal to incoming students with a variety of interests and fitness levels. The primary goals of COOT are to ease new students' transition into college and to introduce them to the Maine's cultural and natural resources. COOT leaders are chosen from upperclass students and are expected to help the students both during and after the trip with the adjustment to campus life.

Greek System

The national Sigma Kappa sorority was founded at Colby in 1874 by the college's first five female students.

In 1984, following an investigation of campus life commissioned by the Board of Trustees, a decision was made to withdraw recognition from Colby’s Greek system as it was seen to be "exclusionary by nature". The day that fraternity and sorority decision was announced happened to fall on a Sunday and was known as "Bloody Sunday" by many on the campus at the time..

Environmental Practices

In the Fall of 2009, Colby launched Green Colby to highlight Colby's environmental policies (carbon footprint, conservation, student involvement etc.) . In this vein, the school has signed a number of official agreements to reduce its environmental impact, including the Governor’s Carbon Challenge and the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

Already, the college has reduced its carbon emissions 32 percent from 1990 levels. All of the school's electricity comes from renewable sources}}
 All of the school's electricity comes from renewable sources
—hydro and biomass—with 10 percent of campus electricity provided by an on-campus cogeneration turbine. The college has stated that all new buildings will comply with a minimum LEED silver standard, and renovated buildings will also include green features. The dining halls make an effort to purchase local and organic foods, and the elimination of trays has saved 79,000 gallons of water and 50 tons of food waste annually. Colby also has an ambitious composting program, which processes more than 100 tons of food and yard waste annually. On the College Sustainability Report Card 2009 Colby earned a B; Colby's grade was brought down by its lack of endowment transparency and shareholder engagement.

Colby has an Integrated Pest Management plan to regulate the use of pesticides, but this plan does not include a list of the chemicals used on turf, trees, or buildings. There is very strong concern, expressed at the student government level, about the college's regular use of pesticides and herbicides to rid the campus of weeds. Colby's own Environmental Studies Professors argue that these practices are detrimental to the health of people who come into contact with them. Specifically, these pesticides and herbicides have been shown to damage reproductive systems in both female and male adults.

Alma Mater

Colby's Alma Mater is "Hail, Colby, Hail". The lyrics to the song were written by Karl R. Kennison from the class of 1906 and it is sung to the tune of "O Canada". In 1979, the second line was changed from "thy sons" to "thy people far and near."

Hail, Colby, Hail!
Thy people far and near
Stand at thy call,
our alma mater dear.
Thy shaded paths recall our steps
to gather at thy shrine.
Thy memoried halls reclaim our hearts
'til all our thoughts are thine.


Hail, Colby, Hail!
Hail, Colby, Hail!
To thee we lift our hearts and homage pay!
Our Alma Mater, Hail the Blue and Gray!


Historical timeline

  • 1813—the Massachusetts Legislature grants a charter to the Maine Literary and Theological Institution as a Baptist college
  • 1818—Rev. Jeremiah Chaplin is selected by the Board of Trustees as the College's first president; classes are first taught in Chaplin's home starting in the fall
  • 1821—the Maine Legislature empowers the Institution to grant degrees and its name is changed to Waterville College
  • 1822George Dana Boardman becomes Colby's first graduate
  • 1825—theological department discontinued
  • 1822Elijah Parish Lovejoy, who would become a celebrated martyr to emancipation and to freedom of the press, graduates as valedictorian
  • 1833—Rev. Rufus Babcock becomes Colby's second president; students form the nation’s first college-based anti-slavery society
  • 1837—abolitionist editor Elijah Parish Lovejoy (Class of 1826) is murdered while defending his printing press against a pro-slavery mob in Illinois
  • 1867—name of the college changed to Colby to honor its benefactor Gardner Colby
  • 1869—dedication of Memorial Hall, the first Civil War memorial erected on a college campus, to honor Colby men who died in the war
  • 1871—becomes coeducational
  • 1874Sigma Kappa Sorority is founded by Colby's first five female students
  • 1875Mary Caffrey Low becomes Colby's first female graduate; she was the valedictorian of her class
  • 1877—student newspaper, the Colby Echo, is launched
  • 1892—Colby-Bowdoin college football rivalry, third-oldest rivalry in Division III, begins
  • 1923—the White Mule becomes Colby's mascot as the result of an editorial written by Joseph Coburn Smith in the student newspaper, the Echo
  • 1937—groundbreaking for Lorimer Chapel, first building on the new campus Mayflower Hill campus
  • 1951—the last class takes place on the old campus in Coburn Hall
  • 1951—Colby College Museum of Art is founded
  • 1961—Colby is the first college to change to a 4-1-4 calendar and adopt a January Program.
  • 1975—First-ever intercollegiate women’s varsity ice hockey game: Colby vs. Brown University
  • 1983—Colby becomes the first College to assign each student an e-mail address upon matriculation (according to U.S. News & World Report
  • 1984—Colby eliminates fraternities and sororities
  • 1999—Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights founded
  • 2003—Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement launched
  • 2007—Lunder art collection valued at $100 million donated by Paula and Peter Lunder


Notable alumni

Many notable individuals have been affiliated with Colby College, including: TV personality Billy Bush (1994), Civil War General Benjamin F. Butler (1838), major league pitcher Colby Jack Coombs (1906), investment banker and president of Barclays Robert Diamond (1973), historian Doris Kearns Goodwin (1964), ABC News anchor Dan Harris (1993), chair of the National Endowment for the Arts Rocco Landesman (1969), abolitionist Elijah P. Lovejoy (1826), crime novelist Robert B. Parker (1954), novelist Annie Proulx (1957).

Endowment

Colby College had an endowment of US$ 452,990,000 as of June 30, 2009.

Points of interest

  • Gravity Research Foundation monument
  • Perkins Arboretummarker, Waterville
  • Colby College Museum of Art
  • Miller Library, located on a scenic vista at the top of Mayflower Hill with a viewpoint in excess of .
  • Colby-Hume Center, located on Messalonskee Lake, is the base for Colby's crew teams


Colby in popular culture

  • Alma mater of Frances Whiting in Richard Russo's Empire Falls (Pulitzer-winning novel and HBO movie)
  • Featured in an episode of the HBO series The Sopranos, although the actual episode was filmed at Drew Universitymarker.
  • Appeared in the opening scenes of the 1997 movie The Myth of Fingerprints
  • Birthplace of the popular drinking game, Beer Die.
  • In the movie Wet Hot American Summer the reference to "the local college" is Colby.
  • During episode 7 of the first season of the television show Dollhouse, Echo claims she went to Colby.


References

Further reading

  • Fotiades, Anestes. Colby College 1813-1963: A Venture of Faith (1994)
  • Marriner, Ernest Cummings. The History of Colby College (1962)
  • Marriner, Ernest Cummings. The Man of Mayflower Hill: A Biography of Franklin W. Johnson (1967)
  • Marriner, Ernest Cummings. The Strider Years (1980)
  • Smith, Earl. Mayflower Hill: A History of Colby College (2006)
  • Soule, Bertha Louise. Colby's Roman, Julian Daniel Taylor (1938)
  • Soule, Bertha Louise. Colby's President Roberts (1943)
  • Whittemore, Edwin Carey. The History of Colby College (1927)


External links




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