Green Mountain College Communications Office:
Barbara W. Wellnitz, Chair, Board of Trustees:
508-698-3374, cell: 508-330-3828
Poultney, Vermont – Green Mountain College president John F. Brennan has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2007-08 academic year. Now entering his sixth year at the helm of the College, Brennan, 74, is perhaps best known for his aggressive turnaround of a college that was financially challenged when he took over in 2002.
“It would be difficult to overestimate the leadership that Jack Brennan has brought to the College and we are deeply appreciative of his commitment,” said Barbara Wellnitz, chair of the Board of Trustees and an alumna from the class of 1961. “We already asked Jack to extend his contract once, which, thankfully, he agreed to. This time, he feels strongly that it is time to shift gears and spend more time with his family. We want to respect his wishes.”
In five years, Brennan increased enrollment by 35% and brought the College from a negative net worth to positive net assets of $4.6 million. Similarly, his strict fiscal management style achieved operating surpluses for five years running.
One of Brennan’s most significant achievements has been the successful completion of an $8 million capital campaign, beating the goal by $1.4 million. The New Century Campaign was the most ambitious fundraising effort in the College’s 173-year history. Brennan also led the completion of a $10 million refinancing of the College in 2003.
Brennan also ushered in the College’s first-ever graduate programs, offering two online master’s degrees: an M.S. in Environmental Studies and a “green” M.B.A.
When Brennan began in September of 2002, the College was facing stiff financial challenges, including a highly charged and very public lawsuit with a Killington developer. Brennan went to work immediately to settle the lawsuit and set the College on a course for financial stability. He attracted investment from numerous sources, including a new food service provider, Chartwells, which invested $800,000 in the campus as part of its contract.
Wellnitz has announced that a search committee, consisting of trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, and students, will be formed immediately, with a goal of installing a new president by the end of June ’08.
About Green Mountain College
Founded in 1834, Green Mountain College is a private, 4-year liberal arts institution that takes the environment as a unifying theme across the curriculum. The college offers 25 majors to its 800 students. Green Mountain students hail from most of the United States and from 20 foreign countries. For more information about the college, visit www.greenmtn.edu or call 800-776-6675.
Significant Achievements of John F. Brennan’s Presidency at Green Mountain College
• Increased enrollment by 35% over five years
• Launched and Completed Capital Campaign – raised $9.4 million on goal of $8 million
• First and second million-dollar+ gifts in 173-year history
• College received national campus sustainability leadership award from AASHE (Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education)
• Launched online master’s degrees – the first in GMC history
• Transitioned College to NCAA Division III membership
• Increased net worth of college from negative to $4.6 million in five years
• Led College through successful 10-year reaccreditation
• Achieved significant operating surpluses every year in office
• Closed on $10 million refinancing package
• Increased faculty/staff salaries by 28% over five years
• Secured $800,000 in campus investments from Chartwells Inc.
• Gained national publicity for enrollment in Cow Power program
• Signed American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment
• Brought actor Sam Waterston (NBC’s Law and Order) and Radio Personality Tom Magliozzi (NPR’s Car Talk) to campus for honorary degrees
• Launched “Make A Difference” scholarship (4-year full tuition, room, and board scholarship)
• Completed significant building and infrastructure improvements
o Paved and landscaped main circle at campus gates
o Built new fitness center in Waldron Athletic Center
o Built multi-media movement studio
o Replaced underground steam pipes
o Renovated Withey Student Center
o Renovating (2007) Seven College Street to become faculty offices
o Received funding for Clara Hitchcock Fitzpatrick Jones ’09 Concert Hall
o Installed sprinkler systems in residence halls
o Renovated Two Editors Inn