$25 Million Gift at Colby to Fund Global Experiences

April 21, 2017

A $25 million gift to Colby College will allow it “to provide funding for every student to spend time abroad,” the liberal arts college in Waterville, Me., announced Thursday.

The gift from the Davis family -- which also established the Davis United World College Scholars program -- will be used to staff a new center for the program, called DavisConnects, and to provide direct support for students going abroad as well as funding for faculty to develop new international programs.

“What we’re really trying to do is have students, from the moment they walk into Colby, be able to have advisers and faculty and others who are thinking with them about how to connect their education to things that are happening in the world and how to design their education and design their future while they’re here,” said Colby’s president, David A. Greene. “That means from first year, first semester that they’ll come into this new DavisConnects center and they’ll be working with advisers to figure out how they’ll spend their Januaries, because we have a Jan Plan, how they’ll spend their summers. That will include global programs but will also include internships and research.”

“I want us to think about Colby as being essentially a year-round college but not all of it is spent in Waterville, Maine,” Greene continued.

Greene said the Davis donation will be used for both means-tested scholarships for global programs and non-need-based grants for students who propose “extraordinary opportunities” they want to pursue overseas.

“There will be funding available for every student who wants to be able to draw from this fund, but they’re going to have to propose a good project for it,” said Greene.

“It really is dependent on student interest or need, but what I want to do is create a culture where this is a part of what your education is all about.”

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