The Colby Liberal Arts Symposium (CLAS) brings the Colby community together each year to recognize and celebrate student scholarship. This year’s CLAS is May 2-3, 2018.

About CLAS

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, Colby allows its students to engage with faculty and the community in more direct and focused ways.

Events began with Arts@CLAS, a celebration of the arts, in the Colby Museum of Arts Wednesday evening. The museum resonates with music, poetry, language readings, visual arts, and dance from many student presenters and performers.

On Thursday, classes are canceled so faculty, staff, and students can attend CLAS. The day features a set of wild-card sessions with interdisciplinary topics and creative formats, the Phi Beta Kappa speech contest at noon, and CLAS Highlights—an end-of-day celebration featuring four speakers nominated by their divisions.

As an extension of CLAS, the final two weeks of the term also include open CLAS sessions during regular class times. Students will make classroom presentations that are open to the public.

CLAS is also among the largest, if not the largest, undergraduate research symposia of any liberal arts college in the country.

CLAS 2017 by the numbers

  • 82 sessions, 422 presentations (608 presenters), 242 posters (392 presenters); 664 projects at CLAS; more than 742 separate students presented or performed as part of CLAS.
  • Thursday CLAS: 57 sessions, 241 presentations (303 presenters), 144 posters (285 presenters)
  • Arts@CLAS: 28 sessions, 103 presentations/performances, 197 presenters/performers
  • Open CLAS (sessions during the final two weeks of the term): 12 presentation sessions, 78 presentations (108 presenters), 7 poster sessions, 98 posters (107 presenters)