I tried not to be starstruck. But for an old newspaper hand, talking with Rebecca Corbett ’74 and her team of reporters in the New York Times’ newsroom about their path-breaking Harvey Weinstein investigation was like a college tennis player hanging out on the practice courts with Roger Federer. It doesn’t get any better.
Corbett, assistant managing editor at the Times, headed up the painstaking probe that sparked a globe-spanning cultural movement that continues to resonate to this day. (See P.20) That much we knew when we contacted Corbett about the possibility of profiling her for Colby Magazine. We also thought the Weinstein story was a shoo-in for a Pulitzer Prize.
We were right. The Colby Magazine online story was ready to go when, on April 16, the world got the news. In a reenactment of that historic moment in the Times newsroom, we pushed the publish button in our offices on the second floor of the Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center. Cheers erupted up.
Our story—an examination of Corbett’s career and impact through her decades as a journalist—went out to the Colby community and readers all over the world. The alumna who learned the power of words on Mayflower Hill had used them to help change the sensibilities of millions and lessen the likelihood that such sexual abuse would happen or be tolerated in the future.
Corbett received an honorary degree at commencement in May, and for those of us here at Colby who were fortunate enough to tell our version of the Rebecca Corbett story, it was a fitting ending, indeed.
Corbett’s not the only one undaunted by big challenges.
We all know of the climate change problem—and its increasingly alarming effects. We may know less about the legions of smart and courageous Colby people who are searching for solutions. Beginning in this issue, we plan to introduce you to some of them.
This issue marks the launch of the Colby Climate Project, exploring the climate work of faculty, students, and alumni, from scientists, to policymakers, to activists.
This open-ended project tells the stories of the talented and committed—and Colby-trained and connected—professionals who have taken on this formidable challenge. The project will reside online at colby.edu/climate and will continue in print.
I’m looking forward to your comments, suggestions, and nominations for future profiles for this important look at the most challenging issue of our time.
Gerry Boyle ’78, P’06