Unity College President Mitchell Thomashow Announces Departure, Led College to National Profile

Dec 15, 2010, 18:20 ET from Unity College

UNITY, Maine, Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When Unity College President Mitchell Thomashow steps down as the 9th President this July 1, he will leave the small environmental college in rural Unity, Maine, with a national profile and niche as a champion of sustainability.

The transformation of Unity College from regional to national concern includes a strong curriculum, recognition by The Princeton Review as being among the greenest in the nation, and the most geographically diverse student body in its history.

Thomashow, 61, came to Unity in 2006 after more than thirty years at Antioch New England Graduate School at Keene, N.H., where he served as Chairman of the Environmental Studies Department and Associate Dean for Institutional Advancement. In his nearly five years at Unity College, he successfully led aggressive efforts to advance the institution's mission, strengthen its academic offerings and attain wider recognition, all while retaining the college's traditional emphasis on student achievement in environmental science and sustainability education.

"I want to thank President Thomashow for almost five years of exemplary achievement and tireless effort," noted Board Chair Tim Glidden.  "Unity College has grown in ways that would have been hard to imagine in 2006.  Our national stature has never been higher. Our faculty is engaged in a transformative overhaul of the College's programs. The face of the campus itself is changing as we upgrade our facilities.  The students are deeply engaged in the biggest issues that face our planet."

During Thomashow's tenure, Unity College has achieved national recognition for its distinctive approach to undergraduate education.   In the last year alone, Unity has been named as one of the top 30 Colleges by Washington Monthly, the highest placement on the baccalaureate colleges list of the rankings for a Maine college.  Unity was also included in the first national guide to the most environmentally responsible, "green" colleges by the Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council.

Sustainability has become a central concern for all higher education institutions.  President Thomashow provided national leadership in this transformation, including his articulation of "Core Elements of a Sustainable Campus," and his active participation co-chairing the Steering Committee of the American Colleges and University President's Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).  When Thomashow signed this commitment in 2007, he vowed that Unity College would become carbon neutral.  That promise directly and indirectly influences all aspects of campus planning and operations.

SOURCE Unity College