‘Vigil for the Silenced’ planned at Marlboro College

MARLBORO — Members of the Marlboro College community will gather in a “Vigil for the Silenced” during the college's board of trustees meeting on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 9:30 a.m.

To accommodate larger crowds, the meeting has been moved to Ragle Hall in Serkin Center at 2528 South Rd. Pre-registration for the vigil is requested.

“Marlboro College Board of Trustees has called a 'special,' or 'emergency' meeting,” Amy Domrad Tudor, organizer of the vigil and a Marlboro College alumna and longtime Marlboro resident, said in a news release. “A possible outcome of this meeting is the signing of 'more legally binding documents' regarding a proposed 'merger' with Emerson College in Boston.”

The merger proposal has been criticized in the Marlboro community as a deal that will result in closure of the college and transfer of its estimated $40 million in assets to Boston-based Emerson, including sale of the campus at Potash Hill.

According to Tudor, the vigil is designed to recognize the many voices of stakeholders in the life, history, and present of Marlboro College “who were not consulted or considered by the Board of Trustees as they weighed the decision to close the school.”

“This is ironic, given the fact that Marlboro College has always been renowned for its self-governing nature,” said Tudor. “The meeting is not listed on the Marlboro College calendar. We are relying on communication directly from the administration. Their plans may change at any time and we will update all pre-registered attendees by email.

“At a time when a democracy refresher course is warranted for many citizens in our country, a college known for its immersive education in this very topic could have repositioned itself as a leader. But it's not too late. Making space for every voice inevitably leads to innovations previously unimaginable.”

Alumni, faculty, and townspeople have come together in recent weeks to brainstorm and develop plans which would allow the college to stay open past the projected June 30, 2020 closure date.

“The process would be further along, or even unnecessary at this time, had the board and administration of the College welcomed the many alumni and community voices who sought to offer professional assistance as the current crisis drew near,” Tudor said.

Dick Saudek, chair of the Marlboro Trustees, replied to Tudor's Dec. 3 vigil notification email, saying “I'll be interested to meet you and hear what you have to say.”

Some Marlboro town residents have offered overnight accommodations to those trekking from afar. Tudor recommends those needing places to stay be in touch by Thursday, Dec. 12.

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