The last few years have been tough ones for small private colleges across the country, including the local cases of Newbury College and Mount Ida. Last year, Hampshire College’s then-president Miriam Nelson announced the school would only survive if it found a merger partner. That triggered concern from New England's board of higher ed accreditors and prompted the campus community and Hampshire alumni to jump into action. Since then, the college has gotten its accreditation renewed, and says it now plans to accept a full freshman class next year.

The new president of Hampshire College, Edward Wingenbach, recently sat down with Jim Braude to discuss.