This is the time for Benton Scholars to become immersed in the Colgate experience — taking core courses, developing networks of friends, and considering the contributions they will make as campus leaders. Scholars will live together in a community located in one of the residence halls. During both the fall and spring semesters, they will take one required class together as a group.
During the first year, Benton Scholars will help choose visiting speakers. They also will travel together to meet with renowned leaders including Dan Benton '80, the program's founder.
In this year, students are challenged to explore the connections between global issues and the local community in which they live and work. Many activities are channeled through our Upstate Institute, an interdisciplinary initiative that connects service and scholarship in an effort to address the social concerns of central New York.
In the past, sophomore Benton Scholars have formed a Student Philanthropy Council that awarded small grants to community organizations, both locally and abroad, organized on-campus discussions of various global issues and challenges, and met on campus with prominent leaders like Colin Powell and Tony Blair.
This is when Benton Scholars take the knowledge and skills they have developed in the first two years of the program and apply them to real-world issues and challenges. Scholars will identify a theme to study during a trip to an off-campus study site of their choosing. Colgate has a robust offering of off-campus study programs to destinations from London and Geneva to China and Australia.
Juniors also become connected with Colgate alumni and incoming Benton Scholars, providing them with the opportunity to both receive mentorship and act as mentors themselves.
The capstone year in the program, scholars are urged to draw together their experiences from the program and envision how they will apply them to their lives beyond Colgate. They will continue their mentoring relationships as they take a senior seminar with the faculty member who taught their first-year seminar, emphasizing the themes of the program once again, and reviewing how those themes emerged over their four years.
They will also give public presentations articulating the impact of their experience to other members of the campus community, encapsulating the whole experience, and showing the ways in which they have developed as leaders with global perspectives.