campus news and events

College and Community: Growth and Change for 175 Years

For 175 years, the school that evolved into Colby-Sawyer College has been a vital part of beautiful New London, N.H. Last fall, the college and the town gathered on Sargent Common to celebrate our shared history and enduring partnerships, which have helped to create and sustain the high quality of life in New London.

Today Colby-Sawyer is not only the town's largest taxpayer, but its students and visitors also bring an estimated $21.6 million annually to the local economy. The college also enriches the region through its contributions to the arts, support of public events, and educational and recreational experiences that bring greater diversity and other valuable human resources to New London.

In recent years, Colby-Sawyer has welcomed larger classes and now has a student body of about 1,400. Increased enrollment has led to more student engagement in town, resulting in greater opportunities for positive collaborations and interactions on a daily basis.

Currently, more than 80 area families serve as Friendship Families for our international students. Additionally, many New London area businesses now accept the college's SmartCard, which allows students to make purchases in stores and restaurants with their college IDs.

Colby-Sawyer students are also welcomed in New London and the region as interns who work with local professionals to gain experience and hone their skills. Between fall 2012 and spring 2013, more than 110 students in all fields of study were granted internships at area schools, businesses and organizations. Both the town and the college benefit from these relationships through friendship, teaching and learning and cooperation.

Colby-Sawyer College and New London have developed a synergistic existence through years of working with one another to improve quality of life. An established connection between the college administration and town government would not be possible without constant collaboration.

These ongoing relationships have allowed for town-gown relations to remain strong and move forward.

Town Administrator Kimberly Hallquist trusts that her regular communications with local and college officials is beneficial for all. “Everybody knows each other,” she says. “We all meet quarterly: President Thomas Galligan; Bruce King, head of New London Hospital; Jerry Frew, superintendent of schools; and me. We bounce things off each other at lunch and deal with issues immediately.”

Colby-Sawyer President Thomas C. Galligan Jr. agrees that strong town-gown relationships build on positive personal interactions. “We are fortunate to have a great relationship with the town and area organizations. We share ideas about how to grow together,” President Galligan says.

As New London and Colby-Sawyer College continue to grow and change, both embrace new ways to ensure open communication and frequent interaction. For years, Colby-Sawyer has kept the community informed by advertising its events and news in the Kearsarge Shopper, as well as providing information on its website and to local and regional media.

Today technology must be a major component in successfully reaching out. Recently, the Town of New London administration agreed to post links to the college on its website at

Area residents can access information about the college's programs and services that are available to them, including cultural, educational and intercollegiate athletic events, Susan Colgate Cleveland Library/Learning Center resources and Dan and Kathleen Hogan Sports Center memberships. Residents can also learn about new Adventures in Learning courses, while parents of young children can find out more about the Windy Hill School.

The website will also feature the results of a recent survey about college-community relations sent to New London residents. Review survey results...

Both the college and the town have mutually supported local environmental sustainability initiatives. With this in mind, the college has begun planning a sustainable living laboratory that will be built behind the college library. Town residents will be invited to learn more about growing organic vegetables and how to incorporate sustainable building practices while working with Colby-Sawyer students and faculty.

Jennifer White, the college's sustainability coordinator, notes, “I love New London. I grew up here and care deeply about the people and the surroundings. I want to see our work benefit all of the residents and make a difference in our quality of life. This is my home.”

In the future, Colby-Sawyer College hopes to grow to 1,500 undergraduate students, which will help to strengthen its financial foundation. President Galligan says that both the college and community will continue to change in order to prosper in an evolving society.

“We are not growing just because we want to,” he says. “We are growing because we have to. Believe it or not, we are a young school, and growing is the natural process.”

-Chad Reilly '13

Media Studies major Chad Reilly researched the relationship between New London and Colby-Sawyer College for his senior Capstone project. Visit to learn more.

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000