Alleen Thompson '40: Colby and Waterville Legacies

Alleen Thompson '40
In June 2010 Alleen Thompson '40 attended reunion at Colby. Then in July she attended the Colby Alumni College, on The Great Depression this year. In August she was at the 54th annual Wachs Great Books Summer Institute, also on campus. "There's so much happening on campus during the summer that most alumni probably don’t even know about! The Great Books program offers an excellent opportunity to engage in intellectual discussions, and I already have the reading list for next summer,” she said. Alleen has kept strong ties to the College for more than 70 years, and, for someone who graduated Colby before the U.S. entered WWII, she leads a remarkably active life.

During Alleen's senior year the cornerstone for Miller Library was laid on the new campus, and Lorimer Chapel was the only completed building on Mayflower Hill. Alleen's great grandmother, Ellen Furbish Arnold, had been elected the first president of the Waterville Library Association in 1896. Following in her grandmother's footsteps, Alleen earned a degree in library science from Simmons College after graduating from Colby and began a career as a librarian. She served at one time as president of the Special Libraries Association. During World War II, Alleen served in the U.S. Navy as a WAVE, and she retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Alleen's connections to Colby and Waterville are extensive. She followed her father (Class of 1917) and had uncles in the classes of 1918 and 1919. Her great-great grandparents, Jeremiah and Vesta Arnold, have a stained-glass window at the Waterville Universalist Unitarian Church, where they worshipped. Alleen recently made a gift in memory of her great grandmother to the Waterville Public Library.

Alleen has established several charitable gift annuities at Colby to create the Thompson Fund, which supports the Colby College Museum of Art. As a class gift-planning agent, she keeps in touch with classmates and encourages them to include Colby in their plans.

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If you would like to learn more about how Colby may fit into your plans, let's talk. Please call Susan F. Cook '75, P'11, in the Office of Gift Planning at 800-809-0103 or sfcook@colby.edu.
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