About Colby

Colby is a coeducational, residential undergraduate liberal arts college that confers the bachelor of arts degree. Chartered in 1813, Colby is the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the nation. In 1871 it became the first previously all-male college in New England to admit women. Before World War II trustees voted to move the College from its original site in downtown Waterville to the 714-acre Mayflower Hill campus, where more than 60 buildings have been constructed since 1937. In 2004 Colby completed the Colby Green, a new campus district created to accommodate academic and administrative buildings.

The Colby experience is characterized by intellectual challenge, active community life, and connections to the world. Academics are the core of Colby, and excellence in undergraduate education is the College's central mission. Colby combines academic challenge with a rich student life that offers countless opportunities to participate in and to lead organizations as well as venues for volunteer work and civic engagement. Students choose from some 500 courses in 53 major fields and have wide flexibility in designing independent study programs, electing special majors, and participating in internships and exchange programs.

Colby values understanding of and concern for others, diversity of thought and culture, open access to campus groups and organizations, and personal and academic honesty. Members of the College community bear a special responsibility, in all of their words and actions, to honor and protect the rights and feelings of others.

Today Colby's 1,800 students, evenly divided between men and women, come from virtually every state and more than 65 foreign countries. In 2005 Colby was presented the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization, recognizing its emphasis on study abroad programs, the international diversity of the student body and faculty, and the ways global issues permeate the curriculum. The College is a leader in environmental awareness and has won environmental awards for its commitment to sustainable practices on campus, including an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Merit Award and two Maine Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence.

Alumni, now numbering more than 23,700, are represented in 74 foreign countries, all 50 states, and in the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 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.

Accreditation and Memberships
Accredited by New England Association of Schools & Colleges, Maine Department of Education, American Chemical Society, and Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. Member of The College Board, College Scholarship Service, American Council on Education, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, New England Board of Higher Education, Council on Undergraduate Research, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, American Library Association, New England Library Network, Consortium for High Achievement and Success, Center for African and Afro-American Studies, New England Regional Conference of the National Council for Black Studies, American Institute of Indian Studies, and American Studies Association. College member of American Association of University Women, chapter of American Association of University Professors, member of New England Small College Athletic Conference. Colby chapter of Phi Beta Kappa founded in 1895. Colby College Museum of Art accredited by the American Association of Museums. Garrison-Foster Health Center accredited by Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
Colby's Presidents
1822-1833Jeremiah Chaplin
1833-1836Rufus Babcock
1836-1839Robert Everett Pattison
1841-1843Eliphaz Fay
1843-1853David Newton Sheldon
1854-1857Robert Everett Pattison
1857-1873 James Tift Champlin
1873-1882Henry Ephraim Robins
1882-1889George Dana Boardman Pepper
1889-1892Albion Woodbury Small
1892-1895Beniah Longley Whitman
1896-1901Nathaniel Butler Jr.
1901-1908Charles Lincoln White
1908-1927Arthur Jeremiah Roberts
1929-1942Franklin Winslow Johnson
1942-1960Julius Seelye Bixler
1960-1979Robert Edward Lee Strider II
1979-2000William R. Cotter
2000-presentWilliam D. Adams