Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs


Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs at Colby College

The Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs connects the Colby community to the world of public affairs and inspires active citizenship. Founded in 2003 with a generous gift from Colby Trustee William Goldfarb ’68, P ’00, the center aims to link the Colby community with local, state, national, and international leaders to explore creative, interdisciplinary approaches to complex challenges.

The Goldfarb Center strives to make a vital difference in the lives and educational experience of Colby students. Through hundreds of events featuring world leaders, innovative thinkers, influential politicians, and cutting-edge academics, the center has set a high standard for public affairs programming at a liberal arts institution. Through research grants, internship opportunities, and course development stipends, the center contributes to the intellectual life of the College in varied, significant ways.


Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 Event Schedule

Flagship Events

The Goldfarb Center coordinates four flagship events. Although each has a unique purpose, all have the goal of providing students opportunities to interact with award recipients and national leaders in journalism, academia, public affairs, and judicial service. Read below to learn more about the events.


Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for Courage in Journalism


Alec MacGillis of ProPublica accepts the 2017 Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for courage in journalism.

Colby’s Lovejoy Award, established in 1952, honors a member of the newspaper profession who continues Elijah Parish Lovejoy’s heritage of fearlessness and freedom. The recipient may be an editor, reporter, or publisher who has contributed to the nation’s journalistic achievement. Criteria include integrity, craftsmanship, character, intelligence, and courage.

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William R. and Linda K. Cotter Debate Series


The William R. and Linda K. Cotter Debate Series was established in 1999 to recognize William R. Cotter, Colby’s 18th president, and his wife Linda K. Cotter. The Goldfarb Center brings in top academics from across the country to debate the most pressing and divisive issues in today’s world.

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Senator George J. Mitchell Distinguished Lecture Series


Maine Senator Angus King enjoys a moment with former Maine Senator and Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell.

The Senator George J. Mitchell International Lecture Series brings a prominent policy leader to campus each fall for a lecture and a dinner designed to foster interaction with  students, faculty, and members of the greater Waterville community while honoring former U.S. Senator, statesman, international negotiator, and Waterville native George Mitchell.

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Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award


The Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award was created in memory of the Honorable Morton A. Brody, a U.S. District Court judge who passed away in March 2000. Judge Brody led an exemplary career as a lawyer, judge, and civic leader. A long-time friend of the College, he taught courses at Colby on the judicial system and was the husband of former Associate Dean of Admissions Judith Brody ’58.

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Check out the Goldfarb Center’s Video Library >>>