As Colby begins the 2008-09 academic year, new and returning students will be greeted with new facilities, new community engagement programs, and new environmental initiatives.
Four-hundred eighty first-year students started a weeklong orientation program Aug. 26, and upperclassmen return to the Mayflower Hill campus Monday, Sept. 1, with the first day of classes scheduled on Wednesday. Members of the Class of 2012 were selected from a pool of 4,835 applicants, making the 31-percent acceptance rate Colby’s lowest to date. First-year students represent more than 25 countries outside the United States, from Afghanistan to Swaziland, according to Dean of Admissions Parker Beverage.
Another 38 students will begin their Colby experience with a semester in Dijon, France, or Salamanca, Spain, arriving on campus in January.
New facilities serving students include the new Colby bookstore, located in an addition to Cotter Union, and the new Harold Alfond Stadium, which features an artificial playing surface like one in the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, a resurfaced outdoor track, other new track and field facilities, and full lighting for night games and practices. Two residence halls on Roberts Row were completely renovated and expanded over the summer.
Colby’s financial aid policy also has changed, with amounts formerly assigned to students as loans in the College’s aid packages now offered as grants, which don’t have to be repaid.
This year’s orientation for first-year and transfer students included a day-long community involvement component, C2IT. And for the second year a community service orientation trip among the dozens of Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips (COOT) that run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Among environmental initiatives on campus is the Zipcar program, which should reduce the number of student-owned cars on campus while providing a new transportation option for students who don’t own cars. Zipcar, a company which says it provides “cars on demand,” will have two vehicles on campus for rent to members of its program by the hour or the day.
Colby events that are open to the public begin next week and include lectures, concerts, and performances. A list of September events is online at www.colby.edu/news_events/press_release.