Marlboro College

NewsPress Release - 5/9/2000

BRATTLEBORO, VT - Vermont's U.S. Representative Bernie Sanders -- the country's only Independent representative in Congress -- will address 44 graduating seniors at Marlboro College's 53rd Commencement at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 14, in Persons Auditorium.

Among the students to receive bachelor's degrees are eight residents of Vermont: Brian Andrews and Tiffany Fleming of Brattleboro; Kathryn Flanagan of Williamsville; Zachary Hulme of Marlboro; Kati Knapp of Arlington; Katherine McCarthy of Plainfield; Diana Morrill of Athens; and Simon Piluski of Bellows Falls.

Graduating student Kermit Wood -- who brought peacocks to the Marlboro campus in 1995 and constructed two multi-level aviaries as part of his ongoing animal behavior research -- was chosen by his classmates to give the senior address. He is an expert on Galliformes, the bird family that includes peacocks, peahens, pheasants, partridges, turkeys, chickens, and quail, and has presented his research findings internationally.

Connie Barton, retiring principal of Marlboro Elementary School, will receive an honorary master of arts degree. Barton has a 32-history with the K-8 school, where she taught from 1968 until 1984, when she began her 16-year term as principal.

Sanders, who will receive an honorary doctor of letters, was sworn in for his fifth term in office in January 1999. He has focused his recent efforts in Congress on the work of the House Progressive Caucus, which he founded and chairs. The purpose of the Progressive Caucus is to present thoughtful, practical solutions to the economic and social problems facing the USA. Its agenda includes creating jobs, increasing minimum wage, eliminating corporate welfare to balance the federal budget, reforming single-payer health care, strengthening the federal government's role in environmental health and safety, and addressing women's rights.

The mayor of Burlington for four successive terms from 1981 to 1989, Sanders was voted one of the 20 best mayors in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Before going to Congress, he taught at Harvard University and at Hamilton College. He serves on the House Banking and Financial Services Committee, and on the Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

All graduating Marlboro seniors must complete a rigorous, two-year, self-designed course of study that entails significant independent scholarly or artistic work and one-on-one tutorials with faculty. Called the "Plan of Concentration," it is the cornerstone of Marlboro's unique academic program and culminates in a three-hour oral examination by Marlboro faculty advisors and an outside expert evaluator.

This year's diverse array of final Plan topics include: an exploration of 20th-century society and culture with an emphasis on truck-driving, the physiological and behavioral ecology of marine mammals with an emphasis on killer whales, an analysis of Plato's conception of the proper role of reason in life, and an anthropological and visual arts study of identity in shifting cross-cultural contexts.

For more information, please call us at (802) 257-4333.

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