What Does Bro Do Anyway?

What Does Bro Do Anyway?

A former Colby president remembers a bright and earnest first-year student who showed up in the president's office on the third floor of Eustis during the first week of school. The young man made a lasting impression when he said, "I'd like to know more about what a college president does. And my first question is, is this a full-time job?"

By Gerry Boyle '78 | Photos by Fred Field


 
A former Colby president remembers a bright and earnest first-year student who showed up in the president's office on the third floor of Eustis during the first week of school. The young man made a lasting impression when he said, "I'd like to know more about what a college president does. And my first question is, is this a full-time job?—

With apologies to a naïve first-year, of course it is. I mean, how else could a college president do everything that we know the job requires? You know, meetings and fund raising and speaking at commencement? And doesn't the president sometimes have lunch with students? And office hours, when presidents answer questions like the one above?

If that's the extent of your knowledge of what a college president does, you should:
a) be ashamed of yourself.
b) have lunch asap with the president in Dana Dining Hall.
c) mail in your Colby diploma.
d) know that I spend considerable time in Eustis and, until recently, I didn't know exactly what the president did, either.

The correct response is d. Here's how it unfolded. Last year when a controversy over provocative messages chalked on sidewalks had ignited on campus, an indignant student, in my office to discuss the situation, said, "Well, where's Bro?— I started explaining that President Adams had many other duties, but, fortunately, we were interrupted before the student could make the logical rejoinder: "Like what?—

So here's the answer, in 3,000 words or less.
 
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