The creation of the Medieval Studies Program at Cornell was officially announced in the summer of 1966.

The first Director of the Program, Marchand, served only one semester, fall 1966. Colby-Hall became Director of the Program in the spring of 1967 and served for three semesters. During her sabbatic in 1969-70, Kaske was Acting Director of the Program. Colby-Hall resumed her position as Director between fall, 1970 and spring, 1972.

During the academic year 1970-71, Colby-Hall asked the Dean of the Arts College, Alfred Kahn, to allocate a teaching assistantship in the Freshman Seminar Program to the new Medieval Studies Program for the following academic year. Kahn agreed (unlike the previous Dean, Stuart Brown, who had refused a similar request from Colby-Hall). In the spring of 1972, the allocation was increased to two sections. The number of sections increased in subsequent years, providing the Program with critical support for its graduate students.