GPS Celebrates 20 Years of Innovative Graduate Education

On November 17, staff, faculty, current students, alumni, and special guests gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS). The three-day event included workshops by local artists and activists, sample curriculum sessions, and a hike on the Marlboro College trails. The event culminated in a festive dinner on Saturday.

Graduate alumni from 1999 to 2018 returned to Marlboro for the festivities. For many, it was their first visit to the Marlboro campus, where the graduate school has been located since 2017. Alumni enjoyed mingling with current students in the community hubs on campus that the graduate school now calls home.

Marlboro President Kevin Quigley opened the Saturday night festivities by appreciating the innovative education that the graduate school has offered for the past 20 years. He also noted the growing collaborations and connections between the undergraduate and graduate communities. Kevin also introduced a video address sent by the founder of the graduate school, former Marlboro president Paul Leblanc, now president of Southern New Hampshire University.

“What I value most about a Marlboro education are the things that are so needed in charting a course through this uncertain future,” said Paul, who emphasized the sense of innovation and agility that has characterized GPS’s history. “The combination of scrappiness, inventiveness, and a willingness to change are going to be the tools of great institutional resilience.”

After a delicious meal accompanied by live music, the evening concluded with a keynote address by visiting social innovators Warren Nilsson and Tana Paddock, who played a big role in the graduate school community as visiting scholars during the fall 2018 trimester.

“The frameworks and ideas that you are drawing on, your methods of practice and the theories behind them, they are frontier level and cutting-edge in a way that I haven’t seen pulled together anywhere else in the world,” said Warren. “We think you guys have an opportunity to become even more of a beacon than you already are and take a real leadership role in the world, putting some of these ideas and practices forward more fully.”