A message from President Derr

Dear Sterling College Community Members:

It is with sincere regret that I share news from Green Mountain College that the Poultney, Vermont institution will cease operations at the end of this semester. The faculty of Green Mountain have, for many years, advanced a curriculum that gained international recognition for its focus on the environmental liberal arts. The alumni, students, staff, and faculty of Green Mountain have much about which they are rightly proud and I wish to acknowledge the contributions they have made to environmental stewardship education.

In many respects Sterling and Green Mountain have been kindred collegiate spirits. We have routinely shared student applicants, employees, and supporters, not to mention this very small state. There is no victory in the loss of an honorable rival when the cause you both share is noble. We are humbled that Sterling has been asked by the leadership of Green Mountain to support a teach out effort for current students, so that they may complete their studies at Sterling.

Small rural liberal arts colleges are facing a difficult time. While this news about Green Mountain is sobering for similar institutions, it is not a cause for alarm about the future of Sterling. Prudent, strategic, and conservative fiscal management is in our DNA. Our financial health, thanks to donors and foundations from around the country, is stronger today than it has ever been and our prospect for long term sustainability, through innovative programs focused on critical issues, is excellent.

Many of you have friends who attend or who work at Green Mountain. As members of that community join this one in future semesters, I know you will graciously welcome them. Sterling is not alone in supporting Green Mountain through this difficult process and our enrollment will not grow beyond its current residential capacity as a result of participating in the teach out. In the coming weeks, I will share more with you about our commitment to support the students of Green Mountain once we have a better sense of their needs.

Sincere regards,

Matthew Derr


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