The Colby Liberal Arts Symposium (CLAS) is a celebration of student scholarship. On April 28, 2016, the Colby community came together to recognize and celebrate students’ many forms of scholarly engagement. Over 750 different students (from virtually every department/program) presented or performed their work.

The events began with Arts@CLAS, a celebration of the arts held on Wednesday evening (April 27) in the Colby Museum of Arts. The Museum resonated with music, poetry, language readings, visual arts, and dance from 177 presenters/performers. On Thursday, classes were canceled so that faculty, staff, and students could attend the 257 talks and 126 posters presented on that day. Thursday also featured interdisciplinary Wild Card sessions on topics ranging from tattoos. to church forests in Ethiopia, to concussions. Six finalists competed in the Phi Beta Kappa speech contest, and four students presented their research as part of CLAS Highlights. Several other courses offered Open CLAS sessions during their regular class times in the final two weeks of the term.


CLAS by the numbers:

  • Overall totals: 97 sessions, 398 presentations (574 presenters), 217 posters (449 presenters); 745 separate students presented or performed as part of CLAS.
  • Thursday CLAS: 47 sessions, 257 presentations (291 presenters), 126 posters (237 presenters)
  • Arts@CLAS: 24 sessions, 93 presentations/performances, 177 presenters/performers
  • Open CLAS (sessions during the final two weeks of the term): 26 sessions, 48 presentations (115 presenters), 91 posters (112 presenters)

CLAS 2017 will take place on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

Watch: A Celebration of Scholarship

About the Symposium

Colby’s faculty voted to create CLAS to extend the positive impact of its predecessor—the Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium. By dedicating a full day to student scholarship, rather than multiple days when presentations competed with class time, Colby allows students to engage with faculty and the community in more direct and focused ways. The event is launched the preceding evening with Arts@CLAS, 6-9 p.m. in the Colby College Museum of Art, with a celebration of the arts. CLAS events on Thursday, April 28, ran from 9 a.m. through 9 p.m.