At Marlboro’s 2018 Commencement on May 13, longtime trustee Ted Wendell had the last word with an inspiringly brief valediction—but not before President Kevin Quigley and Dick Saudek, chair of the board of trustees, declared him “trustee for life, without parole.” That commencement weekend marked the official end of Ted’s role as trustee, and an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions he has made to Marlboro over a span of more than 55 years.
“Reflecting on the unparalleled number of roles that Ted played over the years—as faculty, dean, and the longest serving trustee—no one has been as steadfast and as important a supporter of the college,” said President Kevin, who hosted a celebration dinner at Duo on Friday evening. “Ted has believed that no other college has the transformative impact on students that Marlboro does.”
Ted first came to Marlboro from Harvard University in 1962, ostensibly to teach mathematics. But he soon learned that nobody at Marlboro has just one job, and within two years he was also serving as dean of admissions, earning him the title of “teen dean.” He served as dean until 1968, with a brief absence to earn his master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Washington.
Although Ted went on to launch a successful career in investment management, he returned to Marlboro as a trustee in 1979. He served as chair from 1997 to 2001, and treasurer too, always upholding the college’s highest ideals and engaged with its day-to-day challenges and triumphs. To address retention in 2008, Ted and his wife Mary helped launch the Bridges program, which continues to offer fully funded activities such as backpacking, spelunking, dance, and writing to welcome new students, one of his many major philanthropic efforts at the college.
“Our teaching at Marlboro offers students as great a transformation—or greater—as any institution of higher education,” said Ted. “The additional experience of the participatory Town Meeting gives students real skills in managing their lives. This combination makes time at Marlboro a rich preparation for life.” As an ardent supporter of Marlboro College for longer than anyone on campus can remember, Ted’s buoyant presence at board meetings will be missed.
Arthur Holcombe Takes a Bow
Also leaving the board this year is Arthur Holcombe, who joined in 2015. As the founder and president of a major nonprofit organization, The Poverty Alleviation Fund, with international experience ranging from China to Afghanistan, Arthur brought a wealth of knowledge to the tasks before trustees.
“Arthur’s interest in the potential of the graduate school led him to work through ideas about programs to enhance the grad school’s offerings,” said Ted Wendell. Arthur was also helpful in finding the means to boost enrollment in the undergraduate program.