Pugh Center For Student Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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.

Programs and Resources

    First-Generation Mentor Program

    The First-Generation-to-College Student Connections Mentor Program matches first-year, first-generation students with a student mentor to help their transition to Colby. To sign up, complete this online entrance form or email pughcenter@colby.edu.

    Funding for Diversity Programs

    In addition to requesting funds from the Pugh Center, campus community members can request funds from the Cultural Events Committee (CEC). The CEC accepts requests for cosponsorship of events, learning opportunities, and lectures via its cultural events form.

    All proposals are reviewed by the CEC, so please submit in a timely manner. Note that if the CEC agrees to cosponsor the event it’s expected that publicity will reflect this sponsorship and acknowledgment at the event should be provided.

    Funding to support CECs sponsorships come from:

    • The Guy P. Gannett Lecture Fund — Established in 1963 to be devoted to general scholarly subjects not covered by established lectures at Colby.
    • The Herbert Carlyle Libby Lecture Fund – Established in 1997 to provide support for bringing speakers to campus.
    • The Donna and Martin Ritter Lecture Fund – Established in 1999 to support lectures and other student programs that would offer alternatives to social activities centered on alcohol.
    • Spencer Fund – World Unity

    Pugh Center Common Room

    This gathering space for the campus community is an open space that can be reserved for programming by students, faculty, and staff in the Colby community. To reserve this space, please submit a Pugh Center event registration form.

    Reservations that meet the Pugh Center’s mission and goals will receive priority. Please check our online calendar of events or email pughcenter@colby.edu to determine center availability or if you need additional information.

    Pugh Community Board

    The Pugh Community Board (PCB) is a student-run programming organization. PCB programs events in hopes of cultivating an increasingly aware, celebratory, and multicultural campus in which society and education are one. PCB programs come in a variety of forms: lectures, concerts, film screenings, discussion groups, workshops, dance performances, and more. All events focus on some aspect of multiculturalism, be it gender, sexuality, race, religion, nationality, or any other form of identity—both individual and communal.

    Each spring the Pugh Community Board hosts S.H.O.U.T. week, which stands for Speaking, Hearing, and Opening Up Together. It’s a week devoted to activism and awareness about a current social issue. PCB organizes and sponsors Colby’s annual S.H.O.U.T. week program.

    Pugh Center Resource Library

    The Pugh Center has many resources on diverse topics. To borrow DVDs, books, and/or magazines please review our list of holdings and participate in our materials check-out process. The campus community is welcome to borrow materials for two weeks. Please return items when due—non-compliance may result in a fine or loss of borrowing privileges.

    First-Gen Supply Closet

    This closet contains school supplies from notebooks to pens to staplers to calculators in order to defray the cost of school supplies for low-income students.

    Diversity Dialogue Dinners

    Diversity Dialogue Dinners are monthly dinners held in the Pugh Center and open to the community. The dinners are organized around an issue or topic that students select. Topics often coincide with current events and/or identity/heritage months such as Black History, Trans November, Latinx Heritage Month, etc.

    Pugh Club Leaders Collective

    This collective is comprised of leaders from each club housed in the Pugh Center. As a collective, they meet regularly to discuss their programming projects, support one another through collaboration, and develop initiatives related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.