They explained American government, mentored young writers, coached athletes and public speakers, helped build innovative and cutting-edge programs and even a library. The 2016 academic years was marked by the retirement of faculty and coaches who left Colby a better place, poised for the future.

2016 Faculty Retirees

G. Calvin Mackenzie, Goldfarb Family Distinguished Professor of American Government, arrived at Colby in 1978 after earning degrees at Bowdoin, Tufts, and Harvard and further education provided by a combat tour with the U.S. Army in Vietnam. His book, The Liberal Hour: Washington and the Politics of Change in the 1960s, cowritten with Christian A. Johnson Distinguished Teaching Professor of History Robert Weisbrot, was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in History. Read More

Debra A. Aitken, like her runners, put up some very impressive numbers as women’s cross country and track and field coach. Aitken was NESCAC coach of the year in 2004 and 2005 and NCAA regional coach of the year in 2004, an honor that recognized her teams’ consistently strong performance. Her cross country athletes won NESCAC titles in 1986 and 1994 and racked up 14 Maine championships, including nine in the last 12 years. Read More

F. Russell Cole arrived on Mayflower Hill in 1977 as assistant professor of biology and helped to shape the College’s presence in the sciences for nearly 40 years. As Oak Professor of Biological Sciences, Cole taught a variety of biology and ecology courses and also was key to environmental studies. He helped to bring millions of dollars in science funding to Colby, including the $6.4 million Olin Foundation grant that resulted in the Olin Science Center, where he taught. Read More

Susan Westerberg Cole helped generations of Colby science faculty and students pursue their studies and research beginning in 1978 as science librarian. Cole helped design the library in Olin (which opened in 1996), expanded the science library four-fold to 10,000 square feet, and played a key role in the College’s continuing growth in the sciences. Read More

Natalie B. Harris taught literature and creative writing at Colby since 1978, when she joined the faculty fresh from the Ph.D. program at Indiana University. Associate professor since 1988, she moved steadily toward fiction, both in her teaching and writing, and focused on creative writing for the last third of her career. Read More

David H. Mills ’57 attended Colby as an undergraduate and earned master’s degrees at Illinois and Harvard. His passion for directing and acting (he was a member of the Harvard Summer Players) pointed him to Rome, where he worked in the movie business and with a touring theater company. Mills returned to Colby to teach in 1980, and was popular for his speech classes and debate teams. Read More

Mark R. Serdjenian ’73 arrived on Mayflower Hill as an English major and soccer player and returned in 1976 to coach men’s soccer for 38 years. He stepped down as men’s soccer coach after the 2013 season as the longest-serving head coach in NESCAC. The former goalkeeper compiled a 261-230-46 record as coach and led the Mules to Eastern College Athletic Conference New England titles. Read More