What makes a champion?
Connecticut College will honor its host city on March 1, exactly 100 years after the citizens of New London won the right to host the college with a whirlwind 10-day fundraising campaign. The 'Honor New London' event, which will feature live entertainment, hors d'oeuvres and remarks by Connecticut College President Leo I. Higdon Jr. and New London Mayor Martin Olsen '95, is from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. in the Harris Building Atrium, 165 State Street, New London.
The event is free and open to the public. "Connecticut College is proud to be an integral part of New London, and it is important for us to recognize and honor our strong and mutually beneficial relationship during the college's centennial year," Higdon said. "We deeply value the people of New London and surrounding communities, and we are looking forward to this opportunity to say 'thank you' in person to those who play such an important role in our students' education." The Harris Building Atrium is adjacent to the Provenance Center, where the College's Centennial Photo Exhibit is currently on display. The 'Honor New London' event will serve as a closing ceremony for the exhibit, which features historic photographs of Connecticut College and student, staff and faculty photography celebrating the relationship between the college and the city.
The relationship began in 1911, when the founders of the new college were looking for a site to establish a campus. Delighted by a beautiful hilltop overlooking the city, the college's incorporators agreed to build the campus here if the city could raise $100,000. On Feb. 20, 1911, the city was given a deadline of March 1 - they had just 10 days to raise what was, at the time, a small fortune. New Londoners rose to the challenge. On March 1, after a whirlwind campaign, the people of New London paraded through the streets celebrating the news that the new college would indeed be theirs.
Today, Connecticut College is the third largest employer in New London, with 830 employees and a payroll of $41 million. The college offers the community a wide range of cultural, educational and athletic programs for free or a nominal charge. And each year, more than 600 Connecticut College students intern, work, study and volunteer in local schools, agencies and other non-profits. "The college considers these local schools and organizations to be partners in our mission to educate students to be active citizens in today's complex and increasingly global society," Higdon said.
Connecticut College also offers the Jane Bredeson Scholarship, which funds up to half the cost of tuition for New London residents who are full-time students. Since the program began in 1996, 23 New London students have been awarded more than $1 million from the program. A New London Scholars program, established by the trustees in 1986 on the college's 75th anniversary, allows two outstanding local high school students to take a course at the college at no cost.