In the fall of 2016, Marlboro College received an invitation from the Endeavor Foundation to apply for a Presidential Priorities grant. Unlike most grants that come with specific requirements, this grant invited college presidents to define the terms. According to the foundation’s letter, “Please do not try to respond to what you think Endeavor would like to see; instead, we expect you to address an opportunity or need that you define and will strengthen your institution.”
For President Quigley, the need was clear: to expand the reach and impact of Marlboro’s existing career services program. This approach was compelling because it advanced goals in several different areas simultaneously. Not only would expanded career services improve the prospects for graduating seniors, it would also provide an additional way for alumni to contribute to their Marlboro community and help with the recruitment of prospective students.
The Endeavor Foundation generously awarded a two-year, $80,000 Presidential Priorities Grant to the college, and planning is well underway. The grant will be overseen by the director of alumni relations and director of career services, who will hire a part-time project manager this summer. Through an online program tied to Marlboro’s website, alumni will be able to upload a profile with their career details and identify what career support they are able to offer students and recent alums, such as informational interviews, internships, mentorship, and employment. The goal is to enable students to reach out to alumni directly for support.
With liberal arts institutions increasingly under pressure to demonstrate their value, Marlboro is eager to engage with alumni around their career experiences and to connect students and recent grads to this more effective network. Although the significance of a Marlboro education is profound in the lives of loyal alumni, from critical thinking to communication skills to engaged citizenship, nothing says “value” like the proven career paths of our recent alumni.