The Pugh Center fosters important conversations on race, ethnicity, gender, culture, sexual identity, and socioeconomic status on campus and throughout the larger world.
The center houses over 20 culture-themed clubs and organizations and is the hub of celebration and support for all the cultures and communities central to the Colby experience.
Mission of the Pugh Center
- Engage students to become critical and imaginative thinkers who are welcoming of diversity and ready for leadership in our global society.
- Serve as a gathering place for students who are devoted to learning about and understanding experiences and issues related to race, ethnicity, gender, culture, sexual orientation, identity, and spirituality.
- Provide leadership opportunities through student clubs and organizations.
- Provide a home in which students can build communities around shared social identities
- Facilitate the exploration of various experiences through the presentation of lectures, performances, discussions, training, symposia, and intentional dialogue.
- Advocate for a campus climate that is welcoming and inclusive of students from Colby College’s underrepresented groups.
- Support student success through strategic relations and targeted retention efforts.
Founding of the Pugh Center
Through a generous gift from the Pugh Family, the center facilitates opportunities for campus engagement, exploration, and education regarding diverse experiences and issues.
The Pugh Center was dedicated Oct. 12, 1996. The genesis for the creation of the center was a presentation by a group called Students of Color United for Change, who, at the March 9, 1994, meeting of the Campus Community Committee presented a set of concerns regarding diversity initiatives, including a request for a residential multicultural house.
In the fall of 1994, the group changed its name to the Students United for Change; although the name changed, the focus stayed the same. A trustee commission was formed to study and make recommendations about those issues.
After a year of research and discussion, the commission, composed of trustees, alumni, faculty, students, and staff, recommended that a centrally located facility, dedicated to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and religion, be constructed with common spaces and rooms for relevant student organizations.
Chair of the board Larry Pugh ’56, LL.D. ’99 and his wife, Jean van Curan Pugh ’55, LL.D. ’99, made the naming gift for the construction of the center, designed with advice from student government leaders and several student clubs and organizations.
It provides a central location for programs, activities, and learning opportunities that promote intercultural communication and understanding.