Pugh Center History

The Pugh Center was first dedicated on October 12, 1996. The genesis for the creation of the Center was a presentation by a group called Students of Color United for Change, who, at the March 9, 1994, meeting of the Campus Community Committee presented a set of concerns regarding diversity initiatives including a request for a residential multicultural house. In the fall of 1994, the group changed its name to the Students United for Change, although the name changed the focus stayed the same. A Trustee Commission was formed to study and make recommendations about those issues.

After a year of research and discussion, the Commission composed of trustees, alumni, faculty, students, and staff, recommended that a centrally located facility, dedicated to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and religion, be constructed with common spaces and rooms for relevant student organizations. Chair of the Board, Larry Pugh, 1956, M.A. 1992, LL.D. 1999 and his wife Jean 1955, LL.D. 1999, made the naming gift for the construction of the Center, designed with advice from Student Government leaders and several student clubs and organizations. It provides a central location for programs, activities and learning opportunities that promote intercultural communication and understanding.

The Pugh Center:

  • Engages students to become critical and imaginative thinkers who are welcoming of diversity and ready for leadership in our global society
  • Serves as a gathering place for students who are devoted to learning about and understanding experiences and issues related to race, ethnicity, gender, culture, sexual orientation, identity, and spirituality
  • Provides leadership opportunities through student clubs and organizations
  • Facilitates the exploration of various experiences through the presentation of lectures, performances, discussions, trainings, symposia, and intentional dialogue
  • Advocates for a campus climate that is welcoming and inclusive of students from Colby College's underrepresented groups
  • Supports student success through strategic relations and targeted retention efforts

Through this generous gift from the Pugh Family, the Center facilitates opportunities for campus engagement, exploration, and education regarding diverse experiences and issues. The Pugh Center seeks to meet its purpose through various opportunities, programs, activities, and resources.