Poet David Budbill to Celebrate Founders' Day with NEC
New England College community will celebrate the 63rd anniversary of its founding on Tuesday, January 27 at 11:30 a.m. in the College’s Field House. The keynote speaker is poet, playwright, and author, David Budbill. Mr. Budbill will receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony.
The College was founded in 1946 by academic visionary, Boone Tillet, to serve the educational needs of the service men and women returning home at the close of World War II. Tillet saw an opportunity to meet the growing demand for higher education with the benefits provided by a new G.I. bill to finance post-secondary education. New England College welcomed its first class of 67 men and one woman that year. Over the past 63 years, the College has expanded its academic offerings to 29 undergraduate majors and seven graduate programs, and its enrollment to 1040 undergraduate students and 750 graduate students. The College offers a creative and supportive learning community that challenges its students to transform themselves and their world. Throughout its history, the College has emphasized civic engagement and social responsibility in all of its programming and incorporates experiential learning as a fundamental component of its curriculum.
David Budbill’s association with New England College encompasses more than 20 years. During the 1980s, he participated in an annual summer session poetry workshop that ran for more than ten years. The Vermont Repertory Theatre launched its tour of Mr. Budbill’s play, Judevine, at New England College in 1986, and the College has produced the play several times, most recently in 2005. He is the author of seven books of poems, eight plays, a novel, a collection of short stories, a children’s book, essays, book reviews, a libretto, and two CDs. Mr. Budbill is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Play Writing Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, and the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award for Fiction. In 2002 he received the Walter Cerf Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts from the Vermont Arts Council.
“David Budbill has been an inspiration to the students of New England College,” remarked Dr. Michele Perkins, President. “His extraordinary accomplishments in several genres have provided our students with a wealth of literature to explore. It is a great pleasure to welcome to our community one who has taken such a keen interest in the educational experience of our students.”
In celebration of Founders’ Day, Mr. Budbill will offer a reading of his work on January 27 at 4:00 p.m. in the New England College Art Gallery. The event is sponsored by the New England College Art, Literature, and Theatre Collegium and is free and open to the public.