Foundation for Transition
As most of you know, this is my last year as president of Marlboro College, a position I have lived and loved every day for the last 11 years. As I look back, and ahead, I’ve asked myself what can I do for Marlboro in my final year? I see this year as an opportunity. While the trustees are committed to the task of choosing a successor, I want to leave Marlboro as strong as it can be. I want to give my successor, and this remarkable community, an even more solid base for flourishing.
As Marlboro goes “on the road,” sharing the college’s talented faculty and engaging teaching with a wider community, so I go on the road as well. As I visit with trustees and donors, including alumni, around the country, I hope to be able to go beyond meeting our ambitious Annual Fund goal to create a resource I’m calling The President’s Fund for Marlboro’s Future. Generally, the fund will support faculty and staff compensation, student financial aid, and sustainable campus improvements, but I will keep you all posted as we establish more clearly defined goals.
In a way, we have been building to this transition for a long time; over the years, I’ve always thought in terms of supporting people, programs, and places. The Fund for Inspired Teaching raised faculty salaries starting in 2007, thanks to the wonderful endowment gifts from three donor couples, totaling $12 million. Since 2004, some 14 long-serving faculty have retired and 14 new faculty have been attracted to Marlboro’s distinctive academic community.
Funding for new programs has included new summer programs and the Beautiful Minds Challenge for high school students, Movies from Marlboro, and a partnership with Expedition Education Institute—all innovative ways to give prospective students a Marlboro experience and inspire many to apply. We have expanded the offerings of Student Life and are finding ways to make positive experiences outside of the classrooms, studios, and library, part of a Marlboro education, from the Bridges orientation to the Total Health Center.
We’ve made a significant investment in the beauty and functionality of the physical Marlboro, with strong support from donors. New facilities in the last decade include the Serkin Center for Performing Arts, Total Health Center, and the OP barn and greenhouse—built largely by the community—and the welcoming entrance and brick plaza area that also improved accessibility. The Admissions building was entirely renovated and there has been at least a million dollars of energy conservation measures across campus—107 new windows in Dalrymple alone. The college has also added more than 100 acres to its total area, including On the Way and Wendell Cottage on South Road just east of campus, and we just broke ground on the new Snyder Center for the Visual Arts.
Crucial to all of these developments, indeed to the continued vitality of the college, the endowment has grown from $16 million to more than $40 million during my tenure. The Annual Fund goal used to be $800,000 in unrestricted funding a year; now it is $1.5 million, and we exceed our goal year after year. We’ve diversified revenues, with a larger endowment, more unrestricted funds, non-degree programs fees, and rental income.
As I look ahead at my remaining months, one thing I do every day is look at this institution and its people with eyes of love and unending appreciation. With your help, building on my 11 years, I hope to leave Marlboro College with that and much more.