Greetings on behalf of Alumni

Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina ‘72, Marlboro trustee and dean of Commonwealth Honors College, University of Massachusetts Amherst

For more than 60, Marlboro has been “the city on the hill” for those drawn to its bucolic setting and its promise of its structured, yet independent education. Here, students could think deeply, engage with each other and with the world, and go forth with the confidence that comes from individual achievement amidst a community of thinkers within this microcosm of the wider world.

Born out of Walter Hendricks’s vision of a place where veterans could actually build, with their own hands, an academic environment, it has always married the life of the mind with the activities of the body and spirit.

I first saw Marlboro as a 13-year-old who attended a camp at the Putney School, and spent a small part of each summer after that in the home of my roommate’s family, the Judds. Marlboro has thus been an important part of my life for over 50 years. I never intended to be a student here; but when I transferred in after a dreadful freshman year elsewhere, I knew that I had come home.

For those other alumni who also found a home here, Marlboro has often offered a platform from which to soar, intellectually, spiritually, and creatively.There are many in this room who have sought to leave it behind yet, like me, find that the draw to these beginnings stays with us. We remain friends, we share an historical bond; we remain invested in its future.

Because of these beliefs, alumni—especially those who serve on the board of trustees, and those who served on the search committee for the new president—care deeply about the hands in which we place the future of this special place. As we did with our beloved Ellen, we are proud and excited to pass into the next phase of Marlboro alongside Kevin Quigley. He is all that we want Marlboro to be:  deeply invested in these two campuses, but also deeply invested in the wider world.  His commitment to service alongside the educational mission is inspiring.  He has been around the world, yet chooses to come to this particular place, at this particular time, to share with us our mutual commitment to a world that is diverse, complicated, and yet ultimately inspired by what we alumni have known all along:  that it is because of places like Marlboro that the world retains the hope and sense of possibility felt by those who nailed together these original buildings in 1946, and made many of us what we are today, and what the generations that follow us have, and will, become.