Collis Center Celebrates 40 Years of Student Programming

News subtitle

The Jan. 10 festivities at Common Ground follow Dartmouth’s 250th kickoff event.

Collis center
(Photo by Robert Gill)

The Collis Center for Student Involvement is celebrating its 40th birthday on Jan. 10 with music, food, and giveaways, keeping the festivities going after the College’s 250th anniversary celebration kickoff that afternoon.

The celebration in Collis Common Ground will start at 7:30 p.m., following the 250th events that run from 4- 6 p.m. Collis is one of nine locations on campus that will host simultaneous 250th events.

Joseph Castelot, deputy director of Collis Center, says the party will celebrate the spirit of the Charles Collis ’37 gift that made the January 1979 opening of the center possible.

Collis was strongly attached to his first-year dining hall as a place where he felt at home and where he could meet fellow students from all walks of life, Castelot says. “He decided that he wanted to create a space where all students could feel welcome and be a part of regardless of background, affiliation, gender or interests. That’s how it became ‘Common Ground.’ ”

On Jan. 11, the actual anniversary of the Collis Center’s opening, the Collis governing board is coordinating additional student programming, working with students and groups like Collis After Dark, the Programming Board, and One Wheelock, he says.

“Collis really is a space for all students,” Castelot says. “Our philosophy is that people should be able to find something at Collis that really fits with them and if they don’t, then they’re able to organize something new to make it their own through events, programming or just finding a place to study.”

Check the events calendar for details on Collis events in January.

William Platt can be reached at

Bill Platt