Extraordinary strides require extraordinary investments. Investments of time, effort, and resolve. But this campaign is worth the challenge. Because taking no risk is our greatest risk. Because we know the extraordinary is within reach—as long as we dare for it.

Dare Northward Campaign Overlay Hero

The Next Ascent

In 2017 we launched Dare Northward, a daring campaign with an ambitious goal of raising $750 million to transform Colby and Waterville. We have surpassed that original goal thanks to the extraordinary generosity of our community. In six short years, the Dare Northward campaign has catalyzed transformational progress on an unprecedented scale. Elevating existing academic programs and striking out to explore new horizons, Colby has emerged as a global leader in liberal arts education, foregrounding opportunities for students, faculty, and staff and taking a proactive role in the revitalization of our hometown of Waterville, Maine. Through Dare Northward, Colby has reached staggering heights—but our work does not end here.

Together, we will exceed $1 billion.

We set out on a formidable road, but we’re not at it alone.


individual donors


committed to Dare Northward


Tales from our journey into uncharted territory.

Explore how the Colby community has supported and created new opportunities through the Dare Northward campaign.

Academic Impact

We’ve added 53 new faculty members, 10 new majors, and five new minors. And, we’ve enhanced research and teaching through the development of industry-leading, innovative programs, including the first cross-disciplinary institute for artificial intelligence at a liberal arts college.

The Haynesville Project
Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence
McFadden Fund for Humanistic Inquiry

Universal Student Experiences and Global Connections

We’ve created opportunities for our students to engage in internship, research, and global experiences regardless of their personal networks or backgrounds through the development of nearly 2,300 partnerships with individuals and organizations and by providing approximately $8 million of funding for our students to have access to meaningful academic and life experiences.

Buck Lab for Climate and Environment
Pulver Science Scholars
Halloran Lab for Entrepreneurship
Linde Packman Lab for Biosciences Innovation
Lyons Arts Lab

Arts, Creativity, and Innovation

We’ve developed an arts ecosystem within the Colby and Waterville communities by continuing to invest in the finest college art museum in the country. With the ongoing expansion of the Colby Museum of Art collection, launching of the Lunder Institute for American Art, and development of more than 125,000 gross square feet of arts facilities—including the Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts, the most advanced and innovative performing arts facility in New England—Colby and Waterville have become a destination for the creative and performing arts.

Access to Art for All
Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts
Paul J. Schupf Art Center
Lunder Institute for American Art
Greene Block + Studios
Colby College Museum of Art

Civic Engagement and Community Partnerships

We’ve created a civic environment in which our students and community are engaged. Colby has catalyzed growth in Waterville and beyond during the Dare Northward campaign. With the 2018 opening of the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, a cornerstone of Colby’s civic engagement with Waterville, we now have 200 Colby students living downtown. And through more than 75 partnerships across the state, our students have engaged in more than 10,000 community service hours, helping us support the goal of a city alive with activity in which history is honored and reimagined spaces are revitalized not just for use by the Colby community but our neighbors in Waterville and central Maine.

Downtown Waterville
Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons
O’Hanian-Szostak Fellows for Civic Leadership
Center for Small Town Jewish Life
Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs
Office of Civic Engagement

Fitness, Wellness, and Athletics

We’ve developed the programs and facilities for students to engage in an active, healthy lifestyle. With the opening of the Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center, establishment of the Peak Performance Program, and creation of fitness, recreation, and expanded club sports programs, Colby encourages lifelong healthy habits across the entire campus community.

Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center
Peak Performance
Recreation Department Opening

Intellectual Culture and Inclusivity

We’ve doubled our financial aid budget to become a national leader in access and affordability. From a leading admissions outreach program to new, innovative financial aid programs, Colby is attracting the most talented and broadly diverse student populations in its history.

The Colby Commitment
Colby is an American Talent Initiative ‘High-Flier’
The Fair Shot Fund
$0 Contribution Policy
Innovative Programs and Facilities

The Dare Northward campaign has elevated the College, created new opportunities, changed our campus, and enhanced the way our community lives, learns, and engages with each other.

Paul J Schupf Art Center Opening Night

The Next Ascent

We’re strategically investing in areas where we can make the biggest possible impact. When we complete the next ascent, Colby will be recognized as a global leader in the liberal arts.

Dare Northward Values Flower

New goal. Same values.

Values are our north star. We are continuing to take an integrated, values-led approach to this campaign to reflect the realities of the world we’re trying to better. With intellectual culture and inclusivity at the center, we will continue to enhance the lives of our students, faculty, and staff through partnership, innovation, and support.


Big Investment. Big Impact.

Access and Affordability

Continuing to open the Colby doors wider for the most talented, hard-working students through an exceptional financial aid program will continue the successful trajectory of enrolling and graduating a diverse and academically competitive student population.


Science and Technology

Developing sector-leading science and technology programs that are solutions based and human centered will play an important role in cementing Colby’s position as one of the top science colleges in a liberal arts setting.


The Residential Experience

Creating a more vibrant and interconnected residential experience that builds community, supports Colby’s academic mission, fosters increasing independence and personal growth, and meets the needs of our diverse student body will continue to be an important focus.


Distinctive Assets

Building upon the College’s distinctive assets and identity drives us to create nationally recognized centers of excellence in areas where the College already excels and has a leadership position—from the arts and the Colby Museum to artificial intelligence, climate change, and sustainability.

Dare Northward: The Next Ascent

We’re on the precipice of achieving something unprecedented. We’ve given our time, effort, and resolve to ensure our students and faculty have the best possible experience at Colby. And while the last leg of the climb will be the most challenging, it will also be the most rewarding. Do you dare to join?

Miller Library

Dare to change the world?

Your gift will help produce leaders to solve the world’s greatest challenges.

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Thank You Dare Northward