As the fall semester begins, the College continues to make progress on several significant fronts. From the new athletic complex and downtown revitalization to Allen Island and DavisConnects, opportunities are expanding for Colby students.

The Environment

Colby has long been an important nexus for serious environmental science and policy research. Now the College is doubling down.

Colby students exploring Allen Island

Allen Island and Up East foundation. The Buck Environment and Climate Change Lab. The Russ Cole Research Fellows Program and Resident Lectureship. Hiring of four additional distinguished faculty to work on issues related to environmental science and policy.

And it’s all happening now, offering Colby students unparalled opportunities for research, internships, and global experiences related to environmental issues.

Learn more: An innovative partnership: Colby and Up East

The Buck Environment and Climate Change Lab, made possible by the generosity of Trustee Sandy Buck ’78 and Sissy Buck, will give students opportunities to work with organizations in Maine and beyond that focus on the environment.

A partnership linking the College with Up East, a Wyeth family foundation, has turned the private island on the Maine coast and an alternative school serving nearby mainland communities into learning laboratories. (In July the island was humming with activity as faculty, incoming first-year students taking part in the Colby Achievement Program in the Sciences (CAPS), and other student researchers made the rugged 450-acre property the nexus of their academic work).

With its existing affiliations with the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and The Jackson Laboratory, preeminent research institutions, Colby has become a multifaceted center for study of our planet and consideration of its future.


The home of DavisConnects opened in July in a redesigned and expanded Grossman Hall. The new program, which supports internships, research, and global experiences, begins operating in earnest with the fall semester.

Grossman Hall

Funded by a $25-million gift from the Davis family and trustee of its charitable foundation, Andrew Davis ’85, LL.D. ’15, the program replaces what had been traditionally known as career services, working with students throughout their academic careers to integrate classroom learning and off-campus opportunities. The program provides experts who will work with students throughout their Colby careers to design a plan of course work with complementary internship, research, and global experiences. Funding and staff and faculty support will be available through the program.

Learn more: DavisConnects

In addition, students will be supported by Davis Global Engagement Fellowships, providing enhanced support for future global leaders, including the Davis Summit on Global Engagement, an annual campus event. “DavisConnects is leading a transformation of the liberal arts by demonstrating how research, global, and internship experiences can enrich an education and provide an unlimited set of postgraduate opportunities,” said President David A. Greene.

Davis said the program goes beyond offering universal access to providing competitive grants and incorporating ways for students to share their new knowledge and perspective with the campus community. “It has the potential to truly transform the Colby experience and the trajectories of Colby students,” he said.

Downtown Development

Construction continued on the 100,000-square-foot, five-story mixed-use development on Main Street. Site work, including utilities and foundation, is complete on the first phase of construction, and crews are erecting the steel frame of the building and placing concrete planks.

Construction of the Multiuse complex in downtown Waterville

The building will include student housing, retail, and public meeting space, and is expected to be completed in August 2018. Students who live there will be part of a new civic engagement curriculum, which will include connections with community organizations like the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter and the Waterville Public Library.

Learn more: Waterville Downtown

Across the street at 173 Main St., employees of CGI, a technology consulting company (see P.48), and Colby were set to begin moving into the historic building in August. After extensive renovation, the building was reopened, preserving its distinctive architecture and contributing to the vitality and character of Waterville’s downtown. The building will include office space and ground-floor retail.

Meanwhile, design of a hotel to be built at the south end of Main Street continued. “It’s all coming together,” said Director of Commercial Real Estate Paul Ureneck.

Athletic Complex

Forget the drawing board. A new era for Colby athletic has begun.

Athletic fields under construction

Ground was broken August 1 for the new athletic complex on the northwest corner of campus. More than $100 million has been raised for the all-new complex, which replaces the Harold Alfond Athletic Center, built in the 1950s and 1960s. When the new complex opens in 2020 it will become one of the best Division III facilities in the nation.

Learn more: Colby Athletic Complex

The new athletic complex will include the 13,500-square-foot Boulos Family Fitness Center, an indoor competition center with a 200-meter track, a gleaming basketball arena (See “Crook Family Underwrites Competition,” P. 17), and Maine’s only Olympic-size pool. It is expected to bring more competitions to Mayflower Hill, serving Colby athletes and opponents, local and regional teams, and the community.

The athletic complex is just one part of the changes in Colby athletics. After months of preparation—design, construction, and a whole lot of earth-moving—new soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey fields associated with the project are ready for play. The fields are located behind the present athletic center and have stunned some returning alumni at first sight.