Potash Hill

Documenting Last Months on Potash Hill

Sam Harrison documents events on campus, from the dismantling of the giant elm to outdoor classes.Along with the sense of loss, grief, and confusion around Marlboro’s planned alliance with Emerson College, there has been an upwelling of concern about positively supporting Marlboro’s final months. This has prompted efforts by a group of students, faculty, and staff to launch a cohesive documentary project that will provide space for the community to reflect on this pivotal moment in the college’s history. 

“This campus is a very special place that means so much to many people,” says Erelyn Griffin ’20, one of the students who has helped bring people together for the documentary effort. “In documenting we will not only pay homage to this place that we have called home, but provide a look into a moment of history where liberal arts colleges and opportunities for higher education are so vulnerable.” 

The group is investigating and acting on several media projects, including video documentary, audio documentary, writing, and photography. Sam Harrison ’20 plans to include an element of documenting Marlboro’s last semester as part of his Plan in film and video studies, and visiting faculty Brad Heck ’07 will encourage Marlboro-focused projects in his spring class titled The Art of the Mini-Documentary. Several alumni are stepping up to do their own related projects, and have been urged to participate. 

“It’s important to capture the reality of what it is like to be at a college campus that is closing, to hear from people who really care about where they are, to experience what people are going through,” says Brad. “It’s also a way of helping people process.” 

“We are a part of the folk group of Marlboro College, and so much of our folk customs, traditions, and stories are tied to this specific place,” says Erelyn. “This project is as much in the interest of preserving our culture as it is about anything else. We must remember the Howland ghosts, the library mice, broomball!” 

To help support or participate in this documentary effort, contact sharrison@marlboro.edu.