Rising from Relationships


Diamond Building dedication marked by reflection on Colby, the community, global affairs

By Colby Staff
Photography by Fred Field

Bob Diamond '73 listens to speakers at the dedication of the Diamond Building with Sheri and Joe Boulos '68, chair of the Board of Trustees.
Photo by Fred Field
The dedication of the Diamond Building, the new home of social sciences, interdisciplinary programs, and the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, was a celebration of the longstanding relationships that both personify the Colby community and made the striking new facility possible, officials said.
Audio files and podcasts of all three panels are available at

From Jennifer and Bob Diamond '73 meeting with then-President William R. Cotter and his wife, Linda, in London some 18 years ago to President Bro Adams asking architect Peter Bohlin to design and personally oversee the Diamond Building construction to the heartfelt commitment of Estelle Jacobson Ostrove '55 and Paul Ostrove '53 to the building, the project is "a story of personal relationships," Adams said.

Students, faculty, administrators, trustees, alumni, and Colby friends gathered in the soaring atrium April 13 to mark the introduction of the Diamond Building to the Colby campus. The occasion included remarks by Trustees Chair Joe Boulos '68, Adams, and Bob Diamond, who came from London with his wife, Jennifer, daughter Nellie, and sons Rob and Charlie, for the dedication.

Diamond recalled his re-acquaintance with Cotter at a London lunch in 1989. "Here's the guy who had closed down the fraternities," Diamond said, elliciting laughter. "I wasn't too sure about this lunch. I was won over very quickly."

Diamond, president of Barcalys and chief executive officer of Barclays Capital, the London-based investment bank, spoke of his belief in the liberal arts, the need to prepare students for stiff competition in an increasingly global economy, and his confidence in President Adams's strategic plan for Colby.

Amy Walter '91, Mark Howard '85, and Dan Harris '93 speak on a panel discussion of international and national issues.
Photo by Fred Field
He said he and his family were honored to have their name on the building that so many people worked so hard to create. "I still feel this is a true labor of love," Diamond said. "I still feel that I'm getting more than I'm giving."

Three Goldfarb Center panels coordinated with the dedication of the Diamond Building addressed opportunities and challenges that today's graduates face in the arenas of community building, globalization, technology, politics, disease, and foreign policy.

In a panel about national concerns, Dan Harris '93, ABC news correspondent and anchor, discussed the ways technology is changing news gathering and dissemination. Mark Howard '85, managing director and global head of credit research at Barclays Capital, spoke about the how the global economy"and the potential impact of climate change on the U.S. economy"are likely to affect this generation. Amy Walter '91, senior editor of the Cook Political Report and an analyst for CNN, looked ahead to the 2008 presidential election.

From left, panelists Elizabeth Dugan '78, Ambassador Robert Gelbard '64, Admiral Gregory Johnson P'98, and Sean McCormack '86, discuss foreign policy challenges.
Photo by Fred Field
At a discussion titled Colby Engages Local Communities, four graduates discussed community involvement and praised developments at the College that have institutionalized civic engagement. Rich Abramson '71, superintendent of Maine's Maranacook School District, recalled that, "It was reaching out from the Colby campus that really changed my life."

Jackie Dupont '04, program coordinator for Hardy Girls Healthy Women in Waterville, praised the mentoring that steered her into working with teenagers. The regional coordinator in the Boston mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services, Karen Fried Salfity '94, urged students interested in nonprofit work to study business so they're prepared to deal with budgets and marketing.

Elizabeth Ward Saxl '87, executive director of the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said learning to understand the opposing view was a valuable lesson she learned at Colby. "You make a powerful argument by first recognizing the strengths of the other side."

At a panel, Colby Engages the World, Sean McCormack '86, assistant secretary of state for public affairs and State Department spokesman, compared the post-September 11 period to the post-World War II era"significant in its turbulence and civil unrest, and marked by new and rising powers.

Admiral Gregory "Grog" Johnson P'98, (USN Ret.), said, "There was a grand national strategy of containment that worked through the Cold War. Since then, there has been no national strategy on a grand scale."

Elizabeth Dugan '78, vice president for programs at the International Republican Institute, was bound for Nigeria to monitor elections. "Our organization advances democracy overseas," she said, "and we will continue to support U.S. foreign policy. ... Democracy does not just consist of having elections and replacing dictators. The democracy must govern well."

Philip Nyhus, assistant professor of environmental studies, gives a tour of the Diamond Building's Geographic Information System's lab.
Photo by Fred Field
Ambassador (Ret.) Robert Gelbard '64, Colby trustee and chairman of Washington Global Partners LLC, concluded, "We have not come up with post-Cold War strategies in a rapidly changing world. We have not thought through what kind of foreign policies this new world requires. ... We need to think about alliances in a very different world than we had before."
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