Our History

When Walter Hendricks established Marlboro College in 1946, he wanted to create a different kind of college—one where students were not just participants but active contributors to the academic and community life of campus. Students and faculty worked together, pounding nails and sawing lumber to turn three neighboring hill farms in southern Vermont into the core of a scenic rural campus. The hands-on approach and sense of common purpose engendered in those early years remain hallmarks of Marlboro today, both on the undergraduate campus and the graduate campus in the nearby vibrant town of Brattleboro.

Marlboro's egalitarian culture and respect for the individual has been central to many important developments over the years, including Town Meetings, the Plan of Concentration, and the Clear Writing Program. New initiatives along the way, such as the World Studies Program and the Outdoor Program, have helped to extend the civic engagement of Marlboro students to local, regional, and global issues. See Marlboro College Through the Years for more details.

The founding of Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies programs in 1997 took the Marlboro pedagogy of self-directed learning in a close-knit community to a new level and a broader audience. Today, Marlboro College is one of the Vermont’s premier institutions, a valuable educational resource serving the diverse educational needs of inspired undergraduates, graduate students, and working professionals from the region and the world.