WATERVILLE — Colby College this week celebrated its $750 million comprehensive campaign in New York City with a trustee making it possible for the Empire State Building to be lit in Colby blue.

The Colby and Dare Northward campaign theme logos were projected on the Nasdaq sign in Times Square as part of the activities, which represent the first of many regional events planned around the country in the next couple of years, according to college officials.

Dan Lugo, Colby’s vice president for college advancement, was interviewed about the campaign in a Facebook Live segment at Nasdaq.

With support from trustees, the Empire State Building was lit Tuesday night in Colby blue; and on Wednesday night, alumni, parents and friends celebrated by attending Jazz at Lincoln Center, according to Colby’s communications director, Kate Carlisle.

Performances included those by Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson and several Colby students, including jazz band members; and Katie Monteleone and Josua Lutian, who performed selections from their original musical, “Lost with You.”

An original film about Edwin Torres, of the Colby class of 2012, was screened at Wednesday night’s event. Torres is now the official photographer for the mayor of New York and won the Pulitzer Prize for news photography this year as part of a New York Daily News/ProPublica team.

Colby officials say Torres is a great example of the access and inclusion — and the type of successful student outcome — Colby’s campaign supports.

On Oct. 20, Colby launched the $750 million fundraising campaign in Waterville. Officials announced the college already had raised more than $380 million toward that goal. Since then, the campaign total has increased to $387 million.

Colby President David Greene, who has led the effort to help revitalize the city’s downtown, and more than 800 Colby trustees, alumni, donors, administrators, faculty members, students, Waterville city officials and others turned out Oct. 20 at the Waterville Opera House for the campaign announcement.

The campaign will enable the college to improve access to a Colby education for deserving students from around the globe, provide new facilities that support a multidisciplinary approach to learning and connect the college to the community beyond its campus, according to college officials. Construction of a new performing arts and innovation center also will be built as part of the effort.

Campaign funds will allow Colby to continue to redefine the liberal arts, offering distinctive programs to connect students to a rapidly changing world and prepare them to solve the most vexing issues of our time, Colby officials said.

The Dare Northward campaign theme reflects the bold and unprecedented nature of the initiatives and priorities it will support, they said.

Eric S. Rosengren, chairman of the Colby board of trustees and a 1979 Colby graduate, told the crowd Oct. 20 that Dare Northward refers not just to the current upward momentum of the college but also to its remarkable history, starting with its chartering in 1813.

“In 1877, Colby admitted women, more than 100 years before many of our peer institutions,” Rosengren said.

Rosengren said Waterville residents raised $107,000 to buy land on Mayflower Hill in 1930 for the college, as the survival of Colby was in question, financial institutions were failing and unemployment was rising.

It was a daring move, according to Rosengren. Just as the country fell into the Great Depression, Colby’s leaders were willing to take a significant risk to secure the college’s future.

Colby is working with civic, philanthropic and art leaders to help revitalize downtown Waterville.

Colby invested $5 million to renovate the former Hains building, a historic bank building on Main Street, and is building a $25 million mixed-use development that will open in the fall of 2018 and house 200 Colby students and faculty and staff members working in civic engagement. Colby also plans to build a hotel and restaurant next year on Main Street that would serve the Waterville community and visitors.

Colby’s total investment in Waterville is expected to exceed $45 million, with significant additional resources being committed by private investors, according to college officials.

Major campaign commitments include a gift from Colby trustee and campaign co-chairman Bill Alfond, a 1972 Colby graduate, and his wife, Joan, to name the residential and mixed-use complex that Colby is building downtown at 150 Main St.

Major gifts to the campaign include more than $100 million to establish the Lunder Institute for American Art, which was launched this fall. The campaign commitment from Overseer Peter Lunder, a 1956 Colby graduate, and his wife, Life Trustee Paula Crane Lunder, included nearly 1,150 new works by artists including Maya Lin, Joan Mitchell, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.

The Lunder commitment established Colby as the only liberal arts college with both an innovative art museum dedicated to cross-disciplinary study and a global research center for American art.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17