Reaching the World

Reaching the World

Capital campaign kicks off with emphasis on ensuring Colby experience is accessible to all qualified students

By Stephen Collins ‰74

Addressing Colby's commitment to excellence, Adams said that resources sought in this campaign will allow the College to sustain and expand its tradition of curricular innovation. While the faculty-student bond remains a hallmark of the Colby experience, Adams said, "Teaching and learning have changed, and the requirements for facilities have changed.— Student research offices and small-group work spaces are needed, reflecting Colby's broad use of project-based learning and research across the disciplines.

Reaching the World: A Campaign for Colby seeks to ensure that qualified students have access to the College. Above, students listen as Assistant Professor Otto Bretscher (mathematics) makes a point.
Adams talked about the role of the endowment, which will grow by more than $100 million as a result of the campaign. He said that changes in the world and changes in American higher education require that colleges like Colby "are continually raising funds for endowment and facilities.— Despite substantial gains in the size of its endowment over the last decade, Colby was recently solicited to submit a grant proposal as an "under-endowed— institution because its endowment still lags behind many of its peers.

Michael Sinkus, president and CEO of the firm Marts & Lundy, an advisor to the campaign, said Colby's initiative stands out among hundreds of campaigns underway at various colleges and universities because of how strongly rooted it is in the College's strategic plan. "At Colby it's not just, 'give us money—we know what to do with it,'— Sinkus said. He characterized Colby's fund-raising effort as an extension of the detailed plan for growth in programs, facilities, and the endowment adopted by the Board of Trustees in 2002.

Richard Ammons, vice president for college relations and Colby's chief development officer, said that should be helpful in communicating the College's mission and priorities to prospective donors, who are under pressure to support a widening range of philanthropic causes as more and more nonprofit organizations launch their own fund-raising campaigns. As alumni/ae and other friends of the College decide among competing requests for their support, they will have a pretty good idea of what they're getting. Ammons imagines the key questions for donors will be: "What will it do for students?— "What will those students do for the world when they get out?— and "What can I do with my money that's going to make the world better?—

While benefactors can address problems around AIDS or homelessness by supporting clinics and shelters, he said, support for Colby is a more elemental approach—one that gets to the root of these and other social problems by developing scientists and economists and leaders who can have a broad impact on a wide range of social challenges.