April 6, 2012
Founded in 1813, Colby College remains one of the oldest private liberal arts colleges in the United States. Since its inception, the school has maintained a commitment to progress and was the first all-male New England college to accept female students. Located in Maine, Colby remains one of the state’s most selective liberal arts colleges and one of the top in the nation according to Kiplinger, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report. The Kaplan College Guide and Newsweek have both named the institution as one of the “New Ivies.”
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts allowed Baptist missionaries to establish the Maine Literary and Theological Institution in 1813. The religious leaders desired a school for training new ministers to avoid sending prospective students to England for religious preparation. When Maine separated from Massachusetts seven years later, the Maine legislature changed the school, removing religious prerequisites for admission and changing the process for selecting board members. The following year, the school adopted a new name to reflect its changing mission: Waterville College, named after the town in which it was located. In 1825, the college closed its Theology Department, removing the last vestige of the former institution. During the Civil War, the school almost closed due to students leaving to fight for the Union. A preeminent philanthropist, Gardner Colby, provided the funds necessary to sustain the school, which adopted the name Colby College in his honor in 1867. Four year later, it began admitting women.
Today, students at Colby choose from more than 50 majors and have the option of designing their own unique program of study. The school’s faculty includes some of the most prominent scholars working in academia today. More than two-thirds of students at Colby choose to study abroad, and the school’s program has become one of the most extensive in the United States, including proprietary programs in France, Spain, and Russia.
About the Author
Dr. Bénédicte Mauguière teaches at Colby as a Professor of French and Francophone studies. An accomplished academic, she earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Francophone Studies from Université Paris-Sorbonne, where she focused on female Québécois authors. One of the leaders in her fields, Dr. Bénédicte Mauguière frequently travels to academic institutions throughout the country to lead symposia and give lectures, including Harvard University .