Potash Hill

2015 Graduate Commencement

Some graduates and faculty play “toss the mortarboard” during the reception at the graduate center.Marlboro College held its 18th graduate and professional studies commencement on August 22, 2015, when faculty, friends, and family celebrated 44 students at Centre Congregational Church, in Brattleboro. In his first official duty as Marlboro College president, Kevin Quigley addressed the graduates to express the college community’s pride in their accomplishments and thank their families for their support. Graduates heard from two of their peers, chosen by the degree chairs based on the story of their learning journey, and former Governer Madeleine Kunin delivered the commencement address, drawing from her wealth of experience in government and civil society. See the whole shebang.

From President Kevin Quigley’s remarks

When Marlboro’s founder Walter Hendricks, received his master’s degree, he said, “Now that I have acquired these letters, I’ll do my best to worst my betters”—a little bit ironic. Our expectations of you are that you will exceed all of us, and that you will take what you’ve learned and apply it to help educate others, to improve your community, wherever that may be. We encourage you to stay connected to the college, stay connected to each other, stay connected to the faculty and the Marlboro community. Because you are now and forever more one of ours, and we’re very proud of that.

From the comments of student speaker Jodi Clark, MS in Managing Mission-Driven Organizations

Marlboro provided me with multiple reflective mirrors in the form of amazing colleagues, mentors, and kindred spirits who helped me see, cultivate, and embody more of my strengths…. I don’t always see my gifts. What I have come to discover is that many of the aspects of myself that make me feel the most vulnerable are exactly the ones I need to call upon and step into fully in service to my communities. My courage, my love, and my voice are foundational to how I show up anywhere. I have also come to discover that all of the amazing beings around me mirror what it is I carry and what I can offer to them in service. You all are my best teachers.

From the comments of student speaker John Pfordresher, MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

MA-TESOL graduate Jamie Polzin celebrates with a young family member. Photos by Diane HeilemanI came to Marlboro expecting to have experiences that would bring into question core assumptions and values I hold about the world, and I have. I came to Marlboro to meet people who care about stuff that matters, and oh have I…. I expected to challenge and to be challenged. And for the past sixteen months that is exactly what I have gotten. My teachers, my peers…all the people who have been there to support, explore, and discover with me, have together created a space into which we shared and learned and grew, each of us in our own uniquely incredible and indefinable ways. It is that communal, complex, disruptive, fantastically immeasurable growth that has defined my experience here at Marlboro.

From Madeleine Kunin’s commencement address

With all the things you are doing in your lives already, I urge you to be activist citizens…You’ve taken risks so far, and continue to do so, as you develop your life and your goals. I came across an interesting quote—“Impossible is not a fact. Impossible is an attitude”—and I think you have that kind of long-range vision to think, how do you see yourself in five years, ten years, and how do you see your family. Not accepting the word “impossible” as you chart your next course is very important.

Marlboro is pleased to announce that the next graduate commencement will be combined with the undergraduate commencement in May 2016. Look forward to a full report on this new and improved, united, and synergistic commencement extravaganza in the next Potash Hill.