Nov 07, 2023

Endowed Financial Aid Fund Honors Parents’ 50th Reunions

The $100,000 gift establishes the Douglas and Cheryl Gorman Family Endowed Financial Aid Fund

Doug, Cheryl, and Katie Gorman

Douglas ’73, P’08, ’12, Cheryl ’74, P’08, ’12, and Katherine “Katie” Gorman ’12

For Robert “Bobby” Gorman ’08 and Katherine “Katie” Gorman ’12, Colby College has always been an ever-present part of their lives.

Their parents, Douglas ’73, P’08, ’12 and Cheryl Gorman ’74, P’08, ’12, met in an art class during Cheryl’s first year at Colby. After graduating, the couple maintained relationships with several classmates and stayed connected with the College through various volunteer roles.

“Our family loves Colby,” Katie Gorman said.

Although their parents never pushed the idea of both children attending their alma mater, choosing Colby just felt natural, according to Bobby, who along with Katie, had the description “Colby from birth” alongside their photos in their high school yearbooks.

“It’s something we connected over always,” Bobby Gorman said. “When the president would send out a letter, we would all discuss it.”

After Doug Gorman passed away in March 2022 and Cheryl Gorman was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy, Bobby and Katie knew they wanted to carry out their parents’ intent of leaving a large gift to the College.

“When both of our parents got sick pretty suddenly, we knew it was part of their wishes to donate to Colby, and I think it was important to both of them that everyone be able to experience a Colby education,” Katie Gorman said. “I think all of us credit a lot of our success to Colby. We think of it as some of the best years of our lives, and we want to give that to as many people as possible.”

In honor of both of their parents’ 50th reunions, the siblings worked with Colby to establish the Douglas and Cheryl Gorman Family Endowed Financial Aid Fund with a $100,000 gift from the family.

As an area of high strategic need for the College, Bobby and Katie Gorman believe their parents—who were very active in understanding and supporting Colby’s priorities—would have been happy to give to financial aid.

“We want the school to continue to prosper,” Bobby Gorman said.


Cheryl ’74, P’08, ’12 and Douglas Gorman ’73, P’08, ’12

National Leader in Access and Affordability

The Douglas and Cheryl Gorman Family Endowed Financial Aid Fund will support unrestricted financial aid for students at Colby with demonstrated need. Colby has become a national leader in access and affordability among colleges and universities. A leading admissions and outreach effort that has enrolled extremely academically prepared students from all backgrounds, along with partnerships forged with community-based organizations and innovative financial aid programs, has made Colby one of the most accessible colleges for talented students from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Through the Colby Commitment, parents or guardians earning a total income of $75,000 or less with typical assets can expect to contribute $0 toward the cost of their student’s college education. Other key elements include meeting 100 percent of demonstrated need without loans so students have the opportunity to graduate without loan debt, as well as the Fair Shot Fund, where families earning up to $150,000 with typical assets can expect an annual parent or guardian contribution of $15,000 or less.

The College has an ongoing initiative to recruit exceptional students regardless of family income or circumstance and to meet each admitted student’s demonstrated financial need. The Dare Northward campaign has played a major role in taking Colby’s financial aid to the next level in transformative ways. With more than $85 million in financial aid gifts since the start of the campaign, donors make this commitment possible.


Robert “Bobby” Gorman ’08 and Jennifer Reilly ’08

Staying Connected

Doug and Cheryl Gorman served the school in many capacities as alumni and were both recognized for their efforts with Colby Brick Awards in 1999 for Cheryl and 2013 for Doug. Most recently Doug Gorman served as the 50th Reunion Gift Planning Chair.

“Throughout their careers, they saw the school as a big part of what made them them, and they wanted to give back over time,” Bobby Gorman said. “They loved the people and their class and Colby in general—a lot of their closest friends were from Colby. So it was very natural for them to want to give back.”

Reunion Weekend, a memorable time for many Colby alumni, was always especially meaningful for the Gorman family.

“One of my fondest memories is when all of our reunion years overlapped,” said Katie Gorman, referring to Reunion 2013, which marked Katie’s first reunion, Bobby’s fifth, and Doug’s 40th. “We were looking forward to so many more years of Colby events and Colby reunions together.”

It was at that reunion where Bobby reconnected with classmate Jennifer Reilly ’08. The couple wed in September 2019, which prompted Doug and Cheryl Gorman to update their “COLBY4” license plate to “COLBY5.”

“Reunions are just a special time,” Bobby Gorman said, with Katie Gorman adding that it was important to them to honor their parents for their 50th reunions.

“It’s a nice way to leave a lasting legacy because when you endow a scholarship it’s there forever,” Katie Gorman said.

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