Celebrating 175 Years Together

175th Parade

Parade Photo Gallery

Colby-Sawyer College and many of our community members and organizations joined New London's 88th Hospital Days Parade on Aug. 4, 2012. View the parade photos.

Schedule of Events

View our schedule of events in celebration of the college's 175th Anniversary.

175 Ways to Benefit
our College and Community

In honor of our 175th anniversary year, the Colby-Sawyer College community is engaged in a variety of initiatives that will benefit the college and the community. Learn more and get involved. Learn more.

175th Years of Teaching and Learning

Explore our fascinating evolution--from a college preparatory school to junior college and on to a baccalaureate college--through our interactive timeline.

Colby Academy, 1875 Dear Friends,

Colby-Sawyer College will celebrate its 175th anniversary as an institution of teaching and learning in the 2012-2013 academic year. This important milestone will provide a wonderful opportunity for a college and community celebration in recognition of the town of New London and its community members, past and present, who have been integral to the school's founding, evolution and ongoing success.

On Friday, Oct. 12, college and community members will gather to celebrate “175 Years Together” on Sargent's Common in New London in an event featuring addresses by college and town officials; a dramatic reenactment of the signing of the charter that established the original New London Academy on July 4, 1837; music; historical games and displays; and a big, beautiful birthday cake for everyone to enjoy. Please mark your calendars and join us for this historic celebration!

Our shared history began on July 4, 1837, when 11 New London citizens gathered to sign the charter granted by the State of New Hampshire establishing a secondary coeducational school in New London. One of the founders was Anthony Colby, who later became governor of the State of New Hampshire. He and several others purchased the land now known as Sargent's Common and raised additional support from local families to construct the academy building, which now serves as the New London Town Offices.

In May 1838, New London Academy welcomed its first students, 26 young women and a ten-year-old boy, with Susan Colby—the daughter of Anthony Colby—serving as its first teacher and lady principal. That fall, 54 young men arrived at the academy to study under the tutelage of teacher and male principal Dyer Sanborn. New London Academy grew and thrived, evolving over time in accordance with students' needs, economic realities and current trends in education. It became the New London Literary and Scientific Institution, and then Colby Academy, Colby School for Girls, Colby Junior College, Colby College - New Hampshire, and finally, Colby-Sawyer College. Over the course of 175 years, the town of New London and citizens from this and surrounding communities have been involved in all aspects of the school, as teachers, staff, students and members of our administrative and advisory boards.

175th Anniversary This tradition continues today, with many area community members serving in vital leadership and advisory roles on Colby-Sawyer's Board of Trustees, and many more involved in a broad range of mutually beneficial partnerships, programs and relationships with the college. These include Adventures in Learning, a lifelong education program administered by the college that serves area community members; the Dan and Kathleen Hogan Sports Center, in which the college and community members exercise and enjoy collegiate athletics; a wide range of cultural events hosted by the college and attended by many community members; and the Windy Hill School, which provides early education programs for our young community members.

Partnerships with area businesses, schools, organizations and institutions also assist the college in our academic mission by providing internship opportunities that allow our students to gain vital experience in their fields of study. These programs are just a few of the many, many ways that college and community members collaborate to enrich the lives of our community members, strengthen our communities, and support a high quality of life in our region.

The Colby-Sawyer College community is proud of our tradition of excellence in providing liberal arts and sciences programs with professional preparation. We are also proud to be a dynamic part of this community and region, which has helped to shape who we are and what we stand for from the very beginning. Given our shared history and geography, Colby-Sawyer and New London are inextricably linked, with uniquely strong, positive and enduring town-gown relations. We look forward to celebrating all we have achieved together and to the promise of a future with many more shared successes.


Tom Galligan
President, Professor of Humanities
Colby-Sawyer College