Vermont Press Releases

Green Mountain College’s final commencement: A celebration

News Release — Green Mountain College
April 29, 2019

Contact: Gerry Fitzgerald
[email protected]

Poultney, Vermont – The last commencement ceremony of Green Mountain College’s 185-year legacy will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 10 a.m.

The administration and the board of trustees of the College elected to break with tradition this year and will not have a single commencement speaker. In place of a commencement address the graduates, their families and friends will hear remarks from a selection of speakers ranging from a long-serving member of the faculty, current and former trustees, an alum and a graduating senior selected by a panel of students, faculty and staff.

Speakers will include current Board of Trustees members Catherine Villafranco Parker and Dianne Dillon-Ridgely; former Trustee Lorene Wilbur; faculty member William Throop and alumnus José Gálvez Contreras.

Catherine Villafranco Parker is the chair of the board of trustees. Shortly after graduating cum laude from Green Mountain College in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in business management, Cathi joined Chase Manhattan Bank in New York where she worked in the finance area and then for Chase Home Mortgage Corporation in Massachusetts. Cathi worked for Wainwright Bank & Trust Company in Boston for 23 years and served as vice president.

Dianne Dillon-Ridgley of the Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future, has for over thirty years worked on issues of the environment and sustainability, gender and corporate social responsibility, both domestically and internationally. She was a director at Interface, Inc., a global manufacturer of modular carpet and a leader in sustainable design. She was also a director at Green Mountain Energy for the first six years and chaired the Environmental Integrity Committee for the company until GMEC was acquired by NRG.

Along with her service as a trustee of Green Mountain College, Dianne serves on the Auburn University School of Human Sciences-Dean’s Advisory Board and the Tippie College of Business Management Committee and is a frequent commencement speaker including Lund in Sweden; the Presidio School of Business; Central College, Iowa; and in 2013 at Green Mountain College which awarded her an Honorary Doctor of Laws.

William M. Throop, Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at Green Mountain College, has been teaching at Green Mountain College since 1996 and served as provost for twelve years, during which he helped to build the national reputation of the College for sustainability education and led the creation of its graduate programs. At the national level, he served on the board of directors of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for six years, and was elected chair of the board for his last two years. He has been on the editorial boards of Restoration Ecology and Environmental Ethics.

Lorene F. Wilbur is the retired deputy general secretary for administration of the General Board of Global Ministries at the United Methodist Church and a former trustee of the College.

José Gálvez graduated from Green Mountain College in 2011, is a doctoral candidate at The New School, a non-profit research university centered in Manhattan, and is currently a Social Impact Strategist & Consultant for Majora Carter Group, LLC in New York City.

Green Mountain College President Robert (Bob) Allen states, “Although Green Mountain College will close operations at the end of the spring 2019 semester, the legacy of this great institution will live on through the important work of the many students, faculty and staff who have contributed to the vibrant learning environment while here and will take the sustainability and social justice lessons learned out into the world. Our final commencement is a celebration of the College’s contributions to the Poultney community, the State of Vermont, our country and our planet.”

About Green Mountain College – First in Sustainability:

For more than 20 years, Green Mountain College has focused on environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Its curriculum is rated #1 in the nation, and the college has been recognized for its leadership in sustainability more than any other college in the country. Its faculty members are leaders in their fields, with proven success teaching and mentoring GMC students to take on the great challenges of these times.

Green Mountain College will cease operations after the spring 2019 semester.


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