Pugh Center For Student Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Pugh Center for Student Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion supports Colby’s commitment to fostering a fully inclusive campus community through cocurricular focus areas.

  • Support
  • Community Building
  • Social Identity and Leadership Development
  • Social Justice Education
  • Advocacy

About the Pugh Center

The Pugh Center serves the Colby community as an integral resource and catalyst for engagement and advocacy that supports the college’s fundamental goal of academic excellence through cultivating an inclusive and equitable campus community.

The Pugh Center supports students through the development of co-curricular initiatives, opportunities to apply theoretical frameworks explored in the classroom, and fosters intellectual engagement with critical conversations across campus constituencies.

Our physical space, located within Cotter Union, Colby’s Student Union, is dedicated to all students interested in and devoted to engaging with experiences and issues related to race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic and first-generation status, ability, religion, and spirituality. Beyond our physical space, we work intentionally to integrate our initiatives throughout the campus community.

The Pugh Center focuses on these key areas:

Support: Foster relationships with students to assist in the transition and navigation of: the college experience, identity development, and times of both success and crisis.

Community Development: Provide trainings and on-going initiatives for faculty, staff, and students to advance intercultural understanding and social justice.

Student Development: Organize programs, trainings and conversations dedicated to developing skills and a sense of community amongst students who self-identify with minoritized identities and engage all students to analyze the complexities of intersecting identities. Offer specialized leadership development and programmatic support for Pugh sponsored institutional initiatives and Pugh affiliated clubs and organizations.

Advocacy: Identify and support the college in addressing policies, procedures, and practices that diminish a sense of equity and inclusion.

Programs and Strategic Initiatives

The Pugh presents a wide variety of programming across campus that supports the mission of the Pugh Center. Some of the programs include:

  • Diversity Dialogue Dinners
  • Faculty Dinners
  • Radical Readers
  • End-of-the-Year Banquets


The Pugh Center supports programming hosted by the Pugh Center Club, various other academic and administrative departments, as well as local community events that support our mission. If you are interested in seeking co-sponsorship from the Pugh Center, please contact us via email.

In addition to requesting funds from the Pugh Center, campus community members can request funds from the Cultural Events Committee (CEC). The CEC accepts requests for cosponsorship of events, learning opportunities, and lectures via its cultural events form.

All proposals are reviewed by the CEC, so please submit in a timely manner. Note that if the CEC agrees to cosponsor an event it is expected that publicity will reflect this sponsorship and that acknowledgment at the event will be provided.

Funding to support CECs sponsorships come from:

  • The Guy P. Gannett Lecture Fund — Established in 1963 to be devoted to general scholarly subjects not covered by established lectures at Colby.
  • The Herbert Carlyle Libby Lecture Fund – Established in 1997 to provide support for bringing speakers to campus.
  • The Donna and Martin Ritter Lecture Fund – Established in 1999 to support lectures and other student programs that would offer alternatives to social activities centered on alcohol.
  • Spencer Fund – World Unity


The First Generation to College/Low-Income Program for Student Success (FLIPS) aims to support these students and their families throughout their Colby career. The program provides a foundation for success rooted in a holistic identity development model designed to foster an increased sense of belonging within the Colby community.

Elements of the Program

  • Pre-Orientation for First-Year Students
  • FG/LI Fellows and Peer Mentors for First-Year Students
  • Sessions for Success for First-Year Students
  • FG/LI Connection Off-Campus Trips
  • Programs for sophomores, juniors, and seniors

For more information, see the First Generation to College/Low-Income Student Success Program page.


The Bunche Scholars Program began in 1979 to honor the memory of Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, diplomat, civil rights activist, and friend of Colby.

The Bunche Scholars Program offers a select group of students of color exclusive access to several benefits throughout their time at Colby. As a Bunche Scholar you will join a community of more than 100 other scholars who engage in leadership development workshops, a civic-engagement project, and community-building opportunities.

In addition, you will have access to a one-time $3,000 internship stipend, including a presentation of your experience post-internship to the Bunche and campus community.

For more information, contact Lexie Mucci, director of the Pugh Center and program advisor.


Student Leadership

Pugh Community Board (PCB) is an key part of the Pugh Center, composed of and driven by students who have been selected through a comprehensive application process.

Reporting to, and working alongside, the director of the Pugh Center, PCB works to foster structure, support, and development for the Pugh Center Leadership Collective and develop programming focused on the cocurricular goals of the Pugh Center.

Signature Pugh Programs

  • Diversity Dialogue Dinners
  • Faculty Dinners
  • PCB Coffee
  • Pugh Palooza
  • Radical Readers
  • S.H.O.U.T! Week
  • Waffle Nights
  • Year-end Banquet


PCLC is comprised of Pugh-affiliated club leaders, supported by PCB and the Pugh staff, who work together to strengthen and unify their organizations. We do this through leadership development, shared communication, collaboration, and developing collective initiatives related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

  • PCLC Clubs
  • Amnesty International
  • Asian Student Association (ASA)
  • Chronic Illness
  • Colby African Society (CAS)
  • FemAlliance
  • Four Winds
  • Hillel
  • International Club (IClub)
  • Men of Color Alliance (MOCA)
  • Muslim Student Association (MSA)
  • Planned Parenthood Generation Action
  • Project Pengyou
  • Pugh Community Board
  • Queer Trans People of Color (QTPOC)
  • QuestBridge
  • The Bridge
  • Trans Resource Collective (TRC)
  • Students for Refugees
  • Students Organized for Black and Latinx Unity (SOBLU)
  • South Asian Society (SAS)
  • Womxn of Color Alliance (WOCA)


Founding of the Pugh Center

Through a generous gift from the Pugh Family, the center facilitates opportunities for campus engagement, exploration, and education regarding diverse experiences and issues.

The Pugh Center was dedicated Oct. 12, 1996. The genesis for the creation of the center was a presentation by a group called Students of Color United for Change, who, at the March 9, 1994, meeting of the Campus Community Committee presented a set of concerns regarding diversity initiatives, including a request for a residential multicultural house.

In the fall of 1994, the group changed its name to the Students United for Change; although the name changed, the focus stayed the same. A trustee commission was formed to study and make recommendations about those issues.

After a year of research and discussion, the commission, composed of trustees, alumni, faculty, students, and staff, recommended that a centrally located facility, dedicated to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and religion, be constructed with common spaces and rooms for relevant student organizations.

Chair of the board Larry Pugh ’56, LL.D. ’99 and his wife, Jean van Curan Pugh ’55, LL.D. ’99, made the naming gift for the construction of the center, designed with advice from student government leaders and several student clubs and organizations.

It provides a central location for programs, activities, and learning opportunities that promote intercultural communication and understanding.