The Marlboro College Years is a book of photography documenting the Vermont institution in its final year. Through a series of panoramic images and a scrapbook of photos from the college’s archive, this book invites you to explore where generations of scholars worked and formed a unique community.
In 1946, Walter and Flora Hendricks wanted to offer college students a different kind of education. As an alternative to the lecture halls and the impersonal education found at most American universities, they imagined a haven for independent scholars where students had a voice in how the college was run. The Hendricks bought the farm adjacent to their own on a hilltop in southern Vermont and began teaching classes in a converted barn. Marlboro College, one of the nation’s smallest, was born. For 74 years, in one-on-one tutorials and classes with no more than a dozen students, self-directed scholarship was honored and cultivated.
In 2020, Marlboro College closed its doors forever. An alliance with Emerson College in Boston will offer a new home for most students and faculty, but this year’s graduating class will be the last from the campus at the end of South Road in Marlboro, Vermont.
With dozens of panoramic photographs taken at the college from 2019–2020 and many more images from the school’s archives, this book acts as a record of Marlboro College’s final year, a guide to key campus locations, and a scrapbook from its seven decades as a unique, beloved, and inspiring school.
Born in London to Australian parents, Mark Roessler grew up in a small town on the Hudson River, an hour north of New York City. Attending Marlboro College in Vermont, he studied writing, met his future wife, and completed his first and second novels, both unpublished young adult fantasies.
He spent nearly a decade as a journalist and photographer at the Valley Advocate, an alternative newsweekly in Western Massachusetts. He worked first as a feature writer and, eventually, the managing editor. He wrote about local politics, labor issues, history, music, and art. As a photographer, he specializes in documenting historic buildings and parks. In November 2018, Levellers press published A Panoramic Tour of the Northampton State Hospital, a collection of these images.
The Marlboro College Years is his second book, the results of documenting the college in its final year. He is currently working on a pair of books documenting Frederick Law Olmsted’s house and World’s End, a park near the mouth of Boston’s harbor.
He lives in a red bungalow in along the Connecticut River, midway between Connecticut and Vermont with his artist wife, giant son, and their tiny circus dog.