The Colby Liberal Arts Symposium (CLAS) is a celebration of student scholarship. On April 27, 2017, the Colby community will come together to recognize and celebrate students’ many forms of scholarly engagement. Last year, over 750 different students (from virtually every department/program) presented or performed their work.

The events will begin with Arts@CLAS, a celebration of the arts held on Wednesday evening (April 26) in the Colby Museum of Arts. The Museum will resonate with music, poetry, language readings, visual arts, and dance from many student presenters/ performers. On Thursday, classes will be canceled so that faculty, staff, and students can attend the talks and posters on that day.  CLAS will also feature a set of Wild Card sessions–with interdisciplinary topics and creative formats.  Additionally, the Phi Beta Kappa speech contest will include six finalists delivering their speeches at Noon; and CLAS Highlights will be an end-of-day celebration featuring four speakers nominated by their divisions.

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

CLAS 2016 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)

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 27, will run throughout the day.