This issue of Colby is all over the map—literally.
We talked to Bob Diamond ’73 at his office at Barclays Capital in London and joined a group of fresh first-years as they walked the cobblestone streets of Dijon, France. There’s news of Army Specialist Abe Rogers ’95 from the battlefields of Afghanistan, while lawyer Caroline Riss ’03 gave us her take on the ongoing political tug of war in Nigeria—from her new assignment in Ukraine. Teacher Francis Chapuredima ’06—by phone from Kenya, just before he left for Zimbabwe and South Africa—talked about the visa bottleneck that derailed the plans of many young international alumni.
It may be coincidental that the mix of the stories in this issue has an especially international flavor, but the global nature of the fall 2007 Colby also reflects a world where borders are dissolving, cultures and economies are blending—and sometimes colliding.
Diamond talks about the flow of capital to parts of the world that even a decade or two ago were more likely to attract investment from institutions like the World Bank. That lowering of economic borders has economic, political, and cultural effects on all of us, of course. And responsibilities. In Dijon, the resident director of Colby’s program there, Professor Jonathan Weiss, urges students to learn a country “from the inside.”
Of course, a global view from Mayflower Hill is not entirely new. In fact, Colby has been an outward-looking institution since the very beginning, when George Dana Boardman, Class of 1822 and Colby’s first graduate, traveled from Waterville to Burma (no small feat in the early 19th century) as a missionary. Last year students at Colby represented 69 foreign countries, and alumni now live in 74 countries. It’s a continuing education just keeping up with those who check in from near and from what is increasingly not so very far.
As our community broadens, we think of the magazine as a forum for discussion and debate—and we invite you to join in that discussion on our letters pages and in comments forums in Colby online. Have an opinion on something that has been said here? Write a letter. Did something prompt you to reminisce about a Colby experience? Share it with the rest of us. Colby is at its best when it is the catalyst for a conversation.
Gerry Boyle ’78, P’06