Fraternities banned

Colby Bicentennial Seal 1964-2013



A bonfire smolders on fraternity row as students burned furniture in protest of the College’s decision to ban fraternities at Colby. Hundreds of alumni weighed in on the issue.

…Times are changing, and for those who listen the hour has struck for Colby to rebuild again–this time within its own physical, psychological, and ideological structure. I was fortunate enough to share, as an alumni trustee, in the “agony and ecstasy” of the abandonment of the “old Bricks” and the move to Mayflower Hill. I admit that the presently planned reformation also involves me in an emotional readjustment. But mature people and living institutions do “what has to be done.”

Mira L. Dolley ’19 XO
Raymond, Maine 


…It’s unfortunate that in so many respects the fraternities–mine perhaps most egregiously so–did themselves in in a long, drawn-out, hari-kari passion play. But this fact notwithstanding, the commons idea will, I believe, stand on its own merits. I know, have worked with, and respect unquestioningly the honesty and sense of fair play of members of the administration. I have every confidence that they’ll make the new system work.

Onward and Upward!

Anthony M. Maramarco ’71 KDR

Simsbury, Conn. 


The commission, I think, did what had to be done. Colby can certainly be a better College without fraternities. That is, if alumni, faculty, trustees, parents, and students determine to make it better. The commons idea could also become clouded and ingrown and destructive without caring, concern, and leadership. I believe the administration knows this.

Colby has my support. … I believe in making places in society where those in need of help, education, and support can “make it.” But we all need to hang tough on principle. That the administration and president Cotter did.

–Malcolm Wilson ’33 PDT

Oakland, Maine


It is quite unclear to me why the administration could not resolve its problems with the fraternities. Perhaps the commission and administration could have learned from the attitudes of camaraderie and brotherhood that fraternities foster, instead of resorting to the tactics more frequently found in dictatorships. Fraternities teach that you must work together to resolve individual differences rather than merely purging the individual from the organization.

–David Friedrich ’78 DKE

Gray, Maine



No doubt my emotional responses to the abolition of fraternities will wane as time goes by, as indeed they were tempered by the compelling logic generally found throughout the Report of the Trustee Commission on Campus life. However, for some time to come, I will probably be nagged by the feeling, albeit irrational, that the decision has in some manner been a personal attack on those of us who were deeply involved in and committed to the system in days gone by.

–George J. Markley ’67 PLP

Fairfield, Conn.