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Hampshire College Inaugurates New President Jonathan Lash (VIDEO)

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Jonathan Lash was inaugurated as president of Hampshire College in Massachusetts today. Former vice president Al Gore spoke at the ceremony, MassLive.com reports.

Hampshire was built as a model for alternative education in the 1970s. It’s unique approach doesn’t issue GPAs or grades but relies instead on written narrative evaluations of each student’s performance in class.

According to Hampshire’s news release, Lash’s gown is made of bamboo and recycled bottles. In the video, he discusses staring into his future as Hampshire’s president -- piloting a college known for experimentation that’s still not above standard institutions’ problems.

The theme of the inaugural was “Educating for Change: Critical Thinking in a Critical Time.”

Lash has served since 1993 as president of World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank and Rolling Stone named him one of the world's top 25 environmental advocates.