Writing is a crucial component of a liberal arts education, and it is a potent means for creating a public platform for civic engagement and cultural expression. The analytical, interdisciplinary, and humanistic education that students receive at Colby forms a foundation for their future success as writers and public communicators in a wide variety of settings.

From Passion to Purpose: Writing After Colby is an innovative, interdisciplinary program that will showcase how Colby alumni, including some who never imagined they would become high-profile writers, developed a passion into a significant civic, cultural, or personal initiative through writing. All of the alumni who will present in this lecture series have gained a national stage for their passionate commitments by articulating their ideas through fiction, memoir, essay, or film–highlighting the multimedia nature of writing today. From Passion to Purpose will enable students, faculty, staff, and community members to hear how alumni use the written word to shape our world.

Each semester, a Colby graduate who embodies this idea will be invited to campus as part of the From Passion to Purpose series. The Goldfarb Center, the Center for Arts and Humanities, and the Colby Writing Program will partner to produce the series and reach audiences appropriate to each author’s focus.

For each writer’s visit, we will organize a seminar with a group of students who have read from the author’s work in advance. This session will allow students to ask detailed questions about the writing product, but also about the process. An informal, small dinner will allow cosponsors and select students and faculty to have some personal time with the guest, and a plenary lecture for an audience of both campus and local community members will cap the day’s events.