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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.

With its rigorous academic program and transformational relationships between students and faculty, the Colby experience is characterized by inspired learning and growth, in and outside of classes. Colby is international in its outlook, its program, and the impact of its graduates. Its location in Maine provides unique access to institutions and extraordinary opportunities for engagement. Students choose from some 500 courses and among 54 majors offered, and they 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 60 nations. Colby was one of the first recipients of 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 and honors for its commitment to sustainable practices on campus. (See

Alumni, now numbering more than 25,000, live in 75 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 the Colby Alumni Network, which includes an online directory and tools, alumni programs, affinity groups, and volunteer opportunities, all offered through the Office of Alumni Relations.