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May 7, 2012
Contact: Kevin Coburn, Director of Communications

Green Mountain College Hosts 175th Commencement

POULTNEY--Green Mountain College’s 2012 commencement speaker has been described as a powerful advocate for environmental justice and “the Rosa Parks of the green jobs movement.” She is president of Majora Carter Group Consulting, and will address GMC graduates at the College’s 175th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m. Carter will also receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from the College. Graduates of GMC’s sustainable MBA and masters of science in environmental studies programs will also receive degrees.

The youngest of ten children growing up in the South Bronx, Carter graduated from Bronx High School of Science, studied film at Wesleyan University, and received an MFA from New York University in 1997. While at NYU, she had to return to her family's home in Hunts Point for financial reasons, inadvertently launching her career as a community visionary and entrepreneur.

She began volunteering for The Point Community Development Corporation, a youth development and arts organization. She secured a $10,000 grant to provide seed money for river access restoration projects along the Bronx River on land dominated by blighted post-industrial landscape. Working with other community groups, corporate neighbors, and the New York City Parks and Recreation department, Carter leveraged the grant into over $3.27 million in funding to build Hunts Point Riverside Park.

Carter founded and led Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx) from 2001-2008. This non-profit organization is dedicated to economic and environmental development informed by community needs under the guiding principle: “You shouldn’t have to leave your neighborhood to live in a better one.” Since 2008 The Majora Carter Group has developed climate adaptation, urban agribusiness, and leadership development strategies for business, government, foundations, universities and economically under-performing communities. Her many honors include a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. She also hosts the Peabody Award-winning public radio series “The Promised Land.”

Also receiving an honorary degree is Cornelius “Con” Hogan of Plainfield, Vermont. Hogan has devoted his career to providing humane and innovative solutions to social problems. He served as the Vermont secretary of human services from 1991 to 1999 and as commissioner for the Department of Corrections from 1977 to 1979. He is also a member of the Green Mountain Care Board which is charged with oversight of health care policy in the state. Hogan will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

The student speaker is Elizabeth Cerezo, a double-major in psychology and sociology/anthropology. She recently received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

The outdoor ceremony on the Griswold Library lawn is open to the public (in the case of inclement weather, ticketing is required for the indoor venue. The ceremony will also be broadcast live via the Northeast Sports Network.

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