Rita Markley of COTS Named Champlain College's 2013 Distinguished Citizen

Rita Markley, Champlain College 2013 Distinguished CitizenBURLINGTON, VT. — The 2013 Champlain College's Distinguished Citizen award goes to Rita Markley, executive director of the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS). Markley will receive the award from Champlain College President David F. Finney and the Board of Trustees at the College's Convocation on Friday, Aug. 23 at 3 p.m. at Roger H. Perry Hall.

Markley will speak to the expected 600+ members of the incoming Class of 2017 as part of the College's Orientation Weekend ceremonies. This is the 52nd year of the award which honors community leaders in Vermont.

Markley and COTS have been recognized nationally as a "best practice" organization for its innovative strategies to prevent homelessness and to help those living in emergency shelters to find housing and jobs.

Champlain College raises awareness and money for COTS with its Annual Tent City event sponsored by the Center for Service & Civic Engagement. Tent City brings out students, staff, and faculty to sleep out in tents and experience soup-kitchen style meals during the early Vermont winter.

Markley has worked to expand housing options for homeless families and individuals. Under her leadership, COTS received a national Blue Ribbon award from HUD for its Families in Transition program and a U.S. Conference of Mayors award for leadership in creating the Continuum of Care in Burlington. More recently, under Markley's leadership, COTS has won a number of awards for building a new housing facility and creating a service enriched program on-site for homeless veterans.

Markley was a founding member and served as the first Chair of the VT Coalition to End Homelessness and she remains an active member of the Chittenden Continuum of Care.

She was named Vermonter of the Year in 1999 for raising awareness about homelessness in Vermont and for generating large private investment from business and individuals to address the issue and expand prevention options.

About Champlain College: Since 1878, Champlain College has provided career-focused education to students from its hilltop campus in Burlington, Vt. Champlain's distinctive educational approach embodies the notion that true learning only occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain offers traditional undergraduate and online undergraduate courses, along with online certificate and degree programs and eight master's degree programs. Champlain offers study abroad programs at its campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 377 Colleges: 2013 Edition. Champlain was named a "Top-Up-and-Coming School" by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges and is ranked in the top tier of 2013 Regional Colleges in the North. For more information, visit www.champlain.edu

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit champlain.edu.