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Ben Tarleton and Justin Souvanh have been named the Windham Regional Career Center's April students of the month.
Landmark College awards first-ever B.A. degrees

PUTNEY >> On Saturday, May 14, Landmark College conferred degrees on 68 students, including the first 12 baccalaureate degrees in the history of the institution. Graduation was held in the Click Family Sports Center on the Landmark College campus in Putney. An estimated 600 people were in attendance.

Michael Luciani, vice president for Student Affairs, opened the ceremony with remarks that welcomed guests and the College community. He said, "We are here to celebrate students, families, faculty and staff in this proud and humble moment."

Pres. Peter Eden affirmed the mission of the College to "empower individuals to reach their fullest potential." He said that a strength of Landmark College is its close community. "While this year in particular there's tumult and volatility on many college campuses, we are better able to confront complex and sensitive issues. There's a dialogue and close connection between faculty, staff and students, which enables us to talk about diversity and other subjects which can be uncomfortable to address."

Speeches by the graduates are a distinctive feature of Landmark College's commencement ceremony, with each graduate having the option to speak. Many echoed Eden's words about the importance of community and diversity. Often moving and sometimes funny, the speeches contained gratitude, advice and stories of triumph.


Graduates expressed thanks to family in attendance, faculty, staff and fellow class members.

"I was nervous getting out of the car here two years ago, and now I could not be more grateful for the experience," said Jakob O'Neal.

A number of graduates reflected on how far they had come from the uncertain days of starting college.

"Five years ago I would not have predicted that Landmark College would change my life," said Chloe O'Hare. "It has changed my life in so many positive ways. I never thought I'd be up here receiving a degree."

"This graduation is particularly exciting for the community because we have the first baccalaureate class in the history of the College," Eden said. Founded in 2012, the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary four-year degree designed for students who learn differently. Dean Jill Hinckley addressed the audience and handed out diplomas. "These 12 graduates are pioneers and quality assurance leaders," she said. "They walked the road as we paved it."

Bachelor's degree graduates Malcolm Migel and Rachel Brown shared how they felt about earning the first B.A. degrees at Landmark College.

"I am proud to be in the first class of the B.A.," said Brown.

Two Students named Windham Regional Career Center's April Students of the Month

BRATTLEBORO >> Ben Tarleton and Justin Souvanh have been named the Windham Regional Career Center's April students of the month. This honor is typically awarded to just one student monthly, but these two young men have been collaborating very successfully on a project in their Career Center's Filmmaking and Digital Editing class.

It was Josh Moyse, one of their film instructors, who recommended them for this award. Moyse's Filmmaking class is one of over forty dual enrollment courses provided through the Windham Regional Collegiate High School that are offered at the Career Center and Brattleboro Union High School. This program has been enabling students to earn college credits in addition to their high school credits for successfully completing courses that have been proven to match the rigor of college-level work. In recommending Ben and Justin for this honor, Moyse said that they are working on a five to seven minute film that is a requirement for them earning their college credit. These two young men have shown initiative, creativity and professionalism while working on the project. They are making a parody of "Man vs. Wild," and it has shown real promise. He went on to share that students are not required to work on their projects during school vacations, but during February, Ben and Justin took the initiative to shoot during multiple days of cold weather and managed to successfully assemble their own crew of fellow students and filmmaking class alums.

Ben is a resident of Marlboro and a senior at Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS), which shares its campus with the Career Center. Ben said that he's enjoyed his filmmaking class very much. "It's the only class I've ever had where I've created a project that I feel has real value and that I want to hold on to. I really like the technology, both the camera equipment and the video editing software. It's all a bit like solving a big puzzle."

Ben will be attending Keene State College in the fall and is as yet undecided on his major there. Justin, a senior from Brattleboro, is also attending BUHS, and similar to Ben, has loved this particular class. He shared that he has always liked art and has been enjoying the creativity inherent in the process of creating a film, particularly in how one is able to tell a story through the lens of a camera. "I think it's interesting how the camera can capture many different perspectives about a topic or subject, more than you would normally manage to have in real life."

Justin will be attending the University of Vermont in the fall with an intended major of computer science.