Marlboro College's setting in rural southern Vermont provides students with space for quiet contemplation as well as myriad opportunities for outdoor recreation. With 40 miles of trails on or near our 300-acre campus, and the Green Mountain National Forest nearby, students have easy access to hiking, mountain biking, skiing, caving, climbing, and kayaking (among other activities). Each season includes Marlboro traditions such as Apple Days in the fall and the broomball tournament in winter.
Tucked on its own Potash Hill, the college is an integral part of the town of Marlboro, a community of less than 1,000 where many staff, faculty, and students are active citizens. Some of the many benefits shared by both the college and the town include a volunteer fire company, a community newsletter called the Marlboro Mixer, cross-country ski trails, the Marlboro Historical Society, the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum, the Marlboro Community Fair, and the January Book Swap. Marlboro is also the site of the world famous Marlboro Music Festival, which occupies the campus during the summer.
Campus Facilities & Equipment
The core of campus buildings is made up of historic farmhouses and barns, renovated into classrooms and dorms by the first students who attended Marlboro. These include Dalrymple Hall, which is the main classroom building; the dining hall; the admissions building; and Mather, the administrative building. Over many years the college has added more buildings, including residence halls, student cabins and cottages, Persons Auditorium/gym, Whittemore Theater, Rice-Aron Library, Campus Center and Total Health Center, and Serkin Center for Performing Arts. The new Snyder Visual Arts Center, scheduled for completion in 2015, will add exciting new gallery, studio, and classroom space for the integration of visual arts with other disciplines. Other facilities include an integrated science lab, a DNA lab, a computer lab, and a digital media lab.
With the vibrant town of Brattleboro just 10 miles away, Marlboro students have easy access to many resources and activities. Brattleboro is an eclectic community located in the Connecticut River Valley and a regional center for art, commerce, and technology. It was listed as one of the "20 Best Small Towns in America" by Smithsonian magazine, one of the "10 Best Small Towns in America" by Fodor's, and in the top 10 in the book The 100 Best Art Towns in America, with many galleries, music venues, bookstores, and performance spaces to experience. Among the blocks of historic red-brick buildings you can find cozy cafes and four-star restaurants featuring local fare and international cuisines, including Thai, Korean, Greek, and Italian. Mother Earth News named Brattleboro one of "Eight Great Places You've Never Heard Of", and it's college-town feel was recently highlighted on Vermont Public Radio. Vans run from the college into Brattleboro multiple times a day and trips to Northeastern cities such as Northampton, Boston, New York and Montreal occur several weekends each semester.
Student Organizations & Activities
Marlboro College operates based on a model of community governance. Students, faculty, and staff play an integral role in shaping campus life through their participation in Town Meeting, a monthly assembly during which college-wide issues are discussed and brought to vote. Students also serve on committees in areas ranging from curriculum development and faculty hiring to public art and food services.
Campus life at Marlboro College correlates directly with student interests. Extracurricular groups and activities evolve yearly with each incoming class. Through this ongoing collective creation of community, Marlboro students develop valuable skills in teamwork and community organizing as well as a strong sense of civic investment.
One of the most popular resources for student activities is the Outdoor Program, OP for short. The OP offers a variety of activities from week-long orientation trips for new students to weekend mini trips, to winterand spring-break trips in tropical climates. Some of the popular activities have been rock climbing, hiking, rafting, kayaking, camping, yoga, intramural soccer, broomball, and Ultimate Frisbee. The college also has an indoor climbing wall and regular intramural activities.
For a small campus, students enjoy a wide range of social, artistic, and cultural activities. A sampling of student activities in one semester would include performances by rock, folk, jazz, and ethnic bands; dances; lectures; poetry readings; recitals; plays; and concerts. Annual events that are considered traditions include midnight breakfast, Wendell-Judd Cup cross country ski event, Work Day, President's Fall Ball, Trails Day, broomball tournament, community and international dinners, Gender Bender Ball, and Apple Days.
With just a few hundred students enrolled, there aren’t a lot of redundancies or waste. The dining hall is a central meeting place, where many students “hang out there for hours talking.” People also spend a lot of time in the library, which is open 24 hours and “functions as some people’s second home.” In this “intellectual yet casual atmosphere,” everybody “seems to be reading constantly,” and students “talk about books a lot, or articles, or things people have read on the internet.” “Class materials get inside people’s heads, and they seem to want to share it.” Parties do occur on weekends, though it’s not a huge scene; “It’s common to see people talk about epistemology while they’re drunk and dance while they’re sober.” “We party a bit, play lots of video games, watch a lot of movies, and sometimes go into town,” says one student. Athletics aren’t really very big (other than nearby hiking), and “most of time we like talking to each other.” People are “constantly philosophizing the state of things.”