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The 36,400-square-foot Davis Science Center will include a robotics laboratory, a behavioral neuroscience research suite, and shared classrooms and computer labs. Image: Shepley Bulfinch

Colby will receive a $10-million gift from the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund supporting a new science building, President William D. Adams announced Dec. 4 at a meeting of Colby’s faculty. When completed, in 2014, the building will house the Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics, and Psychology departments and provide improved and expanded spaces for student-faculty interactions.

The 36,400-square-foot building will include a robotics laboratory, a behavioral neuroscience research suite, and shared classrooms and computer laboratories. It is being built to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver certification standards. In acknowledgement of the gift, the building will be named the Davis Science Center.

Colby Trustee Emeritus Andrew Davis ’85, president of the investment firm Davis Selected Advisers, is a trustee of the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund. “From questioning our understanding of the world to building technological solutions for the future, Colby faculty and students have always been inclined to apply the sciences to social good,” said Davis. “By strengthening the role of the sciences within the liberal arts curriculum, we hope to build on that history, expand opportunities for Colby students, and further prepare them to make a positive impact on the world before and after graduation.”Conceived as part of a strategic planning process, the science building completes the College’s expansion onto the Colby Green and will facilitate several shifts on campus. It will allow the Psychology and Computer Science departments to move from the Roberts Building to the academic core of the campus and for the conversion of the Roberts Building into student housing. Additionally, space in the Seeley G. Mudd Science Building vacated by the Mathematics and Statistics Department will increase teaching and research space for other departments.

“This is an extraordinary gift,” said President Adams, “one of the largest in Colby’s history. And it comes at a very important moment, as we conclude our celebrations of the College’s bicentennial and the strategic initiatives that were associated with it. I am especially grateful to Colby alumnus Andrew Davis, who made this gift possible.”

At Colby, Davis was an administrative science and economics major. He served as a Colby overseer from 1996 to 1999 and as a trustee from 1999 to 2006. He has volunteered as a representative of Colby’s Admissions Office and Career Center, has sponsored student internships, and created, with his wife, Sydney, the Andrew and Sydney Davis Scholarship Fund. Andrew’s father, Shelby M.C. Davis, and Shelby’s wife, Gale, founded the Davis United World College Scholars Program at Colby in 1999. The Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund also supports the Davis United World College program.