Dr. H. Alan and Dorothy Hume

Alan and Dorothy Hume
If you’re a Colby student looking for a place to swim, do some woodworking, or launch a rowing shell, the Colby-Hume Center on Messalonskee Lake is the place to head—thanks to Alan and Dorothy Hume.In 1989 the Humes began donating their 13.5-acre property, which includes 300 feet of shoreline and the popular Yellow Camp.  A crew team boathouse, a woodworking shop, and a blacksmith's forge followed. The rest, including a sandy beach and the Humes’ house, will be transferred in 2006, when Alan celebrates his 80th birthday.

Why donate their property to Colby? “We like young people,” Dr. Hume explained. “We’ve had a great deal of fun with them. We made the decision to do this while we’re alive in order to see people enjoy it.”

Although Colby will own the property, the Humes will not be pulling up the stakes. The terms of their gift include the use of their home for the remainder of their lives.

Though neither Alan nor Dorothy attended Colby, they developed a high regard for the College during Alan’s tenure as a College overseer, medical director, and staff physician in Colby's Health Center and as they worked with a dozen pre-med students who lived with them during summer work-study programs.

One day in the mid-1980s, the Humes returned from Florida to find Professor Arthur Champlin’s biology class hunkered down around their living-room woodstove. “A light bulb went on,” Alan recalled. “I thought, ‘Boy, Colby could do a lot with this property.’ ”

Dorothy and Alan have made sure of that. In 1991 they built the crew teams a boathouse, which they enlarged in 1998. In 1992 Alan built and equipped a woodworking shop and created a Jan Plan course to share his interest in woodworking with Colby students. He also contributed a forge and started a blacksmithing Jan Plan that year. A separate and larger blacksmith's shop is scheduled to be built in 2006.

All of this, the Humes know, will become part of their legacy. “No one is immortal,” Alan said. “You leave behind your kids and the things you do with your life.”

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