The Colby Liberal Arts Symposium (CLAS) brings the Colby community together each year to recognize and celebrate student scholarship. This year’s CLAS was scheduled for April 28, 2021.

Due to the continuing pandemic, we have decided not to host any large-scale in-person gatherings for CLAS.  Instead, we are inviting any departments or programs that are planning events (either virtual or in-person) to do so in the ways that make best sense to them.

As we did last year, we have set up a website called Sharing Student Scholarship.  This site is a place to post links to student scholarship–whether links to completed projects or links to virtual events at which students will present their work.  This site (which will be populated nearer the end of spring term) is at:

Getting a Sense of CLAS

Even though we have not been able to celebrate CLAS during the pandemic, you can get a feel for the event by looking at the links from CLAS 2019.

About CLAS

Colby’s faculty voted to create CLAS to extend the positive impact of its predecessor—the Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium. By dedicating a full day to student scholarship, Colby allows its students to engage with faculty and the community in more direct and focused ways.

Events begin on Wednesday evening with [email protected], a celebration of the arts, in the Colby Museum of Arts. The museum resonates with music, poetry, language readings, visual arts, and dance from many student presenters and performers.

On Thursday, classes are canceled so faculty, staff, and students can attend CLAS. In addition to student posters and presentations, the day features a set of wild-card sessions with interdisciplinary topics and creative formats, the Phi Beta Kappa speech contest at noon, and CLAS Highlights—an end-of-day celebration featuring four speakers nominated by their divisions.

As an extension of CLAS, the final two weeks of the term also include open CLAS sessions during regular class times. Students will make classroom presentations that are open to the public.

CLAS is also among the largest, if not the largest, undergraduate research symposia of any liberal arts college in the country.

CLAS 2019 by the numbers

  • Overall: 108 sessions, 375 presentations (695 presenters), 183 posters (332 presenters); 558 projects at CLAS; more than 750 unique students presented or performed as part of CLAS.
  • Thursday CLAS: 68 sessions, 252 presentations (291 presenters), 140 posters (282 presenters)
  • [email protected]: 24 sessions, 69 presentations/performances, 304 presenters/performers
  • Open CLAS (sessions during the final two weeks of the term): 13 presentation sessions, 54 presentations (100 presenters), 3 poster sessions, 43 posters (50 presenters)