Green Mountain College

Green Mountain College was a private liberal arts college in Poultney, Vermont, United States, at the foot of the Taconic Mountains between the Green Mountains and Adirondacks. The college had a core set of courses known as the Environmental Liberal Arts curriculum, in environmental and natural sciences, writing, reading, history and philosophy. The college closed at the end of the 2019 academic year.

Green Mountain College
Seal of Green Mountain College
MottoLux Fiat
Motto in English
Let There be Light
AffiliationUnited Methodist Church[1]
Location, ,
Campus155 acres (0.63 km2)[1]
ColorsGolden yellow and hunter green          
MascotLarry the Eagle[2]


Green Mountain was founded in 1834 as Troy Conference Academy, a coeducational institution. In 1863 the school's name changed to Ripley Female College; in 1874 back to Troy Conference Academy; and in 1937 to Green Mountain Junior College. Green Mountain became a two-year junior college for women in 1943.[3] In 1974, the school changed its name to Green Mountain College and returned to coeducational status, offering four-year baccalaureate degrees.[3] In the late 1990s the college began to focus on environmental literacy and citizenship.[4]


On January 23, 2019, Green Mountain's President, Robert W. Allen, announced that, due to financial problems, the college would close at the end of the 2019 academic year.[5][6] Arizona's Prescott College — which also focuses on the environment and sustainability — agreed to allow Green Mountain students to complete their degrees at Prescott. Prescott also said it would maintain the college's student records and hire some Green Mountain faculty.[7]


Green Mountain College offered 23 undergraduate majors[8] GMC also offered the following graduate degrees: an MBA in Sustainable Business; MS in Environmental Studies; MS in Sustainable Food Systems; and MS in Resilient and Sustainable Communities.[9]

The college was part of the Eco League, a group of liberal arts colleges committed to environmental sustainability.[10]

Progressive program

GMC was home to an educational track known as the Progressive Program. Based on the ideas of philosopher John Dewey[11] and formed on a philosophy similar to that of Goddard College, a Vermont institution recognized for its dedication to progressive education,[12] the students in the program defined their own education goals and worked with faculty members individually to meet them.[11]

Green campus

In 2007, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education awarded Green Mountain College the Campus Sustainability Leadership Award in the "Under 1,000" category. The award recognizes Green Mountain for commitment to environmental sustainability in its governance and administration, curriculum and research, operations, campus culture, and community outreach.[13][14] GMC was also named the Sierra Club's #1 Cool School for 2018.[15]

Green Mountain was named an EPA Energy Star Showcase Campus following campus-wide retrofitting of light fixtures.[16]

Students installed a wind turbine to power the campus green house and solar panel on the roof of the student center.[17] On April 22, 2010, GMC formally opened a new combined heat and power biomass plant costing $5.8m.[18]

Through the Student Campus Greening Fund every GMC student contributed $30 from the college activities fee. Students designed projects and submitted proposals. Awards were based on a student vote. SCGF money was used to install bike racks, purchase recycling bins, use bio-diesel in campus maintenance equipment, and upgrade the alternative energy systems that powered the farm greenhouse.[19]

Student clubs

According to the college, its choral group was the only collegiate choir in the United States with a repertoire of Welsh language music.[20][21]

Notable alumni


  1. "Green Mountain College (2011)". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  2. "Eagle Athletics". Green Mountain College. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  3. Green Mountain College (2015). "Our Timeline". Green Mountain College. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  4. Johnson, Tim (November 20, 2011). "Green Mountain College evolves toward environmentalism". Burlington Free Press. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  5. "Green Mountain College to close by end of semester". Rutland Herald. January 23, 2019. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  6. Fleishman, Scott. "Green Mountain College to close in spring". Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  7. Krantz, Laura (January 23, 2019). "Green Mountain College in Vermont will shut down". Boston Globe. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  8. "Undergraduate Program". Green Mountain College. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  9. "Graduate Program". Green Mountain College. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  10. "Green Mountain College". Eco League. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  11. "Chart Your Own Course". Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  12. "College History". Goddard College. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  13. "Campus Sustainability Profiles". Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. 2005–2010. Archived from the original on June 16, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  14. "Green Mountain College 2007 Campus Sustainability Leadership Award Application". Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. 2007. Archived from the original on August 10, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  15. O'Reilly, Katie (August 27, 2018). "The Top 20 Coolest Schools 2018". Sierra Magazine. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  16. Jesse B. Pyles (2008). "Campus Greening: Green Mountain College, Poultney, Vermont". Worldwatch Institute. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  17. "Renewable Electricity: Wind Power on the Hill". Green Mountain College. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  18. "Green Mountain College Opens CHP Biomass Plant". 2010. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
  19. "Green Mountain College Introduces New Intensive Sustainable Agriculture Major". February 21, 2010.
  20. "The Music Program". Green Mountain College. 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  21. "American choir traces Welsh roots". BBC News. March 10, 2010.

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