Vermont’s Marlboro College is set to merge with the University of Bridgeport, located in Connecticut, amidst a year of higher education closures throughout the Green Mountain State. 

The schools each made the announcements on their websites during the week of July 22, noting the change will “draw on the strengths of both institutions to create an expanded university with deeper connections between professional programs and the liberal arts.” 

“At a time of hyper-competition and swift change in higher education, our two unique institutions are demonstrating a new paradigm for colleges and universities of the future,” Laura Skandera Trombley, the University of Bridgeport’s president, said in the news release. “In strategically combining the shared values, strengths, and resources of the University of Bridgeport and Marlboro College, we are proactively ensuring an extraordinarily enriched academic experience for current and future generations of students.”

Students are projected to “benefit from the merger as soon as spring 2020.” The Vermont college’s enrollment is below 500, while the private university in Connecticut enrolls over 10 times that figure. 

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Vermont college closures in 2019

The merger arrives in the wake of colleges closures throughout the state this year. The news release made note of these shifts for liberal arts institutions in the region. The Vermont school jump-started its search for “a strategic partnership last year.” 

Green Mountain College, located in Poultney, announced in January 2019 plans to shut down operations, citing falling enrollment and financial struggles. 

Parallel issues plagued Southern Vermont College, which made a similar announcement in March 2019. Shortly after the news hit, the former president indicated she would work to prevent the institution from shutting down. 

A GoFundMe to keep the school running was set up in early March, raising over $18,000 but falling short of its $75,000 goal. 

Contact Maleeha Syed at or 802-495-6595. Follow her on Twitter @MaleehaSyed89

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