Colby College, the highly rated liberal arts educational institution in Waterville, Maine, has announced that the college’s president’s house will now be named Osbourne House in honor of a former slave. Samuel Osbourne came to Maine after the Civil War and served as a janitor at the college for 37 years. During his time at Colby, he became a beloved figure, hosting students for Thanksgiving and speaking at every commencement.
Osbourne had a major impact on the college campus. Upon his death, both the president and the chair of the board of trustees served as pallbearers at his funeral. In 1900, Osbourne’s daughter Marion was the first African American woman to graduate from the college.
David A. Greene, current president of Colby College, said that “my family and I could not be prouder than to live in a house named for a family of such courage and integrity.”
A more detailed biography of Sam Osbourne may be found here.