Willows Society

Bridging the Past and Future

You've worked hard to provide for the people and values that matter to you, including a Colby education. When you make a planned gift to Colby such as a charitable gift annuity or bequest, you bridge the past and the future, 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. The College is deeply grateful to each Willows Society member for this very special expression of loyalty, confidence, and support.

After you have made provision for your family and loved ones, please consider making a bequest to Colby as part of your estate plan. The Willows Society recognizes individuals who have made special gifts through their estate commitments. There is no minimum or maximum gift amount required - Colby is thankful for all estate gifts, whatever their size.

Membership in the Willows Society involves no dues or obligations of any kind, other than to notify the College that you have included Colby in your estate plans. Willows Society members are honored at special events and enjoy the knowledge that their sound and generous financial decisions will benefit the College and secure their own legacy at Colby. Those alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends who have remembered Colby through their wills, trusts, or planned gifts help to ensure a Colby education continues to be among the very best.


The Willows Society honors the memory of George Dana Boardman, one of the two members of the first graduating class of Waterville College in 1822. A missionary to Burma, Boardman died in 1831, and the following year, his classmates planted willow twigs along a path through the original forestland leading from South College to the Kennebec River. Through the years, they became known as the Boardman Willows, honoring the memory of the first graduate, and all alumni who had since passed away.

When the College moved to Mayflower Hill, cuttings from the willows were planted along the shores of Johnson Pond, providing one of the most striking views of the campus today. At a college where strong traditions have transcended the move from one campus to another, the willow tree has endured for more than 180 years as a meaningful symbol bridging the past while giving promise to the future.

How to Join

Alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of the College may become members of the Willows Society by making a planned gift. These gifts can provide tax benefits and offer an income. More importantly, though, they are gifts anyone may make - at any season of life.