The Isaksens

Fredd P’01, Kirsten ’01, and Overseer Marjorie Isaksen P’01
For Marjorie and Fredd Isaksen P’01, supporting Colby is a way of supporting Marjorie’s home state of Maine while directly supporting the college where they saw their daughter, Kirsten, blossom into a well-rounded, knowledgeable adult. “We believe in Colby,” said Marjorie, “because it provides a supportive but challenging environment. Students are encouraged to fulfill their potential in all endeavors, and the faculty and administration, while committed to high academic standards, are unparalleled in their accessibility to students.”

The couple recognizes that a college, like a business, needs a solid financial foundation in order to function. They would like to see Colby better known on the national level and are doing their part to make that happen. This year they made a capital gift to Colby’s endowment in support of the Reaching the World campaign. But it isn’t their first major gift to the College. In 1999 they created the Cyr-Isaksen Scholarship Fund for Maine students with financial need. They also provide ongoing support to the College through the Parents Fund, the Friends of Art, and Music at Colby.

The Isaksens have devoted their time, energy, and experience to the College as well. When Kirsten was a student, they served on the Parents Executive Committee, and after she graduated they continued as Parents Fund class agents. Marjorie has gone on to serve as an overseer, and she also has taken time to enjoy four Colby-Bates-Bowdoin travel-study trips—The Antebellum South Along the Intracoastal Waterway, Village Life Along the Waterways of Holland and Belgium, Land of the Midnight Sun: Norway’s North Cape and Svalbard Archipelago, and Treasures of South Africa: Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Zambezi River Cruise, Victoria Falls (the last with Fredd).

Kirsten, who earned her M.A. in commerce at the University of Sydney (Australia), found the British-style grading system difficult and was grateful that Colby had prepared her to deal with the challenge. In 2005 she married John (Jay) Jennings Benjamin, and the two lived and worked in New Zealand for two years before returning to Sydney. Both work for advertising and marketing firms—Kirsten is an account executive for Lowe Worldwide and Jay is a creative director and regional manager for J. Walter Thompson.

Fredd and Marjorie are active volunteers and support many charities in their Long Island community. Marjorie, a former middle school teacher, is a trustee of the historic village of Cove Neck in Oyster Bay, and both she and Fredd serve on several other boards. Fredd is a ship owner, with tankers and dry cargo ships trading worldwide. The whole family enjoys boating in the summer and skating in the winter—Fredd regularly plays hockey, Marjorie has studied ice dancing, and Kirsten is a figure skater who trained in Lake Placid.

Donor Profiles
Sunil Thakor ’99: Investing in Education
SunilThakor_thumb “It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Colby,” said Sunil Thakor ’99, who names the Economics Department and Colby crew as the two biggest influences on his education and his personal development at Colby (aside from meeting his wife, Kristin Fairman Thakor ’99, who is also a Colby grad). Both helped prepare him for his current career with Sands Capital Management, LLC, where he co-manages a $3-billion global growth fund.
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Michael ’66 and Sally Gordon
Michael ’66 and Sally Gordon As the result of a $5-million gift for financial aid from Trustee Michael Gordon ’66 and his wife Sally, one or two Colby students in each class will be able to attend the College with substantial scholarship aid.

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