Douglas M. Schair ’67

Douglas M. Schair '67
Doug Schair met Kurt Swenson and Tom Watson in 1963 when all three pledged the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. They ended up as roommates, and so began a lifelong friendship. In April of 2004 the trio reunited to do something together that will stand indefinitely as a monument to the strength of the bonds that are formed by Colby students. They jointly gave the naming gift for the Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center.

The recently opened $6-million building is the first new building constructed on the Colby Green, site of the largest and most ambitious expansion of campus facilities since Colby moved from downtown to the Mayflower Hill campus more than 50 years ago. “It’s really the beginning of a new chapter for Colby College,” Schair said at the groundbreaking ceremony. President William Adams said, “Doug’s vision on this was singular, powerful, and relentless,” as he worked first to speak to various groups about the strategic necessity of the building and then to raise the necessary capital to make the April 2004 ground-breaking possible. Schair said his family wouldn’t allow him to have just their name on the alumni and development center, so he turned to his old college buddies, who stepped up with the support to make the project a reality.

Colby lost a loyal and generous alumnus on January 27, 2005, when Doug passed away unexpectedly in Portland, Maine, following a brief illness. A longtime Colby supporter and a trustee from 1993 until his death, Doug left his distinctive mark on the College. He gave unstintingly of his time and vision and was one of four alumni leaders of The Campaign for Colby, which raised $151 million for the College. His generosity to Colby includes the Douglas M. Schair Fund and the Douglas Chair in Economics and Finance. He received an honorary degree from Colby in 1994 and a Colby Brick Award in 2002.

“We will remember Doug for the extraordinary affection and dedication he showed to Colby,” said Jim Crawford '64, chair of the Board of Trustees. “He was passionate about his own experience here, about his business administration major, and about the lifelong friends he made at the College, and he was always eager to make the same type of experience available to future generations of Colby students. We will miss his constructive encouragement, his team vision, and his zest for life.”
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