Since 1911, Connecticut College has been central to a network of nationally recognized alumni, faculty, programs, and facilities. From Olympians to advocates, below are some of the important connections to our community from throughout the decades.
In the 1920s, Shreve, Lamb & Harmon designed the iconic Empire State Building in New York City. A decade later, they designed Palmer Auditorium at Connecticut College. The art deco theater was to serve as a cultural hub for the New London community.
Today, the revitalized Athey Center for Performance and Research at Palmer Auditorium is a hub of innovation, encouraging performance and dialogue on the critical issues of our time.
The New York Red Bulls are an American professional soccer club based in the New York area. They compete in the MLS.
Former Connecticut College men’s soccer goalkeeper AJ Marcucci was the first-ever Conn athlete to be drafted into the MLS. He was selected by the New York Red Bulls on Jan. 21, 2021.
Marcucci's former team, Connecticut College men's soccer, went on to win a National Championship in 2021, the College's first.
Professor Emeritus of Botany Richard Goodwin twice served as president of The Nature Conservancy and co-founded The Nature Conservancy in CT. Founded in 1951, the Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit that protects more than 125 million acres of land worldwide.
Goodwin's legacy lives on today through the College's Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment, which was named in his honor. The Center integrates environmental themes into scholarship across the curriculum so that students can study any subject through an environmental lens.
In the 1920s, three influential patrons of the arts sought to challenge the conservative policies of traditional museums and establish an institution devoted exclusively to modern art. The Museum of Modern Art in NYC was born.
Today's MoMA trustees continue to challenge the status quo. Agnes Gund ’60 is president emerita and life trustee of MoMA. In 2017, Gund sold Masterpiece, by Roy Lichtenstein, in order to establish the Art for Justice Fund, which supports criminal justice reform and combats racial inequality in America.
In 2019, Gund endowed the Agnes Gund ’60 Dialogue Project at Conn. The project facilitates intergroup dialogue by offering opportunities and training to address difficult questions and conversations.
Born in 1860, Jane Addams was an important leader of the women's suffrage movement. She co-founded the ACLU and was the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Jane Addams House on campus (aka "JA") was named in honor of the suffragette. As a former women's college founded during the women's suffrage movement, full participation has always been an important part of our mission.
Camels Vote, a nonpartisan voter awareness initiative established by Conn's Holleran Center for Community Action, ensures students are registered to vote, have access to absentee ballots, and have a ride to the polls. As a result of their efforts, in 2020 Conn was ranked 5th in the nation for voter participation and engagement and received a Gold Seal from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.
*Fun Fact: Conn's first class of students graduated the same year that the 19th Amendment was passed giving women the right to vote.
Beyond Meat, a plant-based meat company, aims to help consumers shift from animal to plant-based products—positively affecting the planet, the environment, the climate, and ourselves.
Ethan Brown ’94, president and CEO of Beyond Meat, founded the company after going vegan but missing fast food. He said that one day their products would be served at McDonald's. The McPlant is now on the menu.
Today's Camels can follow Brown's example by participating in the Food Pathway at Conn. The pathway provides a hands-on experience in which students learn about and participate in the agricultural process from seed to harvest; the journey of food from the farm to the plate; and from policy creation to implementation.
Founded at the first Olympic Congress in Paris in 1894, the International Olympic Committee is the leader of the Olympic Movement and the guardian of the Olympic Games. The 102 members elected to IOC represent and promote the interests of the IOC and of the Olympic Movement in their countries. In 1986, the first woman and first African-American to represent the United States on the IOC was elected to serve on the committee. Her name was Anita DeFrantz ’74.
DeFrantz is one of the longest-serving members of the IOC, just head of Princess Anne. She won a bronze medal in rowing at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games and has won six National Championships. DeFrantz first served as Vice President of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee before being named to the IOC in 1986.
It all began at Connecticut College. DeFrantz joined the rowing team during her sophomore year. “I knew nothing about rowing, but I loved the opportunity to be out on the water, and the freedom that came with it,” DeFrantz said. “Racing with the school uniform on was something that was magical to me, and I loved working really hard with the team.” Connecticut College is the only NESCAC member with a waterfront campus. Our shoreline is home to the rowing and sailing teams, marine science research, and to recreational activities. The waterfront was revitalized this year to enhance our facilities and improve access for all students to enjoy this unique asset.