Morrisville Civic Leader, Peter Merrill, has joined College’s Leadership Team

May 9, 2018 • Craftsbury Common, VT •  After an exhaustive and competitive national search, Sterling College has appointed Peter Merrill, of Morrisville, co-founder and owner of Elmore Mountain Farm, LLC to be its first Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. This is a new role for the College and comes at a time of enrollment and philanthropic success over the past six years that has set the stage for a new leadership structure.

Merrill’s roots here in Vermont were an important strength of his candidacy. In addition to his background as an entrepreneur and deep experience in finance, Merrill has been actively engaged in area not-for-profit enterprises and has served on the board of directors for Morristown Development Fund, Morrisville Food Co-op and The River Arts Center. “I have personally seen Peter’s interaction with these and other organizations, and have always been impressed with his insight, thoughtful guidance and candor in providing input to each,” said Ken Gibbons, Vice Chair of Sterling College’s Board of Trustees. “I welcome Peter as an addition to our management team.”

“I am really excited to work in an environment that so completely combines my personal and professional interests and experience,” said Merrill. “Sterling’s strong, supportive leadership, significant recent accomplishments and current positive momentum are truly impressive, and the chance to become part of the institution at this stage of its evolution while also playing a major role in addressing the formidable challenges it still faces make this a uniquely appealing opportunity.”

“Sterling is fortunate to have drawn such a talented person with local ties,” said Matthew Derr, Sterling’s 11th president, who is entering his seventh year leading the College. “With our place-based model of education and mission of environmental stewardship, we hoped to appoint a vice president who would develop a passion for the Northeast Kingdom. In Peter we’ve found a talented leader who comes to Sterling with broad knowledge of Vermont and the expertise we need to take our next ambitious institutional steps. He was the clear choice of the community, in a highly competitive pool of accomplished candidates,” shared Derr.

In his role as Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, Merrill will oversee the day-to-day operations of the College and engage with the President and boards of Trustees, Alumni, and Advisors to chart the strategic course of Sterling College as it prepares for its upcoming strategic plan and the launch of its next capital campaign. “Peter’s addition to the senior management team provides the critical resources needed to bring Sterling to the next level of achievement,” said Pete Chehayl, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “His strong operations background and strategic skills will be instrumental in shaping and executing the strategic plan and capital campaign.”





Katie Lavin, Sterling College

802.586.7711 x111 • [email protected]



Founded in 1958 in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, Sterling College is the leading voice in higher education for environmental stewardship and rural placed based education. The College was among the first colleges in the United States to focus on sustainability through academic majors in Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems, and Outdoor Education. Sterling is home to the School of the New American Farmstead and the Wendell Berry Farming Program, is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and is one of only nine federally recognized Work Colleges in the nation.

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