Colby is a special place that evokes memories of good times, lasting relationships, and hard work. It is the place that helped prepare you for life and encouraged you to dream. Perhaps you didn't know it at the time, but your experiences at Colby were made possible by many of the men and women who came before you - alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends who believed in the value and importance of the Colby experience, and who provided for Colby's future by building the endowment.
Building an endowment to secure the future of an institution requires vision. It requires the capacity to dream. Your planned gift to Colby will help the College retain its leadership in American higher education. It will ensure that promising students continue to have access to Colby regardless of their ability to pay, that the College can attract and retain the finest faculty, and that Colby can sustain and expand its tradition of curricular innovation.
In the stories that follow, you will meet a number of individuals and others who have their own dreams for Colby and who, through a well planned gift, have made those dreams come true. Not only did their gifts help them and their loved ones, they also reached into the future to touch the lives of generations of students to come. We invite you to join with them in this legacy.
By the time Pam met her future husband, Charlie Leighton '60, he had already graduated and moved on to Harvard Medical School. Over their 30-year marriage, Charlie excelled in health care and Pam devoted herself to teaching. Even though she'd never visited Mayflower Hill before she met him, Colby was always a part of their life together. They attended regional events in Boston and Philadelphia, and Charlie, senior vice president of administration, planning and science policy at Merck, interviewed prospective students for Colby's admissions office.
When Charlie died, in 1993, Pam knew she wanted to make a gift that would honor him at Colby.
"My husband Charlie loved Colby, and after he died I wanted to do something in his memory. When I learned I could make a significant gift through my IRA and follow the students it helps through their careers at Colby, my decision was immediate. Charlie and I believed the most important thing you can give a person is education, so this is a perfect way to honor him."
"Colby helped shape the person I am. At Colby I found strong faculty, excellent resources, and a close community of students who became lifelong friends." The close interaction with faculty, staff and students and the availability of excellent resources for research and exploration contributed to a significant and memorable four years that founded and grounded who John has become.
"My wish is to help other young people from Maine access a life-changing Colby experience. So I recently established a donor advised fund through which I direct my charitable commitments, designating Colby as both an ongoing and ultimate beneficiary."
Steve and Mary recognized that for so many students, lifelong friendships formed at Colby were made possible through financial aid. Steve and Mary made a commitment to keeping the Colby experience possible for generations to come.
"We purchased a life insurance policy for charitable giving and named Colby the beneficiary. This planned gift allows us to make a great impact, and we enjoy knowing that it will help Colby students for years to come."
A beneficiary designation gift is a simple and affordable way to make a gift to support Colby. Colby can be designated a beneficiary of a retirement, investment or bank account, or a life insurance policy like Steve and Mary. Designating Colby as a beneficiary is easy to do, costs nothing, and will help provide a bright future for the Colby students of tomorrow.
Judy recounts to prospective students her memories of Admissions Director Bill Bryan inviting students to his house to skate and roast marshmallows, and memories of an economics seminar in which the students did investments for the College. "Colby is still small enough that it feels like family, and I tell kids when I'm recruiting for the Admissions Office that at Colby people know who you are and you know who they are. That's a really unique experience to take into adulthood. You don't get those kinds of experiences at a big university. That's why we support Colby."
By making a bequest, Judy and Harry hope to engender in future students the same enthusiasm they feel for Colby. They want to give them the desire for a lifelong relationship with the College.
"When you think about making a gift in your estate, you reflect on the causes and values that are most important to you," she said. "Despite my roots in the nonprofit sector, my Colby experience rose to the top. Colby opened my eyes to the many ways that people think and how they form their opinions. When I think about formative experiences, I think about the many student leadership opportunities I enjoyed at Colby. My career in the nonprofit sector got its roots in the leadership skills I learned at Colby."
Looking back on her time at Colby, Jessie values the courses she took and the intensity of the Colby learning experience. While at Colby she found herself taking on government roles and committee work. Since then she's built a rewarding career around philanthropy, directing the efforts of charitable organizations. It's work for which she was well prepared by the things she learned at Colby.
"My career in the nonprofit sector got its roots in the leadership skills I learned at Colby," she said. "I appreciate that Colby encouraged students to take ownership of things, to get involved, and to make a difference."
By including Colby in her estate, she creates a lasting legacy that will give future students similar opportunities. If you value your education at Colby and want to leave a legacy like Jessie's, please consider making a bequest to Colby.