Democracy Builders’ Acquisition of Marlboro College


Loeb & Loeb and Tarrant, Gillies, Richardson, & Shems​ represented Democracy Builders.

Democracy Builders and Marlboro College announced a signed contract for sale of the 500-acre college campus in Marlboro, Vermont. ?Democracy Builders will use the campus for an innovative new model of higher education that will dramatically reduce costs and improve outcomes, especially for low-income and first generation college students. Upon state Attorney General and Agency of Education approval, Democracy Builders’ ?Degrees of Freedom program will offer a hybrid degree that will bring cohorts of students to the campus for multiple residencies each year and continue the tradition of higher education on Potash Hill founded by Walter Hendricks and American poet Robert Frost in 1946.

In addition to the innovative technology that will power much of the coursework, Democracy Builders will make full use of Marlboro’s physical campus with its 17 miles of trails, 50+ buildings, arts facilities and extensive library.

With critical challenges facing many of Vermont’s colleges, this is an especially important opportunity for keeping higher education in the state as well as for keeping jobs in Windham County.

Democracy Builders is eager to continue traditions and find new synergies with the ?Marlboro Music School and Festival who use the campus during the summer months and recently invested in two state-of-the-art buildings for the campus. Marlboro Music, founded in 1951, is a world-renowned retreat for advanced classical training in which young musicians collaborate and learn alongside master artists in a relaxed and creative environment.

Democracy Builders has founded dozens of k-12 schools around the world and believes that higher education in America is failing too many students. Four-year, full-time residential colleges often do not offer the funding, flexibility, and cultural responsiveness needed to set many of their students up for success, while lower-cost online only or community colleges graduate far too few students with the skills and knowledge to succeed in careers and citizenship.

Democracy Builders was represented in the transaction by Neil Lefkowitz (Picture) and Tara Gorman, partners of the DC-based firm of Loeb & Loeb who have extensive experience in higher education and complex real estate transactions and Daniel Richardson of the Vermont-based firm of ?Tarrant, Gillies, Richardson, & Shems?. William Kaplan facilitated the transaction for the Marlboro College trustees.

Involved fees earner: Tara Gorman – Loeb & Loeb Llp; Neil Lefkowitz – Loeb & Loeb Llp; Daniel Richardson – Tarrant, Gillies, Richardson & Shems;

Law Firms: Loeb & Loeb Llp; Tarrant, Gillies, Richardson & Shems;

Clients: Democracy Builders;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti