New Goddard College History Exhibit On Display

Clockhouse, c. 1951.

The History of the Goddard Experiment Exhibit, 1949-1959, will be on display from January 7th—June 20th, 2011 at the Eliot D. Pratt Center.

“The College and the Community: A Report on Adult Education at Goddard” was published in 1950. The pamphlet described how “Goddard makes its special resources – resources of experience, information, personalities, and plant – available to Vermonters with problems.” Five hundred to one thousand people attended the activities each year but the actual number of people personally stimulated only begins to suggest the program’s results.

The Adult Degree Program at Goddard would continue to grow as Royce S. “Tim” Pitkin saw Goddard’s responsibility extend beyond the walls of the campus into every city, town, village, and community. A program advertisement from 1950 stressed that the modern college “must help education to be a living and life-long process.”

New adult programs were initiated in a wide range of areas during the first half of the 1950s – in community development, farm and labor concerns, politics, recreation and education.  By 1954 Goddard had offered sixteen years of conferences, workshops, and undergraduate education. Goddard had led the nation in developing programs that responded to the need for adult education in a society of growing complexity and declining job hours. The College was small, dynamic, experimental. Goddard was an innovating institution dedicated to teaching and to creating an environment in which people could educate themselves.

Curated by Goddard College staff member and alumnus, Dustin Byerly, the exhibition focuses on the ways in which Goddard College engaged and changed Central Vermont through educational programs that were designed to put students into the community and draw the community into the College. It examines the development of several different College Programs and Experiments using photographs, historical records, college papers, interviews and video recordings. The exhibit traces the evolution of Goddard from a small and struggling school into an institution that was beginning to mature and stabilize and ends with the College being accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1959. This is just the third in a series of exhibits that will eventually document the entire history of Goddard College.

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