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A Brief History of Colby College

N.W. view of Waterville College, ca. 1830

N.W. view of Waterville College, ca. 1830

Item 12573 info
Colby College Special Collections

Colby was originally chartered by the General Court of Massachusetts as the Maine Literary and Theological Institution in 1813. Its Theological Department opened in 1818 and the Literary Department followed in 1819.
In 1820 Colby was authorized by the First Legislature of Maine "to confer such degrees as are usually conferred by Universities."

An act of Legislature changed the name of the institution to Waterville College on February 5th, 1821. After a significant financial pledge by Gardner Colby at the end of the Civil War, the corporation became "The President and Trustees of Colby University" in 1867, and finally, "The President and Trustees of Colby College" in 1899.


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