Opening day at Connecticut College, Oct. 9, 1915. Photo courtesy of the Linda Lear Center for Special Collections and Archives, Connecticut College.
Exactly 100 years after the people of New London took to the streets to celebrate a successful fundraising campaign to bring Connecticut College to the city, President Leo I. Higdon Jr. published an opinion piece in The Day thanking the city for a century of support. "Today, as Connecticut College celebrates it Centennial, the college and the city continue to enjoy a strong and mutually beneficial relationship that contributes to the economy, improves the quality of life and deepens the college's educational excellence," Higdon wrote.
See a slide show from Connecticut College's March 1 "Honor New London" event. Higdon said the college recognizes and appreciates the support of the city, and strives to reciprocate. For example, he said, more than 600 Connecticut College students complete internships, course work, work-study and volunteer placements in local schools, agencies and other non-profits. "These students help important local organizations extend their reach into the community," Higdon wrote. "But as much as I know our students give, it is matched or exceeded by what they receive in return … through the work of these important partners, our students develop skill and values related to citizenship, cross-cultural communication, democracy in action and social responsibility."
In a front-page story in The Day Sunday, New London Mayor Martin Olsen, a 1995 Connecticut College graduate, said the college is a big asset to the city. "Just having a high-caliber school in and of itself in the community is an asset ... students are exposed to New London and what it has to offer," Olsen told The Day. An editorial in The Bulletin today also congratulated the college and the city on the important anniversary. "Colleges and universities add greatly to the fabric of a community, their students often volunteering with community organizations and community projects.
They also provide students with the necessary skills we need as a society to maintain a competitive and innovative economy," the editors wrote. The editorial continued, "So we take this opportunity, congratulating Conn College on its milestone achievement, to make this point: That we, as a society, would be much poorer if it were not for these institutions of higher education and the significant contributions that they make daily."