Saturday, July 22, 2017

The unraveling of Jane Sanders' Burlington College legacy

The unraveling of Jane Sanders' Burlington College legacy: Jane O'Meara Sanders had an ambitious vision for Burlington College.

Sanders, wife of 2016 presidential candidate and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, described herself when she was hired in 2004 as a "turnaround president." She orchestrated the college's move from a small, cramped campus to an expansive lakefront property in 2010.

The sprawling green would give students space to relax. The small private college could have built dorms, townhouses and single homes on the 32-acre property. Some property could have been leased, perhaps to a restaurant or cafe. There could have been space for weddings, outdoor movies or afternoon tea with a chamber music accompaniment — all with stunning views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks.

Five years after Jane Sanders left — after significant board turnover and three college presidents — Burlington College, and her vision, collapsed under "the crushing weight of debt."

See original work for more on this and other stories.

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