Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79 & CD Thailand 2013-15) New President of Marlboro College

Kevin Quigley is use to small organizations. He ran the NPCA that had less than 2,000 members; was CD of Thailand which has 90+ PCVs, and is now at Marlboro College in Vermont which has an enrollment of 200+ undergraduates. Kevin, who speaks fluent Thai,  became a Buddhist monk before returning home from his Peace Corps tour. His Thailand experience as a PCV and on the staff, plus his understanding and love of Buddhism, should help him recruit students from Asia. We wish him well.

The following press release is from the college and was issued a few hours ago.

Marlboro College welcomes new president

Marlboro College: Kevin F.F. Quigley comes with wealth of experience Core value: Service ‘is a powerful foundation for a liberal arts education’

By Chris Mays


Marlboro College’s newest president, Kevin F.F. Quigley, is welcomed during an inauguration ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Fletcher)

MARLBORO: Marlboro College defines much of its legacy by the community service in which its students, staff and faculty members take part.

The newest president is no exception.

“I am delighted that all my roads brought me to Marlboro, to travel down a new road and begin a new journey,” said Kevin F. F. Quigley, the college’s ninth president who previously served the Peace Corps as a volunteer and country director in Thailand, and president and CEO of the group’s global alumni organization (i.e. THEY MEAN THE NPCA).

“During my first few months here, I’ve learned that the Marlboro community is a collection of remarkably dedicated individuals who are committed to the college’s purpose of helping students have a self-directed, rigorous academic experience rooted in community values and shape a life that matters,” he said.

During an inauguration ceremony Sunday, Quigley called on the college community to “rededicate” itself to Marlboro’s future.

“Building Marlboro as an engaged, international, well-resourced learning community is my hope and firm intention,” he said. “And that is the task to which I dedicate myself today and in the years ahead. In doing that, Marlboro will truly matter. It will be a shining example of an engaged learning community for American higher education. This task is challenging but achievable.”

Quigley has obtained degrees from Swarthmore College, the National University of Ireland, Columbia University and Georgetown University. He has taught at 12 liberal arts colleges as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, serving as a faculty practitioner with a focus on international studies and nonprofit management. He used his international development experience in his role as director of public policy at the Pew Charitable Trusts. This prompted his writing of the book  For Democracy’s Sake: Foundations and Democracy Assistance in Central Europe. This book was published by the Woodrow Wilson Center of Special Studies in 1997.

“I believe strongly that instilling the value of lifelong service is essential to a Marlboro education. Service is a powerful foundation for a liberal arts education,” said Quigley. “Service is a clear pathway to make education real. Service engenders empathy and often helps us know what we want to and need to know as well as what needs to be done.”

Although service is a gift given without the expectation of being paid, Quigley told the audience, it usually pays in many unexpected awards. Those awards can include lifelong friendships, life skills, greater clarity about life purpose and an affirmation about humanity, he said.

Having a fewer amount of students than in previous years was identified as a challenge for Marlboro College, with Quigley citing rising costs and concerns about debt. He said he hopes to bring in more international students and make them a larger part of the school’s community.

“I became a global citizen before that term was coined. My intention is to deepen Marlboro’s connections to the world,” he said. “It’s time we do more to strengthen our connections to the world.”

A professor has recommended recruiting Syrian refugee students, he said. A plan to bring Myanmar students also is in the works.

“We also want to deepen our connections to veterans,” said Quigley. “We also must strengthen our connections to outstanding graduates of community colleges.”

His predecessor, Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, held the post from 2004 until 2015. She reflected on the “day of change and continuity.”

“It is with gratitude and conviction that I greet you,” she said to Quigley. “This is your day. Soon you will be formally invested with the care of this college. You are surrounded by those who offer you their hands, minds and imaginations because they believe in the talents that shine from you, and also because they love this college.”

Keynote speaker Alexander Shakow, international adviser and consultant, sees Quigley as a humble visionary.

“The diversity of Kevin’s (Quigley) life choices may suggest he’s not really able to hold a job,” said Shakow. “In fact, each of his jobs turn out to be an important step on that road that will eventually finally bring Kevin and Marlboro together. It is fortunate indeed that Marlboro’s current trustees recognize that destiny as well.”

Logan Davis, chairman of the Select Board made up of students, said he was new to the position when Quigley’s name began bouncing around campus. Davis did research and said he found the most intimidating list of past employment he had ever seen in his life. He initially wondered, “Is this change still Marlboro?”

“What I heard overwhelmingly was excitement,” said Davis, referring to campus reactions. “A few days before the trustee meeting, it clicked. I had my answer. Yes. Kevin (Quigley) would fit in perfectly.”

Quigley has shown the college’s core values in his previous roles and interactions, according to Davis, who said Quigley also has a love of teaching, not only in classroom settings.

“(He has) a heavy focus on community, emphasis on international viewpoints and culture, and a mind towards sustainability in all aspects,” said Davis, adding that his initial excitement was not in vain. “Already, with mere months on the hill, Kevin (Quigley) has increased student, faculty and staff’s recognition and representation in various forms, has been addressing campus safety and helped to renew the efforts to revitalize students.”

Davis said he is excited to see what more Quigley will accomplish.

“Much like your own body, Marlboro can only put out the energy that it receives,” Davis advised. “A disengaged community makes for a disengaged Marlboro. Put thought into what you want this community to be. Rally your peers for what you want to change. And celebrate what you love as is.”

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