Potash Hill

Fall 2015

Editor’s Note

“Over and over I find that endings and beginnings are not as clear-cut as I had imagined, that they necessitate one another, and just…keep happening,” writes Maya Rohr. The eloquent and memorable student speaker at last May’s undergraduate commencement, Maya contributed a suitably apt feature about transformation to this issue of Potash Hill.

Much of what keeps happening at Marlboro College, and much of the ground covered in this issue, could fall under the taxonomy and phylogeny of transformation. Perhaps the most prominent example is a welcome to Kevin Quigley, Marlboro’s ninth president, literary scholar, service-learning devotee, international development sage, ordained Buddhist monk, long-distance cyclist, and Irish national backstroke champion. Okay, that last one was a little while ago, but if anyone can embody change it is Kevin, who says his liberal arts education prepared him for “a life unexpected.”

A feature by Catherine O’Callaghan, assistant dean of academic advising, illustrates the impermanence of nature in the religious sites of Nepal visited by her class, then destroyed by earthquakes weeks later. From the profile of alumnus Randy George, who is helping frame a national discussion on workplace policies, to the photo from last May’s Town Meeting, where the Forest Ecology class proposed a forest reserve on college land, this Potash Hill is fairly brimming with transformative examples.

Most readers will recall that Potash Hill itself underwent a major transformation three issues ago. What you might not know is that the new publication received a bronze award for best writing from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District 1.

“The writing here was often wonderful—cerebral, poetic, thoughtful,” according to the judges. “We liked very much that the magazine let other people write—students, alumni, teachers—and there is an intimacy with the reader.” Of course, like any other transformative process, Potash Hill is always a work in progress. I welcome your comments on this issue or on the Marlboro College that keeps happening in your lives.

Philip Johansson