The $17.8-million center is on the north side of the Colby Green, between the Colby Museum of Art and the Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center. It opened this summer, housing the Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics, and Psychology departments, and it represents Colby’s commitment to state-of-the-art facilities that support close and collaborative interaction between students and faculty.
The center was made possible by 26 donors, chief among them the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund, which made a $10-million naming gift. Colby Trustee Emeritus Andrew Davis ’85 is a trustee of that fund and attended the dedication along with other members of his family, including his father, Davis United World College Scholars program founder Shelby M.C. Davis.
President David A. Greene thanked the Davis family for its contributions to Colby. “It is really the Davis family’s vision, its generosity, that have helped make this facility possible,” said Greene. “You have been incredible supporters of Colby over a number of years and have made such a difference for this institution. It’s because of this kind of support that we’re in such a great position to imagine what is possible at Colby.”
The three-story, 36,400-square-foot building includes a robotics laboratory, a behavioral neuroscience research suite, and shared classrooms and computer laboratories. Architects at the firm Shepley Bulfinch designed it to reflect the traditional Georgian architecture of existing campus buildings. It was built to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standards, and LEED certification is pending.
The dedication included tours of the center, during which faculty and students in the Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics, and Psychology departments met with visitors and discussed their work.
Davis said the opportunity to name the center appealed to his family’s interest in philanthropy. He said he was also motivated by what may have been coincidence—while he was considering a gift to Colby his children expressed interest in psychology and robotics, both fields that the center supports.
The center marks the completion of Colby’s expansion of campus onto the Colby Green, part of a strategic planning effort led by President Emeritus William D. Adams. Invited to speak at the dedication, Adams said completion of the center “was one of the great moments of my presidency and remains one of the great accomplishments of the last fifteen years.”