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The Commons
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Welch to speak at Marlboro College graduation

Marlboro College’s 70th commencement will take place in Persons Auditorium on May 14, starting at 10 am. The ceremony, including the comments of student speakers and the acknowledgement of each individual in the class of 2017 and their intellectual journeys at Marlboro, will be followed by community lunch in the dining hall.

Originally published in The Commons issue #404 (Wednesday, April 19, 2017).

MARLBORO—U.S. Congressman Peter Welch will address Marlboro College’s 70th commencement on May 14.

An outspoken advocate of affordable higher education, and a champion of working Vermonters throughout much of his career, Congressman Welch will share his wealth of experience with both graduates and undergraduates in Marlboro’s Class of 2017, according to a news release.

“We at Marlboro are thrilled to welcome Congressman Welch to our learning community and to learn from his lifetime of service as a state and national representative,” said Kevin Quigley, Marlboro College president, in the release. “Peter’s record exemplifies the leadership needed to find common ground on the many challenges facing our nation, and it is an honor to have him address our graduates.”

Welch was first elected to the Vermont Senate in 1980 and later was selected by his colleagues to lead the chamber, becoming the first Democrat in Vermont history to hold the position of Senate President Pro Tempore.

He was elected to Vermont’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006 — gaining national attention for refusing to air negative ads — and Vermonters have returned him to the House by wide margins in subsequent elections.

“A college education has always been the gateway to engaged citizenship, and Marlboro College is an outstanding example of an academic community where students are full participants,” Welch said in the news release.

Welch will receive an honorary degree along with Marlboro alumna and former trustee Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina ’72, dean of the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Gerzina is a distinguished biographer and scholar of literature, recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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