Class of 2025 Arrives at Colby and Sets High Bar

Announcements3 MIN READ
Students have returned to the Colby campus and began the academic year on Sept. 7, when classes resumed.
Photography by Gregory Rec
September 8, 2021

​​The Class of 2025 has arrived on Mayflower Hill, setting records even before classes begin. In a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty across higher education, Colby enrolled the largest class in the College’s history with 667 first-year students joining the community this year. Colby’s world-class education awaits them, an in-person experience despite the ongoing pandemic.

The members of the Class of 2025 come exceptionally well prepared academically. They were selected from a record-setting 15,857 applicants. Those who earned admission hailed from 48 states and 60 countries. Nearly 95 percent graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class, and they represented more than 800 high schools.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have these talented students here and welcome them into our community,” said Randi Arsenault ’09, assistant vice president of admissions and financial aid and dean of admissions. “We’re confident that with their talent, drive, and intelligence, fueled by the distinctive elements of Colby’s education, they are poised to make significant contributions to the world’s pressing challenges.”

This Class of 2025 is not only the largest and most academically prepared in the College’s history, it is also the most diverse. Among US citizens, 37 percent of incoming students identify as people of color. Eleven percent will be the first in their family to attend and graduate from college. And, 9 percent are non-US citizens.

Forty percent of the students will benefit from the College’s nationally recognized financial aid programs, making Colby accessible to students from all backgrounds. More than 100 students are Pell grant recipients.

They’ve come to the right place. This cohort will benefit from the new Davis Institute of Artificial Intelligence, the first cross-disciplinary artificial intelligence (AI) institute at a liberal arts college. This fall, more than 20 courses will incorporate significant AI components into their syllabi, allowing students to learn how to apply broad-based liberal arts thinking to real-world problems that rely on AI for solutions.

Students will discover a multitude of other opportunities for deep engagement through Colby’s other unique programs, including the Linde Packman Lab for Biosciences Innovation, the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment, the Pulver Science Scholars Program, the Lunder Institute for American Art, and others. In these centers of learning, they’ll work in tandem with Colby’s distinguished faculty, meet industry leaders, conduct research at Colby’s partnering institutions, and enter into collaborative work with their peers. Throughout, students will be guided and supported by experienced counselors in DavisConnects, Colby’s innovative program that ensures a global, research, or internship experience for each student regardless of personal or financial networks.

Also new this year is an arts collaborative, a stunning new facility in downtown Waterville that promotes the development of creative work by Maine and national artists, educators, change agents, performers, scientists, and students. And the Class of 2025 will get to witness the construction of the Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts. Opening in fall 2023, the center will offer multipurpose spaces designed for innovative teaching, performing, working, and creating to foster creativity and collaboration among students and faculty across the disciplines.

All students—whether they play a varsity sport, enjoy recreational competitions, or seek a healthy, active lifestyle—will have access to Colby’s state-of-the-art Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center. The new 350,000-square-foot facility is the most advanced and comprehensive athletic D-III facility in the country.

“It’s an exciting and important time to be a student, and Colby is the ideal place for these high-achieving students to meet and exceed their goals,” Arsenault emphasized. “With great anticipation, we look forward to watching their horizons widen.”