New students assemble to hear from President William D. Adams in Lorimer Chapel Sept. 3.

The 2013-14 academic year is underway. COOT trips returned to campus Sept. 1 and orientation week wrapped up with the 196th Assembly for New Students Tuesday, Sept. 3, when President William D. Adams addressed the Class of 2017 and transfer and exchange students in the chapel.

Adams told students that “the more actively and intensely you’re engaged with your work here, and the more varied the forms of engagement, the more meaningful, richly rewarding, and successful you—and we—will be.”

He cited what he called two cardinal virtues of the learning community that new students enter: “The first is passionate and committed engagement with the work we do together, and the second is civility—the capacity to engage in this work in a deeply respectful and supportive way.”

A transcript of Adams’s speech and a video of the address are available online.

Adams reviewed Colby’s 10 precepts of liberal learning, which he described as a roadmap for the students’ next four years. “In case you don’t keep a copy of the precepts on your tablet or phone, I’ll offer the following shorthand suggestion,” he said. “Explore. Don’t be afraid to try new and different things. Push beyond your current boundaries and horizons. Take some chances. Your Colby education is a process of intellectual empowerment, and you deserve to make the most of it.”

He described learning as a 24/7 proposition at Colby, invoking the strategic plan for student life, Colby 360, which covers “a lot about the things we hope you’ll be learning outside the classroom,” he said.

Returning students arrived on campus Sept. 2, and the first day of classes is Sept. 4. Students encountered various completed building projects, most notably the new Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion at the Colby College Museum of Art, which features new exhibition space as well as academic facilities. A grand opening for students is planned Sept. 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. with live music, food, tours, and an opening ceremony featuring namesakes Peter ’56 and Paula Lunder.

Two residence halls on Roberts Row, Piper and Drummond, reopened after renovations this summer, and Miller Library is sporting a new look with phase one of a two-year renovation completed. On Colby Green the new science building for the departments of Mathematics and Statistics, Computer Science, and Psychology is midway through construction on the way to completion late next summer.

Colby’s new Center for Arts and Humanities is up and running and introduces the annual humanities theme for 2013-14, “Censorship Uncovered,” a topic reflected in courses, lectures, film screenings, exhibitions, performances, and collegial conversations.

A new initiative offers programming specifically for first-generation college students. Director of the Pugh Center Tashia Bradley told Colby magazine the program will help them see how they belong to the community. “All students have this experience, but for first-gens it’s an added layer,” she said.

“Just trying to figure out where they belong in this environment,” she said. “All students have this experience, but for first-gens, it’s an added layer.” – See more at: http://www.colby.edu/colby.mag/issues/66/article/1508/for-first-gens-ways-to-be-their-whole-selves/#sthash.cwxWDleM.dpuf

The campus is tobacco-free beginning with the new school year; the second phase of the tobacco ban takes effect with the removal of designated smoking areas.

With the College’s bicentennial celebration over except for a few off-campus events, Colby begins the first year of its third century and the last year under the leadership of President Adams, who announced his retirement last January and who will retire June 30.

A statistical profile of the Class of 2017 and a story about some first-year students are online.