The weekend of April 8 marked the first time Marlboro’s undergraduate students shared their rural campus with the graduate program, after the graduate school’s much-anticipated move from downtown Brattleboro. Coinciding with the graduate monthly residency, the “integration weekend” featured a ceremonial dragon dance, tree planting, and an exchange of gifts of gratitude between the graduate and undergraduate communities.
In a joyous ceremony in Whittemore Theater, Alumni Director Kathy Waters presented each graduate student a container of maple syrup and a bookmark emblazoned with a poem by Robert Frost. And on behalf of the graduate community, Teaching with Technology Degree Chair Caleb Clark presented to junior and head select person Helen Pinch a sample of a mug to be given to each undergraduate student.
“The ‘mug problem’ on campus came to my attention as we were talking to undergrads about problems on campus our gift might help solve,” said Caleb referring to the frequent scarcity of mugs in the dining hall. The graduate school takes pride in focusing on creative problem-solving to address real-world issues. “We wanted to help solve a problem or improve a situation,” he added.
The mugs, each one individually emblazoned with a student’s username, were purchased thanks to the generosity of 31 members of the graduate community who contributed to a GoFundMe campaign for that purpose, raising $1750.
“Usernames are very important and loved in our online connected world, and, with no college logo sneaking in a little marketing, the mug really is a gift to the student that is focused on them, not the giver,” said Caleb. “Plus, it’s a good way to be able to email a student if you find their mug, say, floating around the library.”