Thousands of Colby students over the years have counted on scholarships in order to attend Colby. Currently 40 percent of Colby students receive financial aid grants totaling more than $23.8 million this year alone. Where does all this scholarship money come from? Often from alumni who received financial aid as students and give back to the College later in life when they are able, making it possible for another student to get a Colby education and a good start in life. Scholarship funds also come from alumni who didn't receive financial aid, from parents of students, from retired faculty members, and even from benefactors with no official ties to the College.
Frank P'99 and Betsy Stark Roberts ’65 are one couple who have donated funds for scholarships, although Betsy didn't receive financial aid as a student and Frank attended the University of Maine. Both retired educators, they are aware of the importance of learning, and they welcome the opportunity to make a real contribution to that cause. "We both have a strong commitment to education, not just professionally but personally as well," said Betsy. With the rising cost of higher education, they also feel an increasing urgency to keep it accessible.
Betsy worked for 33 years at Colby and retired as a senior teaching associate in biology. A photography enthusiast, she took on the task of photographing all the biology seniors for the department, a project so well received she soon began photographing the juniors and sophomores too. It helped faculty and students get to know one another in one of Colby's largest departments. Retired for the past four years, Betsy occasionally returns to visit the campus, and when she does she is reminded especially of her student years. She knows the importance of the faculty in those formative years and remembers fondly several professors whose influence she will carry forever.
Frank Roberts holds a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University and taught genetics in the zoology department at the University of Maine at Orono for 30 years, but he has strong ties to Colby. His brother, Bruce ’66, and daughter Laurie ’99 are Colby alums, and his grandson Corey Martin ’10 is a current student. Two of his cousins graduated from Colby in the 1940s, and his uncle, Arthur J. Roberts, was Colby's 13th president.
The Robertses both naturally think of Colby when they think of higher education, and they believe Colby uses money wisely, so the College was the obvious choice for them when they decided to help future students, they said. "Working with Colby's Office of Gift Planning was easy, reliable, and pleasant," said Betsy. By establishing charitable gift annuities, the Robertses protected their own financial future while making it possible for future students to get a good liberal arts education. Colby invested their money and will make fixed annual payments to them for the rest of their lives—and they received tax deductions. Upon their deaths the gift annuities will be transferred to the Arthur J. Roberts Scholarship Fund. (See more about charitable gift annuities.)
To celebrate his retirement in 1997, Frank hiked the full length of Appalachian Trail. He still runs regularly, and he and Betsy enjoy getting outdoors and exercising together daily. They live on Mt. Desert Island.
To learn more about how your inspired gift can make a lasting impact on generations of Colby students, please contact the Office of Gift Planning. Call Susan F. Cook ’75, P’11, at 800-809-0103, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.colby.edu/willows.