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April 14, 2010
Kevin Coburn, Director of Communications

Mary Lou Willits Appointed Green Mountain College Development Director

POULTNEY-- Green Mountain College is pleased to welcome Mary Lou Willits of Middletown Springs, Vt., as the College's new director of development. Willits brings to GMC a wealth of experience in non-profit management, including fundraising, staff and volunteer recruitment, and audience development and communications. Most recently she served as executive director of the Slate Valley Museum in Granville, N.Y.

Willits received her B.A. in English and mass communications and her M.A. in counseling from the University of South Dakota. She was the founder and partner of the Meridian Travel Agency in Yankton, S.D. from 1975-1980. After moving to Vermont, Willits was director of the Black River Academy Historical Museum in Ludlow and directed guest services at Castleton State College from 1990-1993. Before being appointed director at the Slate Valley Museum, she was education director of Vermont State Craft Center/Frog Hollow.

"We're delighted to have someone of Mary Lou's caliber and experience leading our development efforts," said GMC president Paul J. Fonteyn. "During her ten-year tenure at the Slate Valley Museum, she turned a small entrepreneurial organization to a professional museum. She has strong ties to the local community and outstanding experience raising funds from private foundations and state and federal granting agencies."

Willits initiated the Slate Valley Museum's first strategic plan, more than doubled its annual operating budget, and raised $450,000 in two capital campaigns.

"I have met the organization's goals and my own personal goals," she said. "I'm excited to lead fundraising efforts at such an exciting time in the history of Green Mountain College."

Green Mountain College is a four year liberal arts college that takes the environment as a unifying theme for its 800 undergraduates in 22 major programs of study. GMC also offers two master's degrees: A master of science in environmental studies and a master of business administration (M.B.A.).


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