Most of the 509 members of the Class of 2019 arrived at Colby Sept. 1 to begin a four-year journey of intellectual discovery with orientation as they make the Mayflower Hill campus their home.
First-year orientation, Sept. 1-8, features seminars with faculty, an introduction to the liberal arts, and civic engagement opportunities in the local community. It also includes Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips or COOT, a 40-year tradition that this year will see all first-year students whisked away to different parts of the state—from Mount Katahdin to Ogunquit—to spend the weekend with their peers. There are 58 trips in all, with activities ranging from yoga to hiking in the Hundred-Mile Wilderness on the Appalachian Trail.
The Class of 2019 will bring new perspectives and experiences to the Colby community. One of the most academically prepared in Colby’s history, the class comprises students from all over the world.
Here a handful of first-year students introduce themselves to the Colby community.
Ethan Ashley ’19
The fact that Colby is in Maine was an added bonus for Ethan Ashley. Colby offered him the best balance of a great academic environment, a competitive rowing program, and a beautiful campus. Taking full advantage of the liberal arts, Ashley is interested in music and computer science and plans to explore writing opportunities and ways technology has influenced the music industry. “I am excited to become a part of the community at Colby and to develop long-lasting relationships with peers and professors,” Ashley said.
Carlos Beason ’19
New York, N.Y.
Carlos Beason spends much of his time volunteering for the nonprofit Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership (HLL), where he teaches kids from his neighborhood how to play lacrosse and shares his story at lacrosse gatherings. He chose Colby to ensure that he is not lost in a crowd. “I’m looking forward to learning the skills necessary to be successful in the real world and to having a lot of success playing on the lacrosse team,” Beason said. He’s interested in studying math, and plays basketball and golf.
Rachel Benway has been a theater enthusiast since the age of 2, and has acted and interned for a professional theater company. Benway also enjoys windsurfing, playing the piano, literature, and fungi. For her senior capstone project she studied mycology (the branch of biology that deals with fungi), which involved fieldwork and culminated in a science and macro photography exhibit. “I’m so excited to arrive on Mayflower Hill,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the academic challenge, joining Powder and Wig and the performing arts community, especially getting the chance to meet and work with a wide variety of people from different backgrounds.”
Charlie Davis ’19
New York, N.Y.
A semifinalist for Consumer Electronics’ Top 10 Young Innovators, Charlie Davis is the founder and head programmer for Quadzy.com, a computer program that is being used at more than 50 colleges and universities. He is interested in software development and country music. The latter, he professes, may seem a bit odd since he’s from New York City, but after having spent much of his childhood in the South, Davis has always saved a little room for it in his collection. “At Colby I am most looking forward to developing lifelong relationships with my professors and fellow classmates,” Davis said. “I am [also] excited to be living in an environment that is immensely different from what I am accustomed to, being from New York City.”
Jerry Diaz ’19
Despite never having lived farther than four miles from the hospital in which he was born and never having left Mexico, Jerry Diaz is familiar with the American education system and with different cultures. Diaz attended an American school that brought together Mexicans, Koreans, Americans, Brazilians, and Israelis, and he said that he is looking forward to meeting new people from different backgrounds at Colby. On the Hill he will work as a research assistant as part of the Presidential Scholars program. Apart from what he considers his generation’s universal hobby—Netflix—he loves to dance and play music. Though he never visited campus, Diaz feels positively about his choice to attend Colby. “Since the moment I was admitted in December, it has become clearer and clearer to me that Colby is in fact the place for me. Simply through contacting my academic advisor, seeing the enthusiasm of my fellow freshmen on social media, and communicating with the administration, I have come to know that Colby is where I want to be, and I cannot wait to start this adventure,” he said.
Ernesto Esquivel-Amores ’19
Jefferson City, Mo.
During his gap year in Los Angeles, in which he worked with a nonprofit called City Year, Ernesto Esquivel-Amores went through homelessness, poverty, and hunger. These experiences inspired Esquivel-Amores to seize every moment and he feels that Colby can help him thrive. “When I came to Colby I saw an abundance of opportunities to make [my] dream possible,” he said. “I also saw a caring group of people who will do their best to see you succeed.” Esquivel-Amores speaks English, Spanish, Italian, and is working on learning French. He said he is looking forward to meeting new people and listening to their ideas about how to make the world a better place.
Maddie Horn ’19
Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Maddie Horn has filled her life with music. She started playing percussion in fourth grade and has participated in nearly every high school ensemble: marching band, wind ensemble, symphony orchestra, percussion ensemble, and competitive percussion. Horn’s devotion to music has brought her amazing opportunities, such as touring China with the orchestra and even winning a Grammy. An avid traveler and a French enthusiast, Horn is excited to spend her first semester in the Colby in Dijon program before she arrives at her new home on the Hill in January. “Nothing beats being able to travel halfway across the world with other Colby students who share my love for France and the wonderful experiences that it brings with it,” she said.
Brooke Moree ’19
Clay City, Ky.
Brooke Moree’s time at the United World College of the American West (UWC-USA)—an international boarding school that focuses on connecting diverse students for peace and a sustainable future—has encouraged her to give back to her community. From the foothills of Appalachia, Moree works to inspire incarcerated youth to reach for their dreams. By sharing her experiences and adventures outside of Clay City with these teens, she said she hopes to persuade them to look beyond their immediate circumstances and to explore a larger world. Moree is interested in anthropology, and she is looking forward to volunteering in the Waterville community. “Colby’s dedication to supportive programs surrounding the youth in Waterville, such as Colby Cares About Kids, was also a huge factor in why I decided to come to Colby,” she said.
Sophie Wood ’19
Sophie Wood ’19 will kick off her collegiate alpine ski career training for the snowy Maine winter. Joining Colby’s alpine ski team—one of the top teams in the country—Wood aspires to qualify for the next Winter Olympic Games. After placing fifth at FIS (International Ski Federation) races in Sun Valley, Idaho, she had secured a spot on the Australian National Team. Now Wood prepares for a new skiing challenge in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association. She said she wants her time at Colby to cultivate her desire to be part of something bigger than herself. Her academic interests include psychology and economics, and she is looking forward to taking a variety of courses. “[At Colby] I get the opportunity to really figure out what I enjoy and excel at,” Wood said.
Mattie Wyndham ’19
Pawleys Island, S.C.
Mattie Wyndham graduated from high school in 2014. During a gap year with Thinking Beyond Borders (TBB), Wyndham traveled from South Carolina to Peru, Thailand, Cambodia, India, and South Africa to study global development. Upon her return she was worried she wouldn’t find a college that offered the kind of discussions and development she had grown accustomed to on TBB, but her visit to Colby changed that. “Between a social justice spoken-word performance from DarkMatter, learning about all the research opportunities available, and sitting in on a class in which white privilege in the workplace was discussed, I was hooked,” she said. “I knew Colby was the next step for me.” Wyndham is thrilled to be working with Professor Mark Tappan (education) this semester conducting research on healthy masculinity, and she is looking forward to starting classes, joining clubs like the Feminist Alliance, and meeting new people.