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Convocation ceremony welcomes new fall students to Landmark College

PUTNEY – Landmark College welcomed its incoming class of fall students on Saturday, September 2, 2017, with an opening address by Dr. Peter Eden, president of LC, as new students and families gathered under a tent on the LC quad during a beautiful Vermont morning.

Convocation is part of Landmark College’s tradition of gathering faculty, staff, and the entire LC community to welcome new students and families. The ceremony is held twice a year: once at the start of fall semester, and again at the start of spring semester, which is typically in late January.

Rhiannon Greywolf, Landmark College student

Rhiannon Greywolf, currently a candidate for the Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art at LC, offered a brief address from the perspective of a current Landmark student.
“I’ve set academic and personal goals for myself every day, no matter how big or small,” said Greywolf, who earned her associate degree in life sciences at LC in spring 2017. “I have surprised myself with how my confidence has grown from what I have achieved. Don’t be afraid to push outside your comfort zone. Allow yourself the opportunities to explore what you’re interested in. Keep pushing. Never doubt yourself.”

She also credited her two supportive mothers for nurturing her curiosity and academic pursuits. “They have always encouraged me to follow my heart, highlighted my strengths, and have never seen my LDs as weaknesses. Parents, be sure to communicate and be patient; be supportive but not overbearing.

Greywolf reminded students: “We are all here to learn to work with our learning differences and not against them. Landmark College will help you do just that.”

(Watch video of Rhiannon’s speech here.)

Dave Cole ’97, a successful sculptor and artist who has an exhibition at LC through November 2017, offered the alumni perspective, relating how he barely graduated from high school because of significant learning challenges. “The only reason I graduated is because of a tutor of saintly patience,” Cole said. “He was a teacher at Landmark, and he suggested I spend a semester here. I ended up spending two years.”

Cole related that he was the first LC student to transfer to Brown University. In addition to graduating with honors from the Ivy League research university in Rhode Island, Cole said one of his most unlikely accomplishments was that “I taught my entire dorm  Alumnus Dave Cole '97 study skills,” thanks to all he had learned at Landmark College.
Cole praised the entire faculty and staff at LC for helping students overcome whatever obstacles they encounter. “If you take a step towards them, they’ll take two steps towards you,” he said. “This is an incredibly special place and I’m privileged to be invited back here.”

(Watch video of Dave’s speech here.)

(See Samples of Dave Cole's work)

Peg Alden, professor of anthropology and director of study abroad programs at LC, gave the faculty perspective during her address. She pointed out the similarities between traveling to a foreign place and starting an educational journey at Landmark College, and she stated her main goal is to get all students to “think like an anthropologist.”

“Anthropology’s main goal is to understand cultural practices from an insider’s point of view,” Alden said. It should prompt students to ask two questions: What has informed my particular perspective? How might that perspective be standing in the way of what’s really going on?

“You don’t need to travel to think like an anthropologist. All you need is something that is unfamiliar or a little confounding to you; a desire to try to understand it from someone else’s point of view; and a commitment to temporarily suspend your judgment and lead with curiosity.”

(Watch video of Peg’s speech here.)

At the end of the ceremony, new students received a coin – a Landmark College tradition – to symbolize their entrance into the LC community. Coins were presented by Dr. Eden and Dr. Gail Gibson Sheffield, vice president for academic affairs.

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