Inside the final, chaotic days of Goddard College


As the sun set on Goddard College’s picturesque Vermont campus, a sense of uncertainty and despair hung in the air. The once-vibrant institution, known for its progressive values and experimental approach to education, was on the brink of collapse. After months of financial struggles and administrative turmoil, the college’s fate was all but sealed.

In the final weeks, the campus was a scene of chaos and desperation. Students, faculty, and staff scrambled to make sense of the impending doom, as rumors of layoffs, program cuts, and even closure swirled. The usually tranquil quad was abuzz with anxiety, as worried whispers and frantic phone calls filled the air.

At the heart of the crisis was a crippling debt of over $10 million, accumulated over years of financial mismanagement and declining enrollment. Despite valiant efforts to stem the bleeding, the college’s leadership was unable to stem the tide of red ink. As the days ticked by, the situation grew increasingly dire, with vendors going unpaid, staff members laid off, and essential services cut to the bone.

The impact on students was devastating. Many had chosen Goddard for its unique, self-directed approach to learning, and were now faced with the prospect of transferring to another institution or abandoning their academic dreams altogether. The sense of community and camaraderie that had defined the college was fraying, as students and faculty alike struggled to come to terms with the impending loss.

As the clock ticked down, a sense of sadness and nostalgia pervaded the campus. Alumni, who had once called Goddard home, returned to pay their respects to a dying institution. They reminisced about the good times, the late-night discussions, and the life-changing experiences that had shaped their lives. The final days of Goddard College were a poignant reminder that even the most noble and innovative of institutions can fall victim to the harsh realities of financial pressure and administrative mismanagement. As the curtain fell on this beloved institution, the question on everyone’s lips was: what’s next for the students, faculty, and staff who called Goddard home.


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