On April 5, Connecticut College celebrated its 106th birthday with a Founders Day Tea in the Charles E. Shain Library. President Katherine Bergeron led the festivities and was joined by members of the College and New London communities, including New London Mayor Michael Passero ’79 M’89.
“We are here to celebrate the great good fortune of being part of this wonderful, living institution,” Bergeron said.
Connecticut College was founded in 1911, but its history began in 1909 when Wesleyan University announced that it would no longer offer admission to women. At that time, more women than ever were seeking higher education and demanding the right to vote. A committee was formed to create a new college, and towns across the state of Connecticut began offering prospective sites.
A New London hilltop, later described as "the finest college site in the world," was the committee members’ first choice, and they asked New London to raise $100,000 to ensure that their proposal would succeed. A 10-day fundraising campaign exceeded the goal by $35,000. Founders Day, celebrated each year on April 5, recognizes the date on which the Connecticut Secretary of State signed the College’s original charter.
“I love hearing the story of our partnership,” Passero said. “Our partnership is as strong as ever.”
The event included an a cappella performance of “On My Way Home” by the student group Miss Connduct.
The celebration also marked the culmination of the Founders Day Challenge, a fundraising effort to secure 2,000 donors to the College by April 5 to earn a $100,000 challenge gift from Jean C. Tempel '65, and Tom Sargent '82 & Allison Ijams '82 P'17. Due to the overwhelming generosity of the College community, the goal was surpassed. Final results will be shared this week.