NewsPress Release: 5/01/02
MARLBORO, VT -- With about 70 guests gathered at the Marlboro College Technology Center in Brattleboro, including Lt. Governor Doug Racine, a woman's a cappella group just back from China, and a smattering of other Marlboro College students, faculty and staff among the Brattleboro friends of the College, Marlboro College President Paul LeBlanc announced the kick-off of the College's Windham County endowment campaign.
"It's kind of funny to announce a $28 million campaign when you've already raised over $25 million," said LeBlanc, "but that's how it works in academe."
The campaign has been in progress, quietly, for almost two years, LeBlanc explained. An extraordinary $10 million endowment gift, combined with another $2 million to build a new wing onto the college¹s library, started the drive off in dramatic fashion. Since then the college's board of trustees, leadership donors, and a number of important foundation grants have brought the total to over $25 million.
Lt. Governor Racine started the proceedings with an overview of the importance of Vermont¹s independent colleges and universities to the state and region. He mentioned he had recently joined a college counselor tour of Vermont colleges, which he was finding informative and inspiring. He also remarked on the importance of Marlboro College¹s Windham Community Scholarship Fund, that provides financial aid for Marlboro's Vermont students and upon which the Windham County campaign is built.
LeBlanc focused his remarks on the number of Vermont students at Marlboro College, and the scholarship programs the college uses to support them. He noted that whereas 81 percent of all Marlboro students receive financial aid, 97 percent of the college¹s Vermont students receive aid. On average, he said, 20 percent of Marlboro¹s student body consists of Vermonters, defined as any student who was eligible to attend public high school in the state. Over the past five years, he noted, the college has awarded $1.6 million to 263 Vermont students attending Marlboro College.
³The campaign in Windham County and Brattleboro is concentrating on increasing financial aid for our Vermont students,² LeBlanc explained. ³Over the past decade the local friends of the college have contributed well over $300,000 to support these students. They also established, through those hundreds and hundreds of gifts, one endowed scholarship that we award each year to a single deserving Vermont student.²
The Windham Community Scholarship was awarded for the first time at last year¹s commencement to Amos Worth, a senior from Windsor, studying philosophy.
Marlboro currently has ten endowed scholarships, two others of which are restricted to students from Windham County. Each named, endowed scholarship is funded with at least $50,000. Awards are funded with the money the funds earn.
³The goal of the Windham County campaign is to establish at least one more endowed Windham Community Scholarship,² said LeBlanc. ³That means over the next year we need to raise at least $50,000 in Windham County and Vermont. I¹m sure we can do that, and more.²
The kick-off event concluded with two songs sung by a student a cappella group, the Quintessentials, who just days before had returned from China. With other Marlboro singers and dancers, the Quintessentials had performed in two cities in China, Jiangmen and Qufu, as part of a Freeman Foundation grant that brought dance and performing arts students from Inner Mongolia to Vermont two years ago.
Marlboro¹s Campaign is scheduled to conclude June 30, 2003. To learn more about the Campaign for Marlboro College and the Campus Building and Renovation Project go to the college¹s web site www.marlboro.edu/campaign.