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Contact: Kevin Coburn, Director of Communications

College President Pushes Pedal Power

POULTNEY, VT (August 29, 2008) Green Mountain College President Paul Fonteyn has lots in common with 283 incoming freshman and transfer students on the College’s Poultney campus: he’s a newcomer, too. To get to know first-year students a little better while sharing his passion for cycling, GMC’s new president will lead an 8-mile bike trip from Poultney to his camp on Lake Bomoseen on Labor Day, the day before classes start. After a bite and a dip in the lake, students will pedal back to campus. About 20 students plan to make the round-trip trek.

The excursion is part of GMC’s new student orientation for transfer students and the class of 2012. This year’s entering class includes students from 26 states and five foreign countries: Germany, Kenya, Togo, Vietnam and Uganda.

“GMC has a strong environmental emphasis, and part of that is getting outdoors and enjoying the incredible natural beauty in our region,” said Fonteyn, who took up his duties on July 5. “This is a way of introducing students to the diverse outdoor recreation programs we have at GMC, and emphasizing modes of sustainable transportation.”

A record number of students (73) participated in GMC’s Wilderness Challenge 2008, another part of student orientation. Led by trained student and staff leaders from the College’s Green Mountain Adventure Program (GreenMAP), Wilderness Challenge included five-day excursions in canoeing; backpacking and rock climbing in the Green Mountains or Adirondacks; and sea kayaking on Lake Champlain.

Fonteyn and his wife, Marsha, purchased a camp on the west side of Lake Bomoseen, which they have been restoring for the past three years. In his prior position as provost and senior vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston, he directed the university's re-accreditation process and established the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies-the university's first new college in two decades. He also led faculty in the development of a successful proposal for science teaching that resulted in a $12.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the largest award in the university's history.

Celebrating its 175th anniversary, Green Mountain College is a private liberal arts institution that takes the environment as a unifying theme across the curriculum. The college offers 20 majors and an online M.B.A. in Sustainable Business and an M.S. in Environmental Studies. For more information about the college, visit or call 800-776-6675.


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