David A. Greene arrived at Colby on July 1, 2014, as the College’s 20th president. The College is undergoing transformational change under his leadership.
Through major investments to grow and diversify the faculty, the College has added new academic programs in areas such as data science, computational biology, genomics, and environmental humanities and expanded many core areas, including the study of the environment and climate change, performance studies, and creative writing. In 2021 Colby launched the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the first initiative of its kind at a liberal arts college. The College has dramatically enhanced its arts programs through a historic expansion of the Colby Museum of Art’s collection; the establishment of the Lunder Institute for American Art; and the construction of the Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts, the Greene Block + Studios, and the Paul J. Schupf Art Center.
To more deeply connect Colby’s curriculum to the world’s most pressing challenges and to afford all students opportunities for meaningful global, research, and internship experiences, the College created and endowed DavisConnects, the Linde Packman Lab for Biosciences Innovation, the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment, and the Halloran Lab for Entrepreneurship. Through a partnership with the Wyeth family, Colby established a 500-acre island campus off the coast of Maine with the acquisition of Allen and Benner islands.
Investments in the broader student experience have been similarly robust, with the construction of new residence halls and the finest athletic facilities in Division III, the establishment of a comprehensive civic engagement program, and staffing and programs to ensure all students can thrive at Colby.
These initiatives, along with a new financial aid program that is among the most generous in the country for low- and middle-income families, have made Colby one of the most sought-after liberal arts colleges in the country. In 2022 Colby received nearly 17,000 applications for admission, up from approximately 5,000 in 2014. The number of enrolled Pell-eligible students has nearly tripled, the number of students of color has more than doubled, and Colby has reached unprecedented highs on every measure of student preparedness and academic achievement.
Colby’s commitment to the community, especially to its home city of Waterville, has become a national model for partnership and reinvestment. The College spearheaded $200 million in business, infrastructure, and community redevelopment on the city’s Main Street. Colby’s projects include two art centers, the Lockwood Hotel, a new technology center, the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, and a wide-ranging streetscape and infrastructure improvement program.
Much of this progress has been made possible by Colby’s $750-million Dare Northward campaign, the largest fundraising effort ever undertaken by a liberal arts college.
Before arriving at Colby, Greene was executive vice president of the University of Chicago and, prior to that, served in leadership roles at Brown University and Smith College. He serves on the boards of the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole and the Kents Hill School. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Hamilton College and a master’s degree in human development and psychology from Harvard University before earning a second master’s and a doctoral degree in education and social policy at Harvard.