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Tuesday, January 26, 2021
HomePress ReleasesEmerson College and Marlboro College to Explore Alliance

Emerson College and Marlboro College to Explore Alliance

Trustees at Emerson and Marlboro Approve Intent to Pursue Strategic Alliance, Targeting Confirmation by July 1, 2020­­

Emerson and Marlboro Colleges announced Marlboro’s intent, beginning in the Fall Term 2020, to move its academic programs to Emerson, at which time Marlboro undergraduates may elect to matriculate and Marlboro tenured and tenure-track faculty may choose to teach at Emerson.

Marlboro will gift to Emerson College its endowment currently valued at more than $30M and its real estate holdings appraised at more than $10M. Marlboro’s $40M gift to Emerson will endow Emerson’s Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies program where Marlboro students will be enrolled and Marlboro faculty will teach.  The Institute will be renamed the Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College.

The alliance will allow Marlboro to keep its legacy alive through the Marlboro Institute at Emerson College where Marlboro students will complete their degrees and Marlboro tenured and tenure-track faculty will continue to teach. Marlboro will close its campus at the end of the 2019-20 academic year.

Emerson College is internationally recognized as the nation’s premier institution of higher learning devoted to liberal arts, communication and the arts with campuses in Boston, Los Angeles, The Netherlands and degree granting programs in campuses located in Paris, Barcelona and Lugano, Switzerland (beginning Fall 2020).

Established in 1946 in Southern Vermont, Marlboro College is a remarkable, tight-knit community of scholars dedicated to independent learning and academic excellence. Marlboro undergraduates create their own course of study, much like Emerson students enrolled in the self-directed program housed in the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies.

In Town Hall meetings held Wednesday morning at their respective institutions, Lee Pelton, President of Emerson College, and Kevin Quigley, President of Marlboro College, announced the alliance to their campus communities.

“This is an extraordinary alliance and a quintessential win for both of our commonwealths of learning,” said President Pelton. “One way to understand this transaction is to think of an individual making a $40M gift to endow an existing college program.  For Emerson, the gift will permanently fund Emerson’s Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies program. For Marlboro, their legacy will live on, their students will benefit from enhanced educational programs, and their tenured and tenure-track faculty will continue to teach in an environment that supports intellectual creativity, innovation, and experiential learning.”

“This remarkable opportunity to develop an alliance with Emerson ensures that the essential elements of Marlboro will endure,” said President Quigley.  “It preserves our identity through renaming Emerson’s Institute as the Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, continues our pedagogy and commitment to progressive education by bringing our faculty to the Emerson campus, and provides extraordinary educational opportunities for our students with an alliance partner where there is a clear alignment of values, culture and purpose.”

In the weeks and months ahead, Emerson and Marlboro will each form working groups on the essential elements of the alliance. The groups will meet both separately and jointly to propose various aspects of the implementation of the alliance, including, but not limited to, academic affairs, student life, administration, human resources, fiduciary matters, and governance.

This work is to be completed in mid-spring, with the goal of confirming the alliance by July 1.

About Emerson College

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,780 undergraduates and 670 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 90 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its experiential learning programs in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, the Netherlands, London, China, and the Czech Republic as well as its new Global Portals in Paris, Barcelona and Lugano, Switzerland (beginning Fall 2020). The College has an active network of 39,000 alumni who hold leadership positions in communication and the arts. For more information, visit

About Marlboro College:

Marlboro College cultivates a close-knit, intentionally small learning community where independent thinkers can explore their deepest interests, collaborate with faculty as colleagues, and set the course for their own intellectual and professional pursuits. Located in southeastern Vermont, Marlboro undergraduate and graduate programs are based on a scenic campus in the town of Marlboro. Combined enrollment for undergraduate and graduate programs is less than 500 students.

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