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Connecticut College is celebrating 100 years

NEW LONDON, Conn. - Connecticut College is marking its centennial with a year-long celebration designed to highlight the college's history, strengths, achievements and community. A series of events begins this month and continues throughout 2011.

"The Centennial is a great opportunity to celebrate both the history of Connecticut College and the broad, globally oriented academic experience of today," President Leo I. Higdon Jr. said. "Throughout the year, we will honor the college's tradition of excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and the momentum we are experiencing as we move into our second century."

Connecticut College was founded in 1911 when Wesleyan alumna Elizabeth Wright launched a campaign to create a college for women in Connecticut after her own alma mater excluded them. Cities across the state competed for the honor of hosting the new college. New London won with a beautiful hilltop site overlooking Long Island Sound and a successful fundraising drive. The college was called Connecticut College for Women until becoming co-educational in 1969.

The theme of the college's year-long celebration, "Great Beginnings," hearkens back to its founding and the pioneering spirit and actions of the people who built it. It can also be used to describe the intellectual journey of every student and to frame milestones in the college's history, such as the start of coeducation, the origin of traditions, the launch of science programs, the quest for greater diversity, inaugurations and even the beginning of the college's second century.

The celebration kicks off Thursday with a Centennial Tea for the campus community that revives the long tradition of teas at the college. On Friday, Jan. 28, Lee Eisenberg, a 1999 graduate of Connecticut College and former writer and co-executive producer of the Emmy-winning TV show "The Office," will be the inaugural speaker for "Great Beginnings: Conversations with Alumni," a series created to commemorate the Centennial and celebrate alumni achievement. Eisenberg is a fast-rising star in the entertainment industry, having written scripts for several television shows and feature films. He will speak at 8:15 p.m. in Evans Hall at the Cummings Art Center. This event is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, Jan. 29, a centennial photo show opens at the Provenance Center in downtown New London with a public reception at 8 p.m. The exhibit, which features photographs that represent the college's connection with New London, is sponsored by LINCC (Linking New London and the Connecticut College Communities), a group of students, faculty, staff and local residents committed to strengthening the relationship between Connecticut College and its host city. The show runs through March 1.

For more information, contact the Provenance Center at 860-405-5887. Other major observances of 2011 will include Founders Day in April, Commencement in May and Reunion in June.

Fall Weekend in October will be the largest celebration of the centennial year, with parties, special lectures, panel discussions and other programming. For more information about Connecticut College's centennial, visit

About Connecticut College

Situated on the coast of southern New England, Connecticut College is a highly selective private liberal arts college with 1900 students from all across the country and throughout the world. On the college's 750-acre arboretum campus overlooking Long Island Sound, students and faculty create a vibrant social, cultural and intellectual community enriched by diverse perspectives. The college, founded in 1911, is known for its unique combination of interdisciplinary studies, international programs, funded internships, student-faculty research and service learning. For more information, visit The college is celebrating its centennial in 2011 with an array of events for students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community. For more information, visit -CC-

January 25, 2011