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Inauguration Celebration

Darron Collins '92, PhD, Seventh President, First Alumnus
Sunday, October 9, 2011 - COA Campus

Darron Collins2 p.m. inauguration
Informal hors d'oeuvres and dessert reception following.

(Click here for information on  Family and Alumni Weekend events.)

Darron Collins, College of the Atlantic's seventh president, will be formally invested on Sunday, October 9 with ceremonies attended by COA students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and friends. Collins, a 1992 graduate of COA, is the first alumnus to serve as its president. Chartered in 1969, the fall of 2011 marks its 40th year of classes.

"COA is a place that fosters the best in people," notes Collins. "It's a place for changing the world with mind and body. I am honored, humbled, and extremely excited to work with so many great believers in the COA mission - students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, and the MDI community. The inauguration is a time to bring the community together to celebrate the college and the 40 years of this remarkable educational experiment."

Collins comes to COA from the World Wildlife Fund, where he has been managing international and domestic projects for a decade. A first-generation college graduate, he holds a PhD in anthropology from Tulane University. As a COA student, Collins developed a passion for rivers, which led him to create and co-teach a course in river travel, science and policy for his senior project. Collins honed this passion as a Watson Fellow from 1992 to 1993. At WWF, Collins designed, implemented, and raised the funds for conservation programs throughout Latin America and in the Russian Far East, northeastern China, and Mongolia; many of the programs were centered on river watersheds.

Speaking at the afternoon ceremonies will be Carter Roberts, president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund, for whom Collins served as senior advisor. In addition, there will be greetings by member of the COA community, including staff, faculty, trustees, students. and alumni, and by Collins' two daughters, now in school in Bar Harbor.

Roberts says his path to conservation began with a love for climbing mountains. En route, he worked for Proctor and Gamble and received an MBA from Harvard University following a BA from Princeton University. He later led international and science programs at The Nature Conservancy. At WWF since 2004, he has sought to solve problems by creatively influencing the way markets and businesses operate.

During the inauguration, composer John Cooper, COA faculty member in music, will premiere The Fragile Soul for sax and piano, written in honor of Cooper's former student and current president.

Collins follows Andrew Griffiths who became interim president upon the retirement of David Hales in December 2010. Hales began his term in June 2006. Previous to Hale were Steven K. Katona, a founding COA faculty member who also founded Allied Whale, the college's marine mammal research arm, Louis Rabineau, Judith Swazey and Ed Kaelber, founding president.

Located between the Atlantic Ocean and Acadia National Park on Maine's Mount Desert Island, College of the Atlantic is deliberately small, intensive, and interdisciplinary. The college offers one major, in Human Ecology, encouraging students to apply skills, knowledge, conscience, and passion from the arts, sciences, humanities, and practical experience to every endeavor.


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