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Emerson-Marlboro Alliance Completed

Emerson College President Lee Pelton speaks with a student.
President Lee Pelton speaks with a Marlboro student during a visit to Emerson on Sunday, November 24. Photo/Chris McIntosh

Dear members of the Emerson community,

I am pleased to let you know that the Emerson-Marlboro Alliance has been completed, after many months of tireless work by members of both communities. This historic alliance will enable the Marlboro legacy to live on as part of the renamed Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College.

Please join me in welcoming Marlboro students, faculty, and alumni into the Emerson family. 

Lee Pelton

Emerson College and Marlboro College Alliance Completed

Emerson and Marlboro Colleges confirmed today the completion of their planned alliance, announced in November 2019, in which Marlboro will move its academic programs to Emerson, and Emerson welcomes57Marlboro undergraduates to matriculate and 18 Marlboro tenured and tenure-track and 2 emeritae faculty to teach this fall.

The alliance allows Marlboro to preserve its legacy through Emerson’s Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies program, which will be renamed the Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College. Marlboro students will complete their self-designed degrees in an independent and interdisciplinary learning environment that draws from all programs at the College and Marlboro faculty will continue their teaching, scholarship and research in both the Institute and the School of the Arts.

As part of the agreement, Marlboro has transferred to Emerson College its endowment and its non-real estate assets. The alliance was conditionally approved by both institutions’ Boards of Trustees this spring, pending final regulatory reviews – which occurred this week.

“We are very pleased that the Marlboro and Emerson agreement has been finalized after many months of hard work. The alliance will ensure an innovative and exceptional educational experience for future generations in Boston, the nation’s hub for teaching, learning and research,” said Emerson President Lee Pelton.

“We wholeheartedly welcome Marlboro students and faculty and the launching of the Interdisciplinary Studies Major within the newly named Marlboro Institute. In this way, we honor and preserve the legacy of Marlboro’s distinctive approach to undergraduate education and create a new pathway for Emerson students to craft their own course of study that draws upon Emerson’s strengths,” said Amy Ansell, Emerson’s Dean of Liberal Arts.

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.

Established in 1946 in Southern Vermont, Marlboro College was known as a remarkable, tight-knit community of scholars dedicated to independent learning and academic excellence. At Marlboro, undergraduates created 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. Marlboro undergraduate and graduate programs were based on a scenic campus in the town of Marlboro, Vermont. Combined enrollment for both programs was less than 500 students.

Last fall, Emerson and Marlboro formed working groups on the essential elements of the alliance that collaborated throughout the 2019-2020 academic year. The groups met both separately and jointly to propose various aspects of the implementation of the alliance. Aspects of the alliance included, but were not limited to, academic affairs, student life, administration, human resources, fiduciary matters, and governance.  Faculty from both Marlboro and Emerson collaborated on the new curriculum.

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