A new class of 608 first-year students has arrived on Mayflower Hill representing 42 U.S. states, 50 countries, and 445 high schools. The members of the Class of 2027 are well-prepared to meet the rigorous demands of a Colby education and well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities the College offers to meet the challenges of a complex, changing world.
“It’s always exciting to welcome a new class to Colby, and we are thrilled to welcome the Class of 2027,” said Randi Maloney ’09, associate vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid. “The newest members of our community have already demonstrated a remarkable breadth of talents and achievements, and we are eager to see meaningful impacts they will have at Colby and beyond over the next four years.”
The incoming students, selected from a pool of 17,787 applicants, arrived on campus for orientation in late August, celebrated convocation Tuesday, and attended their first classes Wednesday.
Forty-four percent of the class will benefit from Colby’s nationally recognized financial aid programs, and 16 percent of the class received federal Pell Grants, which help low-income students pay for college based on a federal means test. Colby has more than doubled its financial aid budget in recent years, making a Colby education attainable to talented students of all backgrounds. With the Colby Commitment, the College promises to meet 100 percent of each admitted student’s demonstrated financial need without loans if their family has a total income of $75,000 or less with typical assets in that range. The Fair Shot Fund guarantees that families earning up to $150,000 with typical assets can expect an annual parent or guardian contribution of $15,000 or less.
“Investments in financial aid have allowed us to ensure a Colby education is accessible to the most talented students from all backgrounds,” said Deputy Dean of Financial Aid Candida Oxendine. “The extraordinary resources and support they’ll have at Colby will further position them to make impactful contributions to their communities and the world beyond.”
The first-year students arrive with a unique set of qualifications and characteristics. The median SAT score of first-year students was 1490, while the median ACT score was 33. Beyond the academic accomplishments of the students, the Class of 2027 represents a range of backgrounds and perspectives. Eighteen percent of incoming students will be the first in their family to attend and graduate from college, and 12 percent are non-U.S. citizens.
‘Arts take flight’ at Colby
Members of the Class of 2027 arrive during a time of artistic and creative renewal and possibility. As the arts take full flight at Colby and in Waterville, the College’s arts assets are the finest among liberal arts colleges.
The students will take classes and attend performances in the newly opened Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts, the largest academic building project in Colby’s history, which offers innovative and flexible classroom and lab space for teaching, performing, and creating across artistic disciplines. With multiple performance venues and creative studios, the 74,000-square-foot Gordon Center is the new home of the departments of Music, Cinema Studies, and Performance, Theater, and Dance.
The Gordon Center is the third art center Colby has opened in three years. The Greene Block + Studios and Paul J. Schupf Art Center, both on Main Street in downtown Waterville, complement the Gordon Center to help transform the city into a cultural hub of New England. Along with the Colby Museum of Art and the Lunder Institute for American Art, students have a unique opportunity to deepen their understanding of American art and participate in the process of redefining artistic and curatorial practices.
To help foster new discoveries, this fall Colby integrates two innovative labs into its academic mission. Based in the Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts, the Lyons Art Lab, under the direction of Associate Professor of Performance, Theater, and Dance Annie Kloppenberg, opens this year to provide students with resources and professional networks for creating new forms of artistic expression, including films, music, dance, and plays.
Entrepreneurism, innovation, AI, and the environment
Meanwhile, the Halloran Lab for Entrepreneurship, under the direction of Jeremy Barron ’00, will provide students with distinctive opportunities and experiences for understanding and applying the principles of entrepreneurship. Unique among liberal arts colleges, the Halloran Lab prepares students to be effective innovators and entrepreneurs by offering training and real-world experiences.
Now in its sixth year, the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment supports student research and other initiatives across academic disciplines related to climate change and other urgent and evolving environmental issues. The Linde Packman Lab for Biosciences Innovation prepares students to become the next generation of science leaders and innovators through an array of professional opportunities in their fields of study.
The Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence is the first artificial intelligence institute at a liberal arts college, allowing students to apply liberal arts thinking in search of real-world AI solutions. DavisConnects supports students’ global research and internship opportunities across disciplines, while the Lunder Institute for American Art offers a range of visual arts opportunities for current students, as well as scholars, artists, and museum professionals.
In 2023 Colby also opened its Island Campus off midcoast Maine, where Allen and Benner islands offer research and learning opportunities in the sciences, arts, and other areas. In addition, students have access to Colby’s 350,000-square-foot Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center, the most advanced and comprehensive D-III athletic center in the country.
“Our newest students have unparalleled access to the incredible resources and boundless opportunities Colby has to offer,” Maloney said. “It is an exciting time for our community.”