Through the generosity of the Diamond family—Trustee Robert E. Diamond ’73, P’12, Jennifer Diamond P’12, and Charles Diamond ’12—Colby College is establishing the Diamond Family Director of the Arts to integrate new and emerging arts programming on campus and in the local community, further establishing Colby and Waterville as vibrant destinations for the arts.
As the College invests in the arts on campus and in Waterville, the new Diamond Director will allow Colby to fully realize its vision for an integrated arts experience. Connecting the work of Colby’s academic departments as well as the Lunder Institute for American Art, the Colby College Museum of Art, the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the planned Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts, and the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, in downtown Waterville, this endowed position will be essential in building a culture of creativity and innovation across disciplines and enhancing the arts curriculum at Colby.
“The Diamond family’s vision for a unique and integrated arts culture that draws on Colby’s existing strengths and imagines the future through emerging initiatives is inspiring,” said Colby President David A. Greene. “From Jennifer’s commitment to the visual arts and Charlie’s passion for the theater to Bob’s unwavering dedication to Colby, this is a family that recognizes the ability of the arts to connect people, communities, and ideas. I am deeply grateful for all they have done and continue to do for Colby.”
The new Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts at Colby, to be constructed at the southern entrance of campus, will be a defining element of the College’s arts ecosystem and will provide new spaces for concerts, dance, and theatrical performances, further connecting Colby’s arts offerings throughout campus and to the broader Waterville community.
Charles Diamond was deeply involved in artistic expression while at Colby— primarily in the theater— and he sees the skills he learned there as essential to his professional life. Jennifer Diamond has been an active member of the Colby College Museum of Art’s Board of Governors since 2010 and served as chair of the museum’s Collections Committee from 2015 to 2018. Bob Diamond served as chair of the Colby College Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2016 and is currently co-chair of Colby’s campaign, Dare Northward.
“We are thrilled that the Diamond family’s generosity is providing Colby with this important resource for ensuring that all our arts disciplines and programs will create a coherent, mutually beneficial whole,” said Provost Margaret T. McFadden. “Whether they major in arts disciplines or not, the high-achieving students we are welcoming at Colby are expressing increased interest in the arts, and this will allow them to take full advantage of arts offerings on campus and in our broader community.”
With the existing strengths of the Colby Museum and the Lunder Institute, exceptional programs in art, music, theater and dance, and cinema studies, and the future development of Schupf Arts downtown and the center for creative and performing arts on campus, the city and the College are quickly becoming arts destinations.
“Colby College is a vital partner in our work to promote and expand arts and cultural opportunities in our community,” said CEO of Waterville Creates! Shannon Haines. “In addition to our work together to develop the Paul J. Schupf Art Center in the heart of downtown, Waterville Creates! and Colby regularly collaborate on dynamic, accessible programming designed to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together to experience the unique arts assets that we are so fortunate to have here in Waterville. We look forward to welcoming the new Diamond Family Director of the Arts as a crucial member of the growing team of professionals working to further establish Waterville as a vibrant center for arts and culture.”
“The Diamonds have been such incredible friends and supporters of the Colby College Museum of Art over time,” said Chief Curator and Director of the Colby College Museum of Art Sharon Corwin. “To see them now expanding their impact to our efforts in Waterville is incredibly gratifying and will be critical to defining Colby and Waterville as destinations for the arts.”
The Diamond family has been extremely generous to Colby over several decades, supporting strategic initiatives, several academic departments, and the Colby College Museum of Art, among others. They also made the lead gift for the building that houses interdisciplinary studies and social sciences and bears the Diamond name. This is the latest expression of their commitment to Colby.
“We see the arts as important not only for the Colby and Waterville communities, but for the broader region’s economy and overall health and sustainability,” said Bob Diamond. “Creating this position allows us to contribute to ensuring that these efforts make the greatest possible positive impact on Colby and on the city, region, and state of Maine.”