Halligan to Deliver BBA Commencement Address
Colby Erin Halligan, an alumna of the Burr and Burton Academy’s Class of 2011 and recent graduate of Elon University, will be the speaker at Burr and Burton’s 183rd commencement. “Colby is highly accomplished and serves as an inspiration – not only to the current crop of seniors, but to all of us. She is a shining example of how to live BBA’s mission of responsibility, integrity and service,” said headmaster Mark Tashjian. “We greatly look forward to welcoming her home to Burr and Burton on Commencement Day. With young people like Colby moving our world forward, the future is in good hands.”
The youngest commencement speaker in BBA history, Halligan graduated from Elon University with a dual BS Degree in Environmental Science and Public Health, concentrating in socio-cultural health and illness. While at Elon, she spent two years living abroad in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Kenya, Tanzania and Italy, studying sustainable agriculture, community development and maternal nutrition. (She also competed in cross-country mountain bike racing and acted as her Elon’s farm manager for four years.)She interned with Grow Biointensive, a non-profit international organization dedicated to creating diet-plot farm designs; she applied for a semester abroad with Boston University to Kenya and Tanzania where she examined how land-use practices can be managed sustainably to promote environmental conservation and cultivation. This inspired her to return to the US to pursue sustainable agriculture and methods of mitigating food insecurity, leading her to volunteer at Elon’s environmental science teaching site and securing the Udall Environmental Fellowship; she met with former Vice President Al Gore to discuss food policy and sustainable agriculture.
Halligan’s many honors and collective experiences led her to pursue a career supplying communities with nutrition plans that yield 100 percent of an individual‘s diet, incorporating her passion for environmental and community work. She currently works as a research assistant and biointensive farmer with Ecology Action in northern California, an international non-profit, where she specializes in soil chemistry, dryland farming and nutrition. She enjoys competitive running, snowboarding and practicing yoga, all passions she first cultivated in the Green Mountains.
Burr and Burton’s commencement will be held on Friday, June 3, at 5:30 p.m., with a change of venue this year to Frelinghuysen Field (the upper field hockey field) on the Manchester campus.