Trustee Marieke Rothschild P’16 and her husband, Jeff Rothschild P’16, have made a generous gift of $16 million in support of three of the College’s highest priorities: financial aid, the arts, and health and wellness.

“This is a magical gift. It accelerates the implementation of initiatives that better the lives of students and strengthen the College. It will also encourage others to join in at this important moment to guarantee Colby’s mission is met at the highest level.” –President David A. Greene

An Array of Possibilities

Jeff and Marieke Rothschild
Marieke and Jeff Rothschild P’16

The Rothschilds’ multipurpose gift will have an immediate and long-term impact on the community by more deeply integrating the arts and a healthy, active lifestyle into the student experience.

Five million dollars of the gift will be directed to making Colby affordable to families across the income spectrum. The Rothschilds previously made a $4.5-million gift to financial aid that set the College on a path for creating some of the most generous and straightforward financial aid packages among liberal arts colleges. The additional resources for the Rothschild Family Endowed Financial Aid Fund will extend the College’s capacity to level the playing field for lower- and middle-income families seeking an extraordinary education for their children.

Colby is one of the few institutions in the country that meets 100 percent of demonstrated need without student loans. Families earning up to $65,000 annually can expect a parent or guardian contribution of $0, while families earning up to $150,000 with typical assets can expect annual parent or guardian contributions of $15,000 or less through the Fair Shot Fund.

Students view an architectual design concept for the Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts.
Students view an architectual design concept for the Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts.

An additional $5 million of the gift will support the Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts, a critical component of the College’s intent to have the finest arts programs associated with a liberal arts college and, in partnership with the city of Waterville, to have the arts be a defining part of the cultural traditions of Central Maine.

Serving as a creative laboratory for the performing arts, the approximately 75,000-square-foot Gordon Center will bring together theater, dance, music, and cinema studies into a highly collaborative and multidisciplinary space for creative expression supported by multimedia and interactive technologies. Students will engage with the center through a number of programs across academic disciplines.

The other $5 million will support a final push to complete Colby’s all-new athletics and recreation center. Slated to open later this year, it will provide a wide range of opportunities for community members to pursue a healthy, active lifestyle—from varsity sports to intramural and club activities to individual health and wellness options.

The new Colby athletics and recreation center is slated to open in 2020
The new Colby athletics and recreation center is slated to open in 2020

To further its commitment to a cohesive student experience, the College is also enhancing programs and opportunities for all students to engage with the new athletics and recreation center. These include new exercise studios, mindfulness and meditation rooms, fitness and education programs—ranging from kickboxing and Pilates to nutritional cooking and CPR—to personalized training options for all levels.

A further $1 million portion of the Rothschilds’ gift will be directed to the Colby Fund over several years to ensure that the College has the flexibility to direct resources for its most pressing needs.

“We’re very impressed with how hard the College is working to make these new initiatives available to the entire campus, as well as the broader community, including Waterville, Maine, and New England. This is an incredibly exciting time for Colby, and we’re looking forward to seeing the significant impact that these dynamic initiatives will have on the College and community.”
–Trustee Marieke Rothschild P’16



When College is Life-Changing

Gifts like the Rothschilds’ to financial aid, the arts, and health and wellness contribute to an extraordinary enhancement of the overall student experience at Colby by ensuring talented students from every background—like Chido, Thomas, and Mario—have access to a rigorous world-class education that also supports their creative passions and personal well-being.

Thomas LaJoie ’20, Van Buren, Maine
“Even though I am a chemistry major, my connection to the arts has allowed me to truly thrive as a member of this community. And it’s brought me to places that I could have never imagined before.”

Mario Martinez ’23, Chicago, Ill.
“Honestly, I had no clue if I would be able to afford college. I was in shock that I could attend a college of Colby’s caliber and graduate with no student debt.”

Chido Mpofu ’20, Masvingo, Zimbabwe
“I had never danced before coming to Colby. At my high school, the focus was on sports so I was on the swimming team and never had the chance to do anything outside that. So being able to do that at Colby was really exciting for me. And once I started, I became very passionate about it.”