Diamond is president of Barclays PLC and chief executive of investment banking and investment management for Barclays’ investment arm. Through the Diamond Family Foundation he funded the Diamond Building and has led efforts to expand Colby’s research and teaching in areas related to the environment.
Boulos, president of The Boulos Companies, northern New England’s largest commercial real estate firm, is also a longtime trustee and supporter of Colby. With his wife, Sheri, he made the financial commitment to establish a no-loan aid policy for Maine students, a policy that was expanded last year to include all students eligible for financial aid.
In a conversation during a break between trustees’ meetings during Commencement Weekend, Boulos and Diamond considered the challenges of the past year and what they see as Colby’s prospects for the future.
While they have different business backgrounds, Boulos and Diamond share the belief that Colby has particular strengths that will not only allow the College to meet looming economic challenges but to emerge stronger in relation to its peers.
They both pointed to what they said is Colby’s efficient and frugal financial management. “I think, relative ... to other colleges in [the New England Small College Athletic Conference], we’re in great shape,” Boulos said.
As a result Colby is moving forward in areas like faculty hiring when other colleges and universities are cutting back, they said, and that will bolster the teaching mission of the College in coming years. “We saw a list of eight or nine tenure-track or tenured professors who have joined the College for the next academic year,” Diamond said. “It was incredible.”
The altercation between students and security officers April 12, Diamond said, “was very, very difficult in every way, and very unfortunate—there’s no way around it.”
Trustees attended a presentation by Boston attorney Ralph C. Martin II on his investigation of the incident. “We’re taking it very seriously.” Boulos said. He predicted that, while unfortunate, the incident will help Colby emerge with “a very much better-educated administration, better-educated board, and it will be an opportunity to move in a positive direction.”