Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Experiences that shape you.

We are dedicated to the education of humane, thoughtful, and courageous persons prepared to respond to the challenges of an increasingly diverse and global society and to the issues of justice that arise therin. At Colby, we strive to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of our institutional life to attain excellence in teaching, learning, research, and service.

When we embrace diversity, we commit to creating a community of engaged students, faculty, and staff, whose plurality of perspectives and experiences enrich and deepen our understanding of intellectual, ethical, civic, and global citizenship. When we invoke equity, we can claim our ethical commitment to fairness, justice, equal opportunity, and access, and a fair distribution of resources. When we invoke inclusion, we commit to transforming and sustaining a campus culture in which all members feel a sense of belonging, knowing that, as a fully inclusive community, we share equal responsibility for the welfare of all our citizens.

We commit to fostering the widest possible range of participation in our community by transforming structures and policies that impede the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

A Legacy of Social Justice

You learn by stepping into the space between yourself and others. It’s how you broaden your perspective. It’s where you deepen your compassion.

Our students formed the nation’s first college-based social justice group, the Anti-Slavery Society, in 1833. Across the decades since, a deep commitment to human rights and social justice is evident in the actions of Colby people and the reach of our programs.

Every voice, background, and perspective adds value to the Colby experience. For multicultural and first-generation-to-college first-years, special programs promote retention and success.

Our Programs and Initiatives

Colby is a college community built on respect for each other, for our physical environment and for ourselves. Genuine inclusivity and the belonging we endeavor to ensure require active, honest, and compassionate engagement with the diversity of people who have gathered to study, teach and work here. In pursuit of this goal, there are Colby initiatives that focus on illuminating the views, experiences and contributions of underrepresented members in the campus community and sharing them with all members, in order that the entire campus may embrace and celebrate that which unites us and moves us towards one eminent Colby.

The Pugh Center

The Pugh Center is the hub of celebration and support for the many cultures and communities that lend vitality and perspective to the Colby experience. The center houses many culture-themed clubs and organizations, hosts related programming, and fosters critical conversation on topics around race, ethnicity, gender, culture, sexual diversity, identity, and socioeconomic status both at Colby and throughout the world

Gender and Sexual Diversity

Through the lens of gender and sexuality, the Gender and Sexual Diversity (GSD) Program serves as a resource and an ally for promoting social justice issues. The GSD program coordinates student-centered, sexual-violence-prevention education and provides confidential support and advocacy around issues of sexual misconduct.

Religious and Spiritual Life

Colby’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life provides for the religious and spiritual well being of the entire Colby community. Through connections across campus, our team of chaplains and advisors invites community members to bring their whole selves–heart and soul, questions and convictions–to the Colby experience. Whether you are looking to connect with your own religious or spiritual tradition, to learn about traditions or perspectives of others, or to find a welcome place for community and conversation, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life is here for you.

International Student Programs and Services

Colby is home away from home to some 260 students who come to Mayflower hill from over 60 countries to pursue their goals. The International Student Programs Office assists them with developing and implementing programs that showcase their myriad national cultures and customs, visa and other regulatory requirements, and nurtures international students’ sense of belonging in the Colby community. The International Club (I-Club) is one of the oldest and largest of the Pugh Center’s clubs, serving as a supportive environment and representational group for the international students residing atop the Hill each year. Through events like International Extravaganza and Food Festival, Colby celebrates their contributions as international students and values their role in the growth and strength of the collective Colby community.

First-Generation Students

Colby will support you as you become familiar with campus traditions and expectations, develop a plan for academic success with professors, peers, and administration, and consider financing options for your college experience.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Support Programs

    Colby Achievement Program in the Sciences

    CAPS offers summer research opportunities for incoming first-years from groups that traditionally have been underrepresented in the sciences. It provides you with hands-on research experiences in biology, chemistry, environmental science, and other natural science disciplines. Students work closely with Colby professors in classroom, lab, and field experiences specifically designed to help you thrive in first-year science courses.

    First-Generation Program

    Through a program housed in the Pugh Center, we provide first-generation students with the support and preparation necessary to learn, grow, and thrive.

    The Posse Program

    The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits, and selects student leaders from public high schools to form multicultural teams called “posses.” Groups of 10 to 12 students from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds support each other.


    QuestBridge, a national nonprofit based in Palo Alto, Calif., connects the nation’s most exceptional low-income youth with leading institutions of higher education and further life opportunities. Our partnership with QuestBridge creates a pathway to Colby for students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend.

    Ralph J. Bunche Scholars

    The Bunche scholarship program was started at Colby in 1979 to honor the memory of Nobel Prize-winning diplomat, civil rights activist, and friend of the College Ralph J. Bunche. Scholars are chosen because of demonstrated academic achievement and community involvement. Each is recognized through various efforts throughout the year, earns a learning stipend, and has access to resources to fund further learning and engagement in peace, international, and social justice studies. Current Bunche Scholars should apply here to access their funds.