Champlain College 2016 A look back on the year

Above: The incoming Class of 2020 gathers on Finney Quad during Orientation Weekend in August.

December is a time of reflection as the fall semester wraps up and the new year awaits. Here's a look at some of the College's accomplishments and highlights from 2016. Catch up on all the news and stories of the past year at

The Year in Review - 2016

Launch VT Collegiate Finalists on Campus

LaunchVT Collegiate came to Champlain College in Februrary featuring top college student entrepreneurs from campuses across Vermont vying for a spot in the finals of LaunchVT, a statewide business pitch competition offering a $30,000 first prize. The effort to create the competition aimed at college students has been led by Champlain College's Build Your Own Business (BYOBiz) Director Robert Bloch, who worked to bring nine Vermont higher education institutions together with the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Vermont Small Business Development Center.

President Donald Laackman, Sen. Patrick Leahy and Beth Cobert of OPM.

Champlain's truED's 1st Anniversary with OPM

Champlain College celebrated the one-year anniversary of the truED® alliance with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in April. The agreement provides Federal employees, spouses, and eligible adult dependents access to affordable online education in mission-critical and highly competitive fields.

Grace Potter (right) and Katherine Paterson Received Honorary Degrees in May.

Grace Potter, Katherine Paterson Honored

Champlain College President Donald J. Laackman conferred 537 associate and bachelor degrees to one of the largest graduating classes in the College's history on Saturday, May 14 under an enormous tent spanning the entire Edmunds School athletic field next to the College. More than 4,000 people attended the 138th annual Commencement ceremony with even more watching the simulcast online. The College's 138th Undergraduate Commencement presented honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees to Vermont musician Grace Potter of Waitsfield and noted author Katherine Paterson of Barre.

The Rainbow Crosswalk on South Willard Street at Perry Hall.

Rainbow Crosswalk Added to Campus Crossing

A rainbow-colored crosswalk connecting the Champlain College campus was installed on South Willard Street on Wednesday, Sept. 28 to both serve as a symbol of inclusiveness and to make the busy crosswalk safer for students and neighbors.

Champlain College continues to receive notice in the College Guides.

Champlain 'Most Innovative School' Again!

Champlain College has again been named among the "Most Innovative Schools" in the North in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges" 2017 publication. A major change for Champlain College happened in the annual rankings as it moved up from consideration as a "Regional College" to "Regional Universities" classification. The category shift represents Champlain's evolution as an institution that provides a full range of graduate programs in addition to traditional undergraduate education. The size of the comparison pools is also significantly different -- there are 334 colleges in the "Regional Colleges" category versus 653 in the "Regional Universities" category. Champlain is ranked #91 in the new "Regional University" listing for 2017. It was #14 in the previous year's "Regional Colleges" ranking. Champlain is also cited as one of the "Best College for Veterans," in the Regional Universities category.

Champlain's USNews Ranking Moves to New Category

Champlain College in Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges

Champlain College in Princeton Review "Best 381 Colleges"

Champlain College in "Colleges of Distinction"

Workshops, keynote speakers and a career fair at Champlain College.

Career Collaborative Reimagines Fall Conference

Champlain College's Career Collaborative presented a new framework for a professional career day during its inaugural 2016 Fall Career Conference in October. The expanded format included a keynote address and panel of speakers including several division-specific panels of industry experts in the morning, followed by the traditional fall career fair in the afternoon. The day-long event on campus was open to the public.

Interactive display student designers take flight at Burlington International Airport.

Interactive Digital Partnerships with BTV Airport

Champlain College celebrated the launch of two new interactive experiences at the Burlington International Airport (BTV) created by students at the Champlain College Emergent Media Center in October. Developed using skeletal tracking technology and intuitive design, "Flight" gives visitors a dreamlike experience of flying and "Graffiniti" gives visitors the ability to paint on a large digital canvas.

Veterans Day Ceremony on Aiken Lawn at Champlain College.

TruEd Online Expands Reach to Military

Champlain College announced beginning January 2017, active duty service members, National Guard members and members from Reserve Components of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their spouses and eligible adult dependents now have access to more than 50 nationally ranked, online post-secondary undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates at up to 70 percent off standard tuition through its truED® program.

The Champlain College Women's & Gender Center

Women's & Gender Center Opens

Champlain College marked the official opening of its new Women's and Gender Center in November with a celebration Skiff Hall's parking lot, just outside the new center. The Women's and Gender Center focuses on education and support -- empowerment & leadership development, gender identity & sexual orientation, and sexual violence prevention and support. "We encourage you to get involved," said director Maggie Melvin.

Check out the interactive report online - click below.

CFL Adult Financial Literacy Report Released

Are we financially illiterate? Was our lack of financial acumen a cause of the Great Recession of 2008 and does it continue to undermine our nation's economic health? Unfortunately, the answer is yes to all of these questions, but until now, the extent of our financial ignorance had not been quantified. The 2016 National Report Card on Adult Financial Literacy, released Dec. 12 by Champlain College's Center for Financial Literacy, shows that adults in America earned just a C grade. More than three-quarters of adults live in states with poor grades. This means that too many adults are deficient in financial knowledge and skills, which leads them to make uninformed and often poor decisions about their money.

A CFL Report Card inspired cartoon in the Mississippi Clarion Ledger.
The Generator will open Jan. 2 in its new Champlain College 40 Sears Lane location.

Generator Moves to 40 Sears Lane Facility

Generator, the city-supported maker space currently located in Memorial Auditorium, will move to a new, larger space in Burlington's South End. On Nov. 30, Generator closed its doors at Memorial Auditorium and the 170-member creative community began the shift to its new home on 40 Sears Lane. Generator's move is made possible by a significant investment in infrastructure improvements from Champlain College and a $300,000 capital campaign led by Generator board members Michael Metz and businessman Steve Conant.


Eagles Landing Work Begins as Semester Ends

Champlain College has finalized the purchase of the Browns Court parking lot from the City of Burlington, clearing the way for the $36 million Eagles Landing student housing project to move forward. The permitting with the city was initiated in late 2013 and completed in May 2015 after a public hearing process.


Stiller Family Foundation Makes $1M Gift to Cooperrider Center

Champlain College's David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry in the Stiller School of Business has received a $1 million gift from the Stiller Family Foundation to plan and convene a national Positive Education Summit that will use Appreciative Inquiry to accelerate positive education from early childhood on up. Dr. Lindsey Godwin, Professor of Management in the Stiller School of Business and Director of the Cooperrider Center, said the Stiller Family Foundation gift will fund the planning and implementation of a Positive Education Summit in 2018 which is expected to attract a wide array of stakeholders, including teachers, administrators, parents, students, scholars, government and business leaders, and international thought-leaders from around the world.

This list is by no means complete, which is why we encourage you connect with us at

Here's to more great stories in 2017

About Champlain College: Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and more than 60 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 381 Colleges: 2017 Edition. Champlain College is featured in the "Fiske Guide to Colleges" for 2017 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Champlain was named one of the “Most Innovative Schools” in the North by the U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 “America’s Best Colleges and #91 in the overall list of “Best Regional Universities in the North. For more information, visit

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Stephen Mease


Stephen Mease Photography / Champlain College

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