Arthur Vining Davis grant lays groundwork for social innovation

What do Middlebury College, the College of the Atlantic, Brown University, and the College for Social Innovation have in common? All of them are Ashoka Changemaker Campuses, a designation that Marlboro is well on its way to earning. Ashoka is a global organization that promotes positive change by supporting people and organizations doing cutting-edge social innovation work, often through service and other means. Thanks to a $60,000 planning grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Marlboro’s Ashoka Change Team, convened by President Kevin Quigley and comprised of students, faculty and staff, has spent the year preparing the college to become an Ashoka Changemaker Campus.

“Marlboro is a community of imaginative learners and engaged citizens—the laudable social innovation goals of Ashoka are a natural fit for our community,” said President Kevin. “We are grateful to the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations for their generous support of our collaborative efforts."

During the 2016-2017 academic year, Marlboro’s Ashoka team visited other Changemaker campuses, attended and presented at Ashoka-related conferences, and gathered input at Town Meeting. In January 2017, Marlboro was invited to join three other schools in completing the Ashoka application process, and five months later the team submitted Marlboro’s Campus Action Plan to the Ashoka organization. At the heart of the Campus Action Plan is the college’s commitment to cultivating individual agency in the service of the greater good. This commitment is reflected through Marlboro’s curriculum, community governance structure, student life model, and small scale.

Ashoka will review this document and visit campus before making a final decision. We expect the visit to take place in September when students and faculty are back on campus. In the meantime, one of Marlboro’s pre-college summer programs will include a Changemaker week that focuses on social innovation and entrepreneurship. Learn more about the Change Team and their activities.

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