The Willows Society

Willows Society logoGeorge Dana Boardman was one of the two members of the first graduating class of Waterville College—in 1822. A missionary, he died in Burma in 1831. The following year, students planted willow twigs along a path through the original forestland leading from South College to the Kennebec River. Through the years, they became known as the Boardman Willows, honoring the memory of the first graduate and all alumni who had died. When the College moved to Mayflower Hill, cuttings from the willows were planted on the shores of Johnson Pond, and today they are one of the most striking views of the campus.
The willow was not an accidental choice. Since ancient time the tree has been a symbol of grief while at the same time marking the healing and strength that come with the new green of spring. At a college where strong traditions have transcended the move from one campus to another, the willow tree has endured for some 170 years as a meaningful symbol bridging the past while giving promise to the future. Today, the Willows Society symbolizes the legacy that alumni and friends will leave to the College through their wills and estate plans.

After you have taken care of your family and loved ones, please think about making a bequest to Colby part of your plans. Those alumni and friends who have remembered the College through their wills, trusts, or planned gifts help to assure that a Colby education remains accessible to students in the future. Whether your request supports scholarship aid, faculty research, or the library, your gift also will ensure that a Colby education continues to be among the very best.

The Willows Society recognizes and thanks alumni, parents, friends, and faculty who have made provisions for Colby in their estate plans. Gifts by will or other estate planning technique are a cornerstone of Colby's future endowment growth. The College is deeply grateful to each Willows Society member for this very special expression of loyalty, confidence, and support.

All alumni and friends are welcome to join the Willows Society. There is no minimum or maximum gift amount required—Colby is thankful for all estate gifts, whatever their size. Membership in the Willows Society involves no dues or obligations of any kind, other than to notify the College that you have included Colby in your plans.

If you would like to use our online Bequest Documentation Form to advise us of your gift, please click here. If you have questions or wish to discuss membership in the Willows Society, please contact Susan Cook '75, Office of Gift Planning, 800-809-0103 or