The Marlboro Record

Dean Nicyper and Sara Coffey take charge

For the first time in history, two Marlboro alumni will lead the board of trustees. Dean Nicyper ’76 accepted the chairmanship in May, and was succeeded as vice-chair by Sara Coffey ’90.

“This is an important milestone for the college, and I hope there will be many more alumni to hold these positions in the future,” said Dean, who has served on the board for 11 years. “Being the first alumnus chair is also humbling. I know I am standing in the shoes of many great people who have held this position before me, including those I have known while on the board, like Bart Goodwin, Andrew Hilton, Ted Wendell, Lil Farber and Dick Taylor.” Dean is a partner at the New York law firm Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer. He takes the helm at Marlboro during a crucial time for the college.

“Changing demographics and the horrible economy over the past few years requires us to focus a significant amount of our immediate attention on admissions and retention,” said Dean. “Improving our facilities and grounds is one strategy we will pursue to help maximize our potential in those areas.” Meanwhile, alumna Sara Coffey of Guilford, Vermont, assumed the position of vice-chair after serving on the board since 1998. Sara holds an M.A. in performance studies from New York University, and she has been working in the performing arts field for 15 years.

“My experiences as a Marlboro student in the World Studies Program left an indelible mark on me,” said Sara, cofounder with husband Dave Snyder of Vermont Performance Lab, a program supporting the development of contemporary dance and music. “Participating in a community where students, faculty and staff have equal voices was very empowering to me, and taught me a great deal about how one person can make a difference in a community.”

Trustee transitions

In May, the board welcomed three new members including parent trustee Suzanne Olbricht, mother of Mike Harrist ’10 and Ariel “Cookie” Harrist ’13. Suzanne is head of dermatology at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, and faculty member at Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical School.

“As a parent of two students, I have seen first hand how Marlboro empowers students to take charge of their education, to learn to think and express themselves and to mature responsibly within the context of community,” said Suzanne.

“I am excited to be able to be involved in a formal way.” Suzanne is on the editorial boards of Harvard Women’s Health Watch and Advances in Dermatology and is also a popular lecturer, giving talks recently in Chicago, San Diego, Atlanta, Brazil, Spain and Colombia.

“Marlboro was enormously important to me, both in my intellectual development and in my personal life,” said Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina ’72, who also joined the trustees in May. “I’m honored at this point in my life and career to give something back to the college.”

Gretchen is familiar on Potash Hill as the author of Mr. and Mrs. Prince, read by the Marlboro community in the fall of 2008. In addition to authoring or editing seven other books, she is the Kathe Tappe Vernon Professor in Biography at Dartmouth College and the first woman to chair the English department there.

“As an academic who is both a professor and an administrator, I have a great deal of experience in the way that liberal arts colleges run, and with the issues that they face now and in the future,” Gretchen said. Alumna trustee Elizabeth Doyle Glenshaw ’81 is managing director of Clean Yield Asset Management, an investment advisory firm that works with social investors throughout the country. Elizabeth has 25 years of experience in socially responsible investing, starting with launching a community-banking program for a Vermont bank.

“My career has been spent as a socially responsible business entrepreneur, which I think will be helpful given the unique position Marlboro plays in the higher education marketplace,” said Elizabeth. She has a degree in financial planning from Boston University and served on the board of the Social Investment Forum, the industry’s trade association, for 14 years, several of them as vice president.

Citing her own busy career and family obligations, Mary Mattson Kenworthy decided to step down from the board of trustees in May.