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Marlboro College Community Members Sign Letter Asking To Keep Campus Open

A sign that says Marlboro College Founded 1946.
Howard Weiss-Tisman
/
VPR
Plans were announced in November to close the Marlboro campus and merge with Emerson College, in Boston. But members of the college community hope to find another option.

A new wave of former Marlboro College faculty, staff and students is trying to keep the Vermont campus open.

More than 40 people signed an open letter publicly supporting the effort to keep the Marlboro College on its own campus. Among them: Tim Segar, who was a visual arts professor at Marlboro College for over 20 years.

"I just am dedicated to Marlboro as a free-standing, independent institution that has a lot of unique qualities which will not transfer to Emerson – can’t really," he said.

The first outward signs of big change came in July 2019, when Marlboro first announced plans to merge with the University of Bridgeport, in Connecticut.

Those plans fell through in September 2019, and Marlboro's board of trustees said it would continue to pursue other options.

Follow VPR's coverage of Marlboro College here.

Less than a month later, a plan was announced that would close the Vermont campus and Marlboro would become a program of Emerson College, in Boston.

In December 2019, a group of local residents and former faculty members asked the college to give them time to come up with a different plan that would keep the Vermont campus open.

And then, in January, came the open letter. Segar, the former visual arts professor, acknowledged the ask the letter makes is a tough one.

"I don’t know that any of us have a high level of confidence in another plan until such a plan is developed," he said. "I think that we’re just confident that Marlboro has been through tough times before."

The Marlboro campus is scheduled to close in the spring. Faculty and students are allowed to move to Emerson College under a draft agreement that would create a Marlboro program at Emerson.

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