Leave Your Mark Legacy Challenge Launches with $1M Pledge Toward Financial Aid

To continue to make a lasting difference in the College’s future, Colby is pleased to announce the Leave Your Mark Legacy Challenge. As part of the challenge, anonymous donors have pledged a generous $1 million gift in support of financial aid.

Beginning in January 2022, individuals who will be 60 or older by June 30, 2023 and document a new planned gift for Colby, such as a bequest intention or life-income gift, will have 10 percent of their gift’s value matched with an immediate, outright gift (up to $25,000) from the anonymous donors to support financial aid.

The challenge will continue until Colby has reached the full amount of the donors’ $1-million gift commitment, and will be used to establish an endowed fund for financial aid support.

The challenge’s anonymous donors wanted to use their gift to inspire others to support Colby. By joining the Leave Your Mark Legacy Challenge, donors will support Colby through their planned gift, and will help build vital financial aid resources today. 

Colby is a national leader in access and affordability through financial aid. As one of the nation’s few institutions to meet 100 percent of demonstrated need without student loans, the College is establishing new standards with its ongoing commitment to making a Colby education even more accessible. Key financial aid initiatives include the Colby Commitment, which provides students the opportunity to graduate without loan debt. If a student’s family has a total income of $65,000 or less, approximately the median household income in the U.S., and assets typical of that range, the College guarantees a parent or guardian contribution of $0. For families earning up to $150,000 with assets typical of that range, Colby’s Fair Shot Fund ensures the parent or guardian contribution will be capped at $15,000. Based on the latest United States Census Bureau data, this makes the cost of a Colby education accessible to most U.S. families, and in many instances more affordable than attending public institutions.

Since the start of the Dare Northward campaign, approximately $70 million in financial aid gifts have been made. The College’s ability to expand its innovative financial aid programs is a reflection of a Colby community made up of passionate and generous donors. 

Anyone can document their intent and become a Colby Legacy Society member. Planned gifts have a great collective impact. Planned gifts to Colby, such as charitable gift annuities or bequests, help bridge the gap between the past and the future of the College, creating a legacy that will allow generations of students to benefit from the Colby experience. Gifts by will, or other estate planning techniques, are a cornerstone of Colby’s future endowment growth.

“It is incredible how gifts through an estate plan can accomplish your family, financial, and philanthropic goals all at once. And now, with the Leave Your Mark Legacy Challenge, you can have an immediate impact on financial aid at Colby, too,” said Senior Associate Director of Gift Planning Brooke Sukhavasi.

The Colby Legacy Society, which currently has approximately 950 members, recognizes individuals who have made special gifts through their estate commitments. Gifts also can be documented anonymously. Alumni, families, faculty, staff, and friends who have honored Colby through their wills, trusts, retirement plans, or other arrangements help ensure that Colby continues to offer a world-class liberal arts education for years to come.Participation is simple. More information about the Leave Your Mark Legacy Challenge is available at giftplanning.colby.edu or by contacting Director of Gift Planning Valerie Sherman at [email protected], 207-859-4323; or Senior Associate Director of Gift Planning Brooke Sukhavasi at [email protected], 207-859-4308.