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There was a day, perhaps even an hour or a moment, when we realized here at Colby that something significant was happening at the College, something that would have to be recorded, captured and explored in the pages of the magazine.
This was early in the spring and word had come that Colby, Bowdoin and Bates were going to sponsor an annual conference on diversity. The first event would be at Colby, organized and run by students. At our weekly magazine planning meeting there was a collective "Hmmm," as in, "Now it's getting interesting."
Diversity has long been a thorny issue at Colby and other colleges far from the madding-and diverse-crowds in big cities. Former President William R. Cotter made it a priority, refusing to stand down even when progress was slow to come and tough to measure. When William "Bro" Adams became president last year, he declared that diversity was a top priority for his administration, too, that it was time for all the years of work on the issue to bear fruit, that the College viewed with the utmost seriousness its mission to prepare Colby students for a multi-cultural world.
And then the students came forward, too, not joining the march but leading it. This year momentum is clearly building, and the movement is from a new and encouraging direction.
But how to both define the issue and capture the new spirit that has surrounded it? That task fell to Steve Collins '74, the magazine's executive editor, who has been in the midst of much of the discussion of diversity at Colby in recent years. But could he step back and put the issue in perspective for our readers? Could he get his journalistic hands around this elusive and amorphous topic?
I think he has, and I invite you to read closely the package he put together, which covers a range of events and programs related to diversity but also shows how diversity works at Colby and why it's important. Please consider it, like the current ferment it describes on campus, not as a conclusion but as a launching point. And please share your thoughts, recommendations and observations in the letters columns of the fall 2001 issue.
It feels like the College is on the brink of a forward leap, one that could see Colby become an even better place and the education and forum it provides become even more valuable.
I look forward to hearing from you and reporting more progress on this issue in the future.
Gerry Boyle '78
Diversity Call Renewed: Students, President Bro Adams, faculty and others join in effort to appreciate and accentuate differences.
Making Waves: An inside look at the news you love to hear--from Colbians.
A Simple Feast: Wylie Dufresne '92 is one of the hottest chefs in New York City.
President's Page: President Bro Adams on the court and affirmative action.
Alumni Reunion 2001
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