Burlington College announced to students, faculty, and staff on Monday that it will be shutting its doors in two weeks, the Burlington Free Press reported.
The school will officially close on May 27.
While the college’s board of trustees made the decision unanimously on Friday, there was no mention of the closure at the school’s commencement ceremonies, according to the Free Press.
The college celebrated its 35th commencement ceremony on Saturday, with its former president and founder, Dr. Steward LaCasce, as the keynote speaker.
LaCasce started the college in 1972 in his living room as an alternative educational environment. Though the college has grown in size – it currently has 250 students – it has maintained its free-spirited ethos.
“This is a great loss to the higher ed community,” the school’s current president, Carol A. Moore, said on Monday, according to the Free Press.
The school seems to be in the process of sending out more information. A woman who identified herself as an administrative assistant at Burlington College asked for patience from students.
“Please keep in mind that your faculty and staff are also having to process this news and your kindness and patience is appreciated,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
She also indicated that students will be receiving an email informing them of what will happen next and that faculty advisers will be in touch.
Some students have already expressed their sadness and frustration on Facebook:
- Screenshot via Facebook
The school’s reason for closure is the “crushing weight of debt” it incurred because of a land purchase in 2010 by then President Jane Sanders, according to a statement from the school.
Sanders, wife of Vermont Sen. and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, took out a $10 million loan for the purchase.
Burlington College did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Editor’s note: This post previously reported that the administrative assistant’s Facebook post was deleted.