MARLBORO >> During its commencement ceremony, Marlboro College will present two remarkable leaders in global citizenship and service, who will address the graduating class on May 15.
Robert Gard, Jr., is chairman of the board at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, and Nadinne Cruz is an advocate and practitioner of service learning and experiential education in colleges and universities across the country. They will each take part in the first combined commencement for Marlboro College undergraduates and graduates in the college's Persons' Auditorium, starting at 10 a.m.
"We are so honored to include these two inspiring examples of service, stewardship, and social innovation in our commencement ceremony," said Kevin Quigley, Marlboro College president. "The class of 2016 is lucky to be addressed by these visionaries, and will be well-informed by their commendable stories. I know how much Bob and Nadinne are looking forward to meeting our students."
Originally from the Philippines, Cruz' formal education includes studies at the University of the Philippines, University of San Francisco, Marquette University, University of Minnesota, and most recently the California Institute of Integral Studies. Her informal education includes more than 25 years of work in the Philippines and the United States focused on community organizing and speaking, writing, and living experiential education. She is co-author of "Service-Learning: A Movement's Pioneers Reflect on its Origins, Practice and Future."
As executive director of the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs in Saint Paul, Minn., Cruz led a consortium of 18 colleges and universities to develop community-based learning programs. She spent nearly ten years as associate director and director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University, where she founded and directed the Public Service Scholars program. Among other awards, in 2005 she received the Alec Dickson Servant Leader Award from the National Youth Leadership Council, honoring her exemplary leadership and motivation of others in service learning.
Gard is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general who served in Korea and Vietnam, as well as a military assistant to two secretaries of defense and past president of the National Defense University in Washington, DC. A graduate of West Point, along the way he received an MPA and a PhD in political economy and government from Harvard University, and was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Since retiring from the army, Gard has held academic and administrative leadership posts at the American University in Paris, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and the Monterey Institute of International Studies.
An outspoken critic of the Iraq War, and an advocate for nuclear arms control measures and the international ban on land mines, Gard is now a consultant on international security and education for nonprofit organizations. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the boards of the APEC Education Foundation, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Chapman Foundation, and Veterans for America. He is the author of several published monographs, book chapters, academic journal articles, and newspaper op-eds on issues ranging from U.S. torture tactics to wasteful Pentagon spending.
"Given how well they represent these values common to both our graduate and undergraduate programs, Marlboro College is pleased to welcome these two pioneers in civic engagement to our first joint commencement," said Quigley. The graduate campus in nearby Brattleboro has celebrated its own commencement in August since it's founding 19 years ago, and this year's combined commencement marks a continued effort to more effectively unite the two campuses. "We are eager to celebrate and build on our complimentary strengths as a unified college, and to join with Bob and Nadinne in the recognition of all of our students' achievements."