College explores its Methodist heritage

POULTNEY - Green Mountain College is focusing on several salient aspects of its heritage during the 2008-09 academic year, the college's 175th anniversary year.

GMC will explore its roots as an academy established by the Methodist church at the 175th Anniversary Methodist Heritage Symposium. Jim Winkler, general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), presented a talk titled "Climate Change: The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse."

Winkler and his staff seek to implement the denomination's social principles through education, witness and advocacy. With offices in Washington, D.C., and at the United Nations in New York City, GBCS carries out a wide-ranging ministry of peace and justice throughout the world. Winkler has led delegations to the Middle East, the Dem. Republic of the Congo, Iraq and Germany seeking peaceful solutions to global conflict.

The lecture was held in the East Room of Withey Hall at the Green Mountain College campus in Poultney. Winkler was followed by a welcome from Green Mountain College President Paul Fonteyn and an invocation from Rev. Shirley Oskamp, a United Methodist chaplain and pastor.

Lorene F. Wilbur, retired deputy general secretary for administration of the General Board of Global Ministries at the United Methodist Church, gave an overview of the college's Methodist heritage followed by a brief musical interlude by the college's cantorion.

Green Mountain College was founded in 1834 when the newly formed Troy Conference of the Methodist-Episcopal Church voted to establish a literary institution near the conference's geographic center.

On Oct. 25, 1834, the Vermont General Assembly passed the act of incorporation. The legislature also granted the Troy Conference Academy the right to award baccalaureate degrees in 1860. TCA became Ripley Female College in 1863, the first Vermont college to grant baccalaureate degrees to women.

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