The 60th Annual Great Books at Colby Summer Institute

July 17–23, 2016
Location: Colby College, Waterville, Maine
Costs: $610
Who Should Attend: Anyone who loves books, enjoys discussing them with others, and seeks an inexpensive, intellectually stimulating vacation.
Join our annual week of lively discussion at Colby College. We are a community of people who enjoy reading and discussing Great Books. Have you ever closed a book after reading the last page and wished you could share your thoughts with someone? Colby offers an opportunity to collaborate in discovering insights rarely achieved just reading alone. Located on a beautiful campus, it offers an inexpensive, intellectually stimulating vacation where readers who love to think and talk about the world's great literary works can derive pleasure from spending time with others who share their enthusiasm. For two hours each day, readers discuss their understanding of thought-provoking classics through the Great Books Foundation's Shared Inquiry Method. Our focus this year is on The Search for Meaning. Man's recognition of his mortality and repeated confrontation with the trials and tribulations of human existence invariably initiate a quest for meaning.  Join us in examining how these great writers view this process.

Adult Readings:  The Search For Meaning

Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain (two days)
J.L. Carr, A Month in the Country
Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard
Margaret Edson, Wit:  A Play

2016 Junior Great Books Readings:

Younger Group, Grades 1-5:  The Prince & the Pauper, Mark Twain; One Crazy Summer, Rita Williams-Garcia; Flora & Ulysses, Kate DiCamillo; Matilda, Roald Dahl

Middle Group, Grades 6-7 & Older Group, Grades 8-10:  Jacob Have I Loved, Katherine Paterson; The Sand Reckoner, Gillian Bradshaw; Our Only May Amelia, Jennifer L. Holm; Crossing Stones, Helen Frost

Registration covers books and discussions, as well as swimming, tennis, films, group social activities, and a real Maine lobster bake. On-campus registration includes a single or double dormitory room (six nights: Sunday through Friday) and all meals.  There is an option at an additional charge, for staying over Saturday night either before the week (July 16) or after (July 23).  Either night provides an opportunity to attend the Atlantic Music Festival's outstanding free classical music concert.  We also offer a Children's Program for ages three and above.  Commuters participate in all activities, but live on their own, off-campus, and receive lunch each day and the Friday night lobster bake.

The cost for commuters (participants who live off-campus) is $320 and includes lunches and the lobster bake. Scholarships are available on a need basis. We are also offering a one time $50 discount to Colby alumni!  Our registration deadline is June 20
Optional Bus Trip to Portland, Maine: Wednesday, July 20th, 11:45 a.m. - 7:45 p.m.

This charming city - the largest in Maine - will enchant you.  Uptown, a few blocks from the waterfront, is Portland's secret treasure, the Arts District.  With Congress Street as its spine, this once traditional shopping street is replete with museums, art galleries, antique shops, and artist studios.  Nearby, the Old Port District is a Portland shopping mecca.  One of a kind shops line the cobblestone streets of this historic waterfront district, so you can experience the charm of boutique shopping and enjoy restaurants serving Maine's famous lobster dishes, local specialties, and the latest nouveau cuisine.  Since everything is in walking distance of the waterfront, and taxis are plentiful in Portland, you can easily get around.

The cost is $30, which includes a box lunch. Dinner is not included. The bus leaves Colby at 12:00 p.m. and leaves Portland at 7:45 p.m.  Arriving inPortland before 1:30 p.m., we will first tour the perimeter of the city for great views of the bay.  The bus will then drop passengers in the Old Port District at the corner of Exchange and Middle, the meeting place for the bus to return to Colby.  The afternoon will be spent touring the town with discretionary shopping followed by early dinner at your own expense.  Everyone will be given a map of Portland and a restaurant guide.  Everyone will have the cell phone number of the Trip Leader, and the Trip Leader will have your cell phone number.  Everyone should plan on meeting the bus at 7:45 p.m.  The bus leaves on time; be late at your peril  Please prepay for the bus trip with your registration deposit.  Things to do in Portland: Maine.html

Optional Saturday Nights to Attend the Atlantic Music Festival's Concert:  Extra nights: Saturday, July 16th ($85, lodging, dinner, breakfast, and lunch) or July 23rd ($80, lodging, dinner and breakfast).  Concerts are free.  Please prepay for additional nights with your registration deposit.

You may register online by clicking here to download a registration form.  Or, if you prefer to mail your registration, send it to:

Great Books at Colby
P.O. Box 424
Newtown Square, PA  19073

Contact Information

Great Books Summer Institute at Colby
P.O. Box 424
Newtown Square,
PA 19073

Arrival:  Sunday, July 17, 2016

1:00-6:00 p.m.:  Registration - Cotter Union
5:30 p.m.:  First Meal
8:30 p.m.:  Welcome Reception

Daily Discussions:  9300-11:30 a.m.
Monday:  Man's Search for Meaning, pp. xiii-154
Tuesday:  The Magic Mountain, pp. xi-338
Wednesday:  The Magic Mountain, pp. 339-706
Thursday:  A Month in the Country, pp. xxi-135
Friday:  The Snow Leopard, p. 1-318
Saturday:  Wit: a play, pp. 3-85

Special Events:
Wednesday, 11:45 a.m.: Optional Bus Trip to Portland ($30)
Saturday nights, 7/16 ($85) & 7/23 ($80):  Optional overnight attendance for Atlantic Music Festival's Free Concerts

Departure:  Saturday, July 23, 2016
11:45 a.m.:  "Hail and Farewell" on the lawn
12:00 p.m.:  Lunch & Departure

Times and locations of other activities for the week, including a lobster bake, films, and the Wachs Works, will be announced at registration.