Congratulations to the Class of 2013!

557 members of the Class of 2013 celebrated commencement yesterday in Nelson on a wet and chilly Memorial Day weekend. Despite student protests, the celebration was held inside the recreation center for the first time in 21 years. Yet the mood inside Nelson was anything but cold, as seniors walked across the stage to receive their diplomas and canes. Bronwyn Oatley delivered the student speech while young author Jonathan Safran Foer gave the commencement address. Check out both below. Congratulations to the Class of 2013 and best wishes for the future!


Seniors React to Announcement that Graduation Will Move Indoors

Update: Former SGA President Charlie Arnowitz has released the following video to address the “We the Middkids” petition to keep commencement outside.

Early Friday afternoon after taking a class photo, the graduating class of 2013 was informally told that this year’s commencement ceremony, taking place on Sunday, would be moving indoors. The commencent website states that the ceremony will take place outdoors, rain or shine. This move would limit students to only two guests at the ceremony, with others forced to watch a live stream elsewhere.

Not even an hour after the announcement, students have taken it upon themselves to keep the ceremony outside. Former SGA President Charlie Arnowitz just sent out an email to the senior class encouraging them to email President Liebowitz the following sample message:

President Liebowitz,
As a member of the Class of 2013, I respectfully request that the Commencement Ceremony remain outside. Many of us have friends and relatives who have traveled here from around the country and the world under the premise that they would be able to attend Commencement, rain or shine, as it represents an important achievement for each of us. We strongly feel that the ceremony should remain outdoors in order to remain as accommodating as possible.

Thank you,
Members of the Class of 2013

MiddBlog will update this post as more reactions and responses from the administration are received.

Life Skills: Developing Your Media Mix

Read all “Life Skills” posts.

This post is by George Altshuler ’11. George, a former lead editor of MiddBlog, just finished an internship with Tikkun magazine in Berkeley, Ca. He’s now living in San Francisco and teaching English at San Quentin State Prison.

Creative Commons / B.K. Dewey

The cliché you hear the most about our demographic’s news consumption is that we get all our news from “The Daily Show.”

Contrary to the criticism in this cliché, however, many people in our demographic care about the news and follow it.  But we also understand that we live in an era in which “The Daily Show” is a good source for news and the paper New York Times is increasingly obsolete (unless you can wrestle one way in Proctor).  In this era, the news doesn’t literally arrive on one’s doorstep, and it’s important to be proactive about finding ways to follow the news.

One starting point for following the news in this digital age is to understand how this era of turbulence for journalism actually makes this a great time to be a consumer of news.  The decline of traditional media (newspapers have lost half their revenue in the past five years) and the advent of new technologies have opened the door to a myriad new news sources and tools for distributing the news.  And, for now at least, traditional journalism still exists. The key to being a good news consumer is learning to take advantage of all that is being offered to us.

In this first of three posts on keeping up with the news, I’ll provide suggestions for assembling your Media Mix — the different types of sources you’l need to successfully follow the news:

  •  It’s good to have at least one source that works like the front page of a major newspaper by assigning importance to stories and exposing you to important stories you may not have otherwise found. Traditional news websites like The New York Times, Reuters, and The Washington Post work well in this role.  Aggregators like Google News and Memeorandum that use algorithms to find and feature the internet’s most popular stories are another option. Continue reading

Share your advice for the Class of 2011

So what if commencement was two weeks ago? It’s advice season on the Internet. Everyone picks the end of May and early June to dish their pearls of advice career-related or not. But instead of fighting it, I welcome the deluge of wisdom both good, bad and mediocre. I encourage you to consider this an open thread in the comments: what advice would you give to the class of 2011 at Middlebury? Continue reading

Congratulations to Middlebury Class of 2011!

593 Middlebury students graduated on Sunday. The weather held and even stayed sunny for the Class of 2011’s commencement after almost a week of rain showers.

Addressing yesterday’s graduates were student speaker Donnie Dickson and celebrated Paralympic skiier and motivational speaker Chris Waddell of Middlebury’s Class of 1991. Dickson spoke of the changes the entire class had undergone in 4 years and what it truly means to be a MiddKid (full text). Meanwhile, Waddell emphasized the gift that comes from facing challenges, using his own disability as an example. His main message to the graduates: “It’s not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you.” (full text) Both Dickson and Waddell spoke of the incredible bonds within the Middlebury community and how those connections are not severed when one leaves our beautiful campus in Vermont.

The ceremony also included a moment of silence in memory of the three members of the class that died during their time as students in the past four years: Pavlo Levkiv, Ben Wieler, and Nick Garza. Continue reading

Chris Waddell to Give Middlebury Commencement Speech

The College announced today that National Ski and Paralympic Hall of Famer Chris Waddell will be giving the Middlebury commencement speech for the Class of 2011 on Sunday, May 22. Waddell is a Midd Grad of the Class of 1991 and the founder of the nonprofit organization One Revolution, whose mission is to educate people worldwide about the range of human capability. Waddell was left paralyzed from the waist down after a skiing accident in 1988. A year later, he was back on the slopes and has since become the most decorated male skier in Paralympic history. In addition to his work with One Revolution, Waddell has worked with the International Paralympic Committee and has also had a successful career as a motivational speaker, addressing the topic of human resilience. He has inspired many with his overall motto of “It’s not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.”

In addition to Waddell the College will also be honoring Padma Desai, Sen. Patrick Leahy, Dorothy Bigelow Neuberger, Edward M. Rubin and Maxine Atkins Smith with honorary degrees.

For more details, especially concerning this year’s honored guests, check out The Middlebury Campus article.

Congratulations 2010.5!

Febs celebrate after skiing down at the Snow Bowl Saturday

While many of us rushed off to Feb Break destinations this weekend, the class of 2010.5 celebrated the end of their four years here at Middlebury. A Friday reception was hosted by President Liebowitz at the CFA with a speech by Humanities Professor Kit Wilson. The graduation ceremony took place on Saturday in Mead Chapel followed by the iconic trip to the Snow Bowl, where the 110 graduates made their way down the mountain in caps and gown.

Will Bellaimey, in a humorous yet heart-warming speech, spoke of the significance of being a Feb and how that mentality can only help the mid-year graduates as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.

Congratulations and best wishes!