Student Profile: Will Neff

Posted on April 11, 2018



When speaking to Will Neff about why he chose Marlboro College to obtain his graduate degree, he stated it was the culture at Marlboro that drew him in. Will shared his observations that “there is a deeply held value for humanity in the community (of students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests) that we are all cherished for the humanity that each of us shows up with. in this, there is a respect and reverence for life – and diversity of life - that I believe is very special and important.” Will shows up for himself and his peers at Marlboro. A calling to expand diversity and inclusion at Marlboro are at the forefront of what Will brings to the table. Will is passionate about his work and contributes to the learning of the graduate student/teacher body.Photo group: Childhood home, warm brown: like maple syrup

Will believes that Marlboro calls for us to awaken--to tune into the needs of our community and world. In this, we develop the specific tools we need to make the impact we are called to make. The Graduate School is a place to forge a distinctive path, both as a professional and as a holistic and conscious human being. The Marlboro Graduate Program fosters wholeness--in individuals, organizations and communities. To become more whole, and to learn to help groups and organizations function holistically is a very valuable experience. These values are present in Will at Marlboro and in his personal life in the most beautiful ways. His spaces are full of love and connection with his sibling, his girlfriend, his pets and his mother. One of the deepest connections he feels is to his childhood home, complete with its own pond where even his dogs find joy, a study, a sauna, and endless acres of lush memories.

Photo Group: Coming Home, burnt umber: thoughtful, sensitive and a willingness to be vulnerable.

"I believe the Marlboro network will be with me far beyond my graduation, and in some ways, for the rest of my life. At Marlboro, I did not expect to find such a deep and loving community. I feel like I have developed an extended family that I reunite with once a month.”

Photo Group: The Pond, moss-green: soft, delicate, luscious, alive

Will described the connections made at Marlboro that are transcending. You are not asked to sit at a desk and be limited to the context of a textbook. You are able to bring your true self to the school and have it be celebrated and nurtured. You have opportunities to lead based on who you are and what your interests are. One of the ways Will shows up at Marlboro college is by creating culture and bringing awareness and sensitivity to people and process. 

Photo group: The Study, Red: like a faded New England barn, or a tractor

Like Marlboro, there are many hidden spaces to retreat to and find solitude to learn. Will’s study is a place where he would go to connect with friends or just be a teenager. The library at Marlboro has many nooks and special spaces to find your own special space for learning.  

Photo group: Blue, like the front porch of your grandma’s house. Comfortable and familiar.Will believes at Marlboro, there is no fixed way of teaching or learning. We work under the premise that the people in the room are the people needed to address the issue at hand. This creates valuable real-world contexts with which we can grow as leaders and change-makers and serves to source the group intelligence that often remains untapped in traditional group work. Photo Group: Rio, yellow: love, energy & playful.When you experience Will and his dog, Rio, together, you are experiencing love. Most people love their animals, Will’s friend Rio loves him back with a near human connection. Will has shown Rio the sensitivity and kindness that has allowed Rio to be a close friend to Will.Will’s greatest strength is in his willingness to be vulnerable. Some of the deepest learning happens when you are able to trust the people and surroundings you are in to not judge or mistreat you. Will invests himself to create that space for others as well.


  • B Corporation
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Continuing Education
  • Graduate and Professional Studies
  • Management Programs
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Low Residency
  • Practice Based Learning




Willow Ross, MBA Student and Director of Communications at the United Arc