At his annual Family Homecoming Weekend State of the College address to parents and alumni, President William D. Adams talked about the “distinctive, powerful, and irreplaceable” liberal arts-college model. “There is nothing like the intensity of the experience we provide here, there is nothing like the comprehensiveness…, there is nothing like it in terms of demonstrable outcomes.”
In his half-hour talk Adams covered 

– admissions success enrolling the Class of 2015,
– physical plant projects recently completed and under way,
– reforms currently being implemented in the writing curriculum and communications skills,
– the nascent marine conservation program in environmental studies,
– financial successes in both investment returns (24 percent in fiscal 2011) and fundraising,
– plans for Colby’s bicentennial celebration in 2012-13, and
– the College’s commitment to access and opportunity as seen in the extension of the no-loans, all-grants financial aid policy.

He concluded with his views on the national debate around current models of financing higher education, concluding that offering powerful learning experiences like research opportunities to undergraduates, for example, “is something we can do uniquely well.”
Full audio of Adams’s 30-minute State of the College talk is online.