Founded in 2003 with a generous gift from Colby Trustee William Goldfarb ’68, P’00, the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs connects the Colby community to the world of public affairs and inspires active citizenship.

Through hundreds of events featuring world leaders, innovative thinkers, influential politicians, and cutting-edge academics, the center has set a high standard for public affairs programming at a liberal arts institution. The center bridges classroom learning and engaged citizenship. Our Goldfarb grants support research, and the Sandy Maisel Fellowships underwrite January and summer internship opportunities in communities, capitals, and abroad. Thanks to the generosity of alumni, Maisel Fellows work and research across the globe to explore opportunities related to public affairs while gaining valuable career experience.

The center encourages collaborative, interdisciplinary research among faculty members and students as well as innovative student research. The Goldfarb Center creates a space for open dialogue spanning theory and practice and facilitates conversations across political aisles. Through the Goldfarb Student Engagement Committee, students develop inclusive leadership capacities and interact through dinners and lectures with visiting practitioners and academics.

In collaboration with DavisConnects, our January Facilitated Internships Program in Washington, D.C., and our public affairs policy trek H2H—Mayflower Hill to Capitol Hill—connects selected students to alumni and parents in policy careers, opening pathways to all students interested in public affairs irrespective of family ability to support these extracurricular experiences.

Public Affairs Programming

The Goldfarb Center welcomes prominent and influential scholars and policymakers to campus each year to discuss and debate national and global events as they unfold. High profile events, such as the Senator George J. Mitchell Distinguished International Lecture Series, hosts leaders spanning the fields of political science, professional media, and international affairs. The William R. and Linda K. Cotter Debate Series brings national and international experts to campus for spirited discussion of controversial topics. Public affairs programming also includes a regular schedule of panels, dinners, lectures, conferences, and film screenings, providing students and faculty with many opportunities to network and share ideas.

Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award in Journalism and the Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award

The Lovejoy Award honors a journalist whose craft and courage display qualities exemplified by Elijah Parish Lovejoy, valedictorian of the Colby Class of 1826 and America’s first martyr to freedom of the press. The Brody Award honors a state or federal jurist whose work recalls the career of Judge Morton Brody, a Waterville resident with close ties to the College. The center coordinates programs around the award programs, giving students opportunities to interact with the recipients and national leaders who come to campus to honor the winners.

Goldfarb Center Freedom of Expression Symposium (GFES)
The Goldfarb Center Freedom of Expression Symposium (GFES) provides incentives for both faculty and students to consider opposing positions on a policy issue, engage in multidisciplinary research, and draw evidence-based conclusions. Held in the spring, students compete for prizes up to $2,000 for proposals that provide innovative solutions to complex problems in public affairs.

Through programming and engaged learning, Goldfarb Center students develop abilities to lead and influence the policy agenda.