At the State of the College talk Saturday morning, June 7, President Bro Adams focused on the long sweep of Colby history instead of talking solely about his own administration’s accomplishments. Alumni in the audience were most responsive to news of progress in the financial aid program, applauding the increase in the endowment for financial aid (all need based at Colby) from $10.8 million when Adams took office in 2000 to $28.3 million last year.

Bro delivers his State of the College address.

After recounting that President J. Seelye Bixler confessed in retirement to a recurring nightmare about yet another Colby fundraising trip, Adams told alumni, “I didn’t like getting on and off airplanes, but I very much enjoyed being in your company.”

“What struck me is your love for the College and your passion to see it flourish,” he said. “It’s as pure and noble a passion today as it was two hundred years ago,” he said, tracing the importance of philanthropy in Colby’s success back to its first president, Jeremiah Chaplin, when there were no alumni to turn to for support.

The first question during a Q&A was whether Colby is now need blind. “We’re not,” Adams said. Colby would need another $4 million per year—$80 to $100 million in endowment for financial aid—to reach need blind status, he said. “I think it’s the next logical step in the march toward the fullest expression of opportunity and access.”

Video: Full State of the College Address