On March 5, Colgate celebrated Charter Day — the official anniversary of the establishment by the New York State Assembly of what would one day become Colgate University. When the University’s 13 founders met in Olmstead House, they intended to create an institution that would prepare local young men to be sent out into the world as scholars, men of letters, and missionaries and ministers. Soon, others from beyond New York and New England came to be educated and prepared for their global vocations. On this year’s Bicentennial Charter Day, faculty, staff, and students went to Memorial Chapel to support local charities, and alumni around the world supported their own communities. Our actions as a Colgate community echoed the intentions of the 13 men in Olmstead House, who boldly founded an institution to educate young people who would impact the world.
One way our faculty, students, and alumni have engaged the world is through their achievements as recipients of prestigious scholarships and fellowships. In the 2018–19 academic year, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs distinguished Colgate University as one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright U.S. Scholars.
In the past year, a record number of Colgate students have submitted more than 140 national scholarship and fellowship applications, including proposals for Fulbright awards; Benjamin A. Gilman, Barry M. Goldwater, and Truman Foundation scholarships; Boren and Thomas J. Watson fellowships; and many more. At time of publication, 25 of the 34 Colgate Fulbright U.S. Student Program applications were identified as semi-finalists and moved to the final round for possible selection.
In this issue of Colgate Magazine, you will find stories of alumni who are past recipients of prestigious scholarships and fellowships. The extension of their education through these awards is a testament to the strength and power of the Colgate experience — a sign of an institution that is confidently taking its rightful place in national and international conversations. Colgate is an essential American institution. The ways in which members of the Colgate community engage in the work of the nation and the world should continue to expand. As we progress into our third century, the research and work of our faculty and students will be recognized and noted through the increased number of awards given to them.
More importantly, however, their efforts represent the application of a Colgate education for public good, for the benefit of humanity — precisely the outcome our founders intended 200 years ago. The work of our faculty, students, staff, and alumni honors the legacy of the 13, and we owe future generations our current efforts to push Colgate to new levels of excellence.