In celebrating the Year of ‘13, we have been posting a story or list that pertains to our lucky number on the 13th of each month. In closing out this special year, this final installment is a list of 13 (in no particular order) of the biggest events from this past year.  If you have an idea for this list that you want to share, please use the comments section below.

Today is a big day in itself, of course, with WRCU-FM kicking off a full schedule of special programming, numerous events around the country, and an important giving challenge.

hillary clinton

Colgate President Jeffrey Herbst introduces Hillary Rodham Clinton to a huge crowd at Sanford Field House. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

1) Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton highlighted an impressive list of campus speakers who not only spoke to thousands of people but also met in more personal settings with students. Other campus speakers included Neil deGrasse Tyson, acclaimed astrophysicist; Duncan Niederauer ’81, chief executive officer of NYSE Euronext; Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and author; Ron Paul, former U.S. representative; Felipe Calderón, former Mexico president; and Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani founder and CEO.



2) Final admission figures for the Class of 2017 reflected a record-breaking year for Colgate. The average GPA of accepted students was 3.77, an all-time high, and an average combined SAT of 1403 tied with the highest on record. The incoming class also is Colgate’s most diverse, with 28.7 percent of enrolled students identifying as multicultural.



3) In an important example of international, cultural, and educational collaboration, Colgate gave 119 indigenous artworks to Curtin University in Western Australia. The works, a significant part of the heritage and history of the region, were created by Noongar children who were part of Australia’s “Stolen Generations.” The exchange received coverage in The New York Times, the Today Show, and ABC Radio.



Michael Sippey ’90, vice president of product and design at Twitter; Bharat Mediratta ’92, distinguished software engineer at Google; and Julian Farrior ’93, founder and chief executive officer of Backflip Studios (left to right) speak at the launch of the Digital Media and Technology Professional Network.

Michael Sippey ’90, vice president of product and design at Twitter; Bharat Mediratta ’92, distinguished software engineer at Google; and Julian Farrior ’93, founder and chief executive officer of Backflip Studios (left to right) speak at the launch of the Digital Media and Technology Professional Network.

4). The Office of Alumni Relations and the Center for Career Services established a new series of professional networks that are strengthening ties between members of the Colgate community. The networks reflect graduates’ commitment to mutual success, and focus on the fields of finance, health and wellness, entrepreneurship, the common good, digital media and technology, entertainment and real estate.



5) Colgate celebrated the 40th anniversary of women’s athletics, commemorating the championships, all-star honors, and team unity that have become a hallmark of Colgate athletics. At Reunion, which drew a record 1,620 alumni, special events and tributes were held for the university’s women athletes.



 Sophomore Residential Seminars classroom in Drake Hall.

Students and faculty celebrate the grand opening of the new Sophomore Residential Seminars classroom in Drake Hall.

6) A new program — Mellon Sophomore Residential Seminars — brought sophomores together in a unique living-learning environment that included a series of intensive residential seminars and three study-abroad opportunities. The program is funded by a $700,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant.



7) Forty seven new faculty members joined Colgate in 2013, adding to the university’s robust intellectual community and joining other professors and students in the vigorous pursuit of learning. Many new faculty members, such as Penny Lane of art and art history, already have had an impact on campus. Lane’s award-winning documentary Our Nixon premiered this year on CNN.



solar panels

The university installed solar panels at student housing on 100 Broad Street.

8) Last year Colgate reduced its carbon footprint by 4.7 million pounds, landfill waste by 30,000 pounds, and electricity by 500,000 kWh. The university’s sustainability program has reduced Colgate’s annual operating budget by over $500,000, according to John Pumilio, director of sustainability. Read more about the university’s green efforts here.


Xu Cheng

Xu Cheng demonstrates circuit bending during “Live Body,” a sonic experience. Photo by Ashlee Eve ’14

9) Revolutions Per Minute, the first Chinese sound art exhibition staged in North America, was co-curated by Wenhua Shi, assistant professor of art and art history. The exhibition received national and international media coverage as 30 sound artists including Wang Changcun, Yan Jun, and Samson Young performed on campus.



Lathrop Hall

The renovated lobby is a much more open, inviting space. The new multipurpose room at right features a bank of windows that can be darkened with a flip of a switch.

10) Colgate never stands still, and capital projects are one example of that. Completed this year was a major renovation of Lathrop Hall, a mainstay of the Academic Quad. The university’s proposed new athletic facility received final approval from the university’s Board of Trustees to begin the design phase, and work started on a donor-funded project to renovate the lobby in the admission building. The Colgate community also gathered at the Trudy Fitness Center in March  to celebrate the building having earned gold LEED certification.



11) Colgate launched the Thought Into Action Entrepreneur Institute, which has been charged with promoting entrepreneurism at the university. The institute runs the Thought Into Action incubator program, the ENY Fund and Entrepreneur Weekend, as well as other initiatives. Colgate has helped launch the careers of many successful entrepreneurs, including several recently highlighted in this Colgate Scene article.



Colgate Reads participants shared a conversation around “Tenth of December.”

Colgate Reads participants shared a conversation around “Tenth of December.”

12) More than 2,150 people took part in a new university initiative, called Colgate Reads, that fostered a collaborative literary discussion and provided an opportunity to interact with author George Saunders, who visited campus September 9. Colgate Reads utilized an online forum to engage a wide range of participants, several of whom would later continue the literary discussion in the university’s LW Online program.




13) Colgate went mobile, launching a new app that was downloaded more than 1,750 times in just one month. The app  is available for download from the App Store and from Google Play and is part of a university initiative to provide on-the-go information and resources for Colgate communities on or off-campus.