Colby College

Waterville, ME: For anyone who is interested in a small, outdoor-oriented, liberal arts college, Colby is the place for you. Located in Waterville, Maine, it is a few hours from the rest of the world. Colby’s smallness (1700 students) and seclusion are ideal for those looking to get away. Due to its rural location, Colby provides easy access to trails, lakes, woods and animals for nature seekers (Its entire campus is a Maine Game Preserve and Wildlife Management Area.) The campus is beautiful with many new or recently renovated buildings.

Colby has an enticing interdisciplinary program also. The “Jan Plan” offers students a month between semesters either on or off campus to concentrate on a single area of study. For most students (nearly two-thirds), this includes study abroad. If the student chooses, he can take the month off, but almost everyone takes advantage of this opportunity.

The student/faculty relationship made a strong impression on me during my visit. A number of faculty members and families reside on the campus. Faculty members (even off-campus) are available to students constantly with many exchanging home phone numbers. Colby’s strong commitment to close interaction beyond the classroom was proven enthusiastic by the students and faculty alike.

Colby College is not for everyone. Those looking for big cities, and hoards of people will not find comfort here. However, if you enjoy a small, family-like atmosphere where nature plays an important role, add Colby to your list of colleges to visit. f

Reviewed in 1997