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Colby College has announced the launch of a new writer-in-residence program that will bring accomplished writers to campus to support their work, allow them the opportunity to teach and engage with students, and offer public readings and lectures. This program builds on Colby’s strengths in the literary arts and humanities and the College’s long tradition of graduating celebrated writers across genres. The Jennifer Jahrling Forese Writer-in-Residence Program in Creative Writing is made possible through a generous campaign contribution from Trustee Jamie Forese and Jennifer Forese, the parents of Colby graduates from the Classes of 2016 and 2018. The first visiting writer will be in residence in 2020.
“This incredible gift brings additional dynamism to an already outstanding program at Colby,” said Colby President David A. Greene. “Our students work with award-winning poets, novelists, and non-fiction writers on our faculty and will now have new opportunities to learn from a wide range of authors who will challenge and enlighten us in exciting ways. I am especially proud that Colby will forever carry the name of Jennifer Jahrling Forese with this program. Jennifer and Jamie have a fundamental appreciation for the role of the humanities in education, public life, and lifelong growth and understanding. I am deeply grateful to them.”
This program builds on Colby’s strong commitment to the arts and humanities—an area of study that the College sees as critical to the education of an engaged citizenry and to the success of students as they learn to ask probing questions and express ideas in novel ways.
“Colby continues to be an institution that places a high value on programs and experiences in the arts and humanities that enrich our intellectual culture,” said Provost Margaret McFadden. “This gift is an expression of how our campaign, Dare Northward, is making an immediate impact on the student and faculty experience.”
Jamie and Jennifer Forese, whose children had exceptional experiences at Colby, have been incredibly engaged with the College over time. Their philanthropy has allowed Colby to provide an even richer experience for current students.
“As an avid reader of literature with a keen interest in the art of writing, I am excited to give students the opportunity to work closely with a variety of authors,” said Jennifer Forese. “The entire Colby community stands to benefit from the direct interaction with accomplished writers and the ability to learn intimately about the inspiration behind the work of these professionals. Jamie and I are grateful to Colby and the opportunities it has provided to two of our sons. This feels like a perfect way to give a little back.”
“We’re happy to have found a way to support Colby that helps the College and also honors Jennifer’s passion for and interest in creative writing,” said Jamie Forese.
The Jennifer Jahrling Forese Writer-in-Residence Program in Creative Writing will provide opportunities for students, faculty, and members of the community to benefit from sustained engagement with the visiting writers over the course of a semester, including but not limited to public readings or presentations, community events, and writing workshops and meetings.
Colby College has recently made significant investments in the arts and humanities, including expanding the faculty in these areas and establishing an environmental humanities program, which empowers faculty and students to apply artistic, cultural, ethical, historical, and literary perspectives to the exploration of pressing environmental questions. The College is in the design process for a new center for creative and performing arts, which will become a hub for creative expression for students and faculty from all disciplines and deepen the connection between Colby’s arts programs to the broader community.