The graduates of Middlebury College who studied Chinese language in the Chinese Department are a remarkable group of people who have made or are now making careers in business, education, finance, government, and NGOs, among other areas.
To choose just a few examples, Chinese Department alumni are working in Beijing at the China Greentech Initiative, Moving Mandarin, an e-learning company founded by a Middlebury alumna, and CBRE, a property and assert management firm, in Shanghai at Shanghai Culture, an art and culture consulting firm founded by a Middlebury alumna, at Jones Lang LaSalle, a financial and professional services firm, and at Apple’s Shanghai venture, and in the United States and elsewhere teaching Mandarin and China studies in primary and secondary schools and in colleges and universities, and working at Picador Press, Deutsche Bank, the International Institute for Environment and Development, The Washington Post, the Office of China and Mongolia in the U.S. Department of State, and at the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Bali, Indonesia.
Many graduates of Middlebury’s Chinese language program stay in frequent contact with one another, the Chinese Department faculty, and the College alumni office, and are generous in offering help, contacts, information and advice not only to one another but also to current students and recent graduates. This communication takes place through the LinkedIn Middlebury Chinese Department Alumni group and the Middlebury Chinese Department Alumni Yahoo! user group and through more informal connections.
The strength of the Chinese Department alumni network is feature of Chinese at Middlebury that is perhaps unique and certainly something treasured by all involved with it.
The Middlebury Chinese Department was founded in 1976 and, beginning in 1981, every five years alumni who studied Mandarin at Middlebury have returned to Vermont for a reunion hosted by the Chinese Department. The most recent reunion was held at Middlebury’s main campus and Bread Loaf campus in October 2012, and it was attended by more than sixty alumni from the classes of 1977 through 2011. Attendees shared their experiences and expertise during a two-day series of panel discussions, swapped stories at casual meals and a formal banquet, and reconnected with old friends.
Middlebury College Chinese Department faculty, alumni, friends and family at the October 2012 reunion. In the front row, fourth and fifth from the left, are Truscott Professor Emeritus of Chinese Studies John Berninghausen, who was the co-founder of the Chinese Department and who has organized its reunions, and College Professor Emeritus of History Nicholas Clifford, a China scholar and a long-time supporter of Chinese at the College.