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The Colgate Spirit

By Blaise Desnoes '17 on December 14, 2015


When I give tours at Colgate, I frequently end them with one admittedly cliché statement: I believe in the spirit of Colgate. I thought I would write this post to try to explain exactly what I mean by that.

When I speak of the spirit of Colgate, I am not identifying something that makes us all the same, but instead, mean to identify something that enables all of us on this campus to express our differences. The Colgate spirit to me is a spirit of entrepreneurship and involvement, a spirit that is in part responsible for our nearly 200 student-led clubs on campus and our incredible entrepreneurship initiative, Thought into Action. The Colgate spirit as I see it allows us to open our eyes to other points of view and grow and learn from each-other.


It is also part of what keeps alumni so involved after so many years away from Hamilton, NY. I’ve seen this phenomenon first-hand throughout my time on Colgate’s campus, whether it be in calling alumni through my job at the Colgate Fund, my experience working the 50th reunion tents the last two years, or simply stopping by Career Services to learn about new internship opportunities facilitated by alumni. I’ve seen this spirit in my late night conversations about virtual reality and the upcoming election with my classmates and the determination of our athletic teams, even when they’re behind. I see this spirit when 65% of Colgate’s graduating class chooses to study abroad.


The Colgate spirit is far more than a maroon shirt you wear every Friday the 13th (Colgate Day) or the shared experience of accepting the continuous stream of toothpaste jokes. It is a connection of shared academic pursuits, the same Core curriculum students tackled 50 years ago, and a personality and drive that just never gives up, even in the relentless winters in Hamilton, NY. The Colgate spirit is the heartbeat of this campus today, and has been for the last 196 years.

All these things make the Colgate community what it is, and that shared community — on campus and beyond — absolutely makes the Colgate spirit.

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