Colby’s Island Campus, comprising Allen and Benner islands in Maine’s Muscongus Bay, creates academic opportunities across all disciplines. The island campus gives Colby students year-round access to a marine environment for research around climate change, the impact of marine and atmospheric pollution, and the changing biodiversity of the Gulf of Maine. The history and landscape of the islands supports classes and student research on topics ranging from photography, history, creative writing, and architecture. Colby became steward of Allen and Benner islands in 2022, acquiring them from the Up East Foundation and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.
Allen and Benner islands formerly belonged to American artist Andrew Wyeth and his wife, Betsy, who turned their grand visions for art, architecture, and preservation into bold realities. Colby is using the islands as centers for learning, research, and creative inspiration. With their interdisciplinary focus on the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences, students studying the arts, climate change, creative writing, and many other subjects venture to the islands for scholarship. In its first year of ownership of the islands, Colby hosted more than 100 groups and nearly 1,000 students, faculty, staff, and community members.