Leslie Colby Cornish

Leslie Colby Cornish, Colby 1875

Colby Class of 1875; LLD 1904

Leslie Cornish, a classmate of Mary Low, became the chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine. As Ernest Marriner wrote: “In Colby’s class of 1875, Cornish had been a classmate of that college’s first women graduate. Fifteen years later, not yet on the court, but already a prominent attorney, he led a movement among Colby alumni to oust the women. Presenting his case, Cornish said: The institution was chartered as a literary and theological institution for the ‘education of youth.’ I think that word would be interpreted by any court to signify only young men.”

Cornish graduated from Colby in 1875, attended Harvard Law School from 1879-80, and received an LLD from Colby in 1904, Bowdoin in 1918, and University of Maine in 1920. He served in the Maine Legislature in 1878 and was admitted to the bar in 1880. He was the associate justice of the Supreme Judicial Court from 1907-1917 and then was appointed Chief Justice in 1917. He served on Colby’s Board of Trustees from 1888-1926, and as chairman from 1907-1926; trustee of the Coburn Classical Institute and the Lithgow Library; and also president of the Maine Unitarian Association and trustee and president of Augusta Savings Bank.

See Trustees letters