BAR HARBOR— College of the Atlantic begins its 40th year with a convocation on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The event marks the start of the college’s fifth decade of classes, and the inauguration of its seventh president, Dr. Darron Collins, the first alumnus to lead COA.
The incoming class has about 100 students, of which one-third hail from New England and one-sixth from 14 nations besides the United States. The entire school body currently represents 33 nations including the United States, giving COA one of the highest percentages of international students of all U.S. liberal arts colleges, allowing for an unusual diversity of perspectives, a college spokesman said.
It also remains among the “greenest” campuses in the nation, and the only campus to date to be entirely carbon neutral.
“While the college community has grown in the 40 years since 1972 when there were but 32 students in the entire school, COA’s mission has not,” said Mr. Collins.
Convocation begins at 1 p.m. on Sept. 7, with remarks by Dominic Muntanga, a 2004 COA graduate and Zimbabwean native who currently works as special projects advisor to the minister of education, sport, arts, and culture in Zimbabwe.
At 4 p.m., weather and waves permitting, the college will oversee the annual Bar Island Swim, when students metaphorically dive into the academic year by jumping in the waters of frigid Frenchman Bay to swim to nearby Bar Island.
College of the Atlantic offers one undergraduate degree, in human ecology.