Tourguiding: Midd Myths

The Middlebury Admissions Office published their annual tourguide manual and inside you find some gems including a whole list of Middlebury Myths Debunked! I feel like I should add that Emma Watson is actually not coming to Middlebury College even though we have Qudditch here.

Myth: Stewart is named after the family of soda fame.
Truth: Stewart is named after the Stewart family of Middlebury. The Stewarts became involved with the college in 1819, when Ira Stewart became a trustee.

Myth: 60% (or any other large number) of Middlebury alumni marry other Middlebury alumni.
Truth: According to the College Records Office, the average is 17%, and as high as 25% in any given class. This fact is not really one we should share in our tours, but has often been brought up by tour guides.

Myth: Middlebury gets 35% of its food locally from Vermont growers.
Truth: According to Dining Services, the official amount is actually 25%. That’s about $1 milllion spent on local food per year. Dining services is currently working to increase the amount of local food, as well as build a warehouse/cold cellar to preserve local produce for longer periods of time.

Myth: The Center for the Arts faces town because they drew the plans backwards/the town wanted it to face away from the college.
Truth: The CFA was supposed to be built across campus near Atwater, but when the location changed, they flipped the plans over to make it fit better in its current location.

Myth: Ben and Jerry’s is served in the dining halls every day.

Truth: Ben and Jerry’s was served in the dining halls every day several years ago. Now, all of the daily ice cream flavors come from Wilcox Dairy, which is more local and not owned by a large corporation. It is the same quality ice cream as Ben and Jerry’s, and they often make special flavors for Middlebury, like Hippy Dippy, made with the granola from the dining halls. We will still have Ben and Jerry’s on occasion, including campus picnics and barbeques.

Myth: The band Dispatch graduated from Middlebury.
Truth: Dispatch was formed at Middlebury, playing in Battell basement and having their first show in McCullough Social Space in October 1995, but only two members actually graduated from Middlebury.

Myth: John Deere went to Middlebury
Truth: John Deere was born in Rutland (1804) and raised in Middlebury. At the age of 17, he apprenticed with Captain Benjamin Lawrence, a prosperous blacksmith in Middlebury.

Myth: Any variety of the mummy buried in the cemetery story.
Truth: There is in fact a mummy buried in the cemetery, but all that is known about the story is that Henry Sheldon purchased a mummified child and had it on display in the museum. When the mummy started to disintegrate, a group of concerned citizens paid to have the body buried to prevent it from decomposing in the museum. If you go to the Henry Sheldon Museum in town, you can see a map of where the tombstone is located in the cemetery.

Myth: Bicentennial Hall is the largest building in Vermont and the second largest science facility in New England.

Truth: We actually don’t know if this is true or not, and cannot locate any information to determine either way, so please do not mention it.

Back to Unofficial Orientation.

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