2012: Discussions with Honored Guests

Each year, Middlebury College invites those who have been selected to receive honorary degrees to spend time with graduating seniors, their families, and the campus community. Typically, the honorary degree recipients talk briefly about themselves, and then open the floor to questions.

This year, we captured conversations on Saturday afternoon of commencement weekend with four of the six honorary degree recipients: Sarah Bright Alturki, Rick and Martie Fritz, and Christoph Wolff. Unfortunately, scheduling and other issues made it impossible to capture conversations with Bill Strickland and David Wolk, the other two honorees.

You can listen in to the conversations, and read the honorary degree citations, by using the links below.

Sarah Bright Alturki
Doctor of Letters


Educator and philanthropist Sally Alturki talked about the work that she and her husband, former Middlebury trustee Khalid Ali Alturki, do in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East. She also presented a video about their Dhahran Ahliyya Schools.

Listen to audio:

Read the citation

A video from
Sarah Bright Alturki

Frederick M. '68 and Martha Siegfried Fritz
Doctors of Humane Letters


Rick and Martie Fritz talked with faculty, staff, alumni, and friends about their long connection with Middlebury, and particularly their partnership during Rick's eight years as chair of the Middlebury Board of Trustees.

Listen to the audio:

Read the citations: Rick / Martie

William E. Strickland Jr.
Doctor of Humane Letters


William Strickland is president and CEO of Pittsburgh's Manchester Bidwell Corp. and its subsidiaries, Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and Bidwell Training Center, and has been honored for his work with at-risk youth.

Read the citation

Christoph Wolff
Doctor of Arts


Harvard musicologist Christoph Wolff spoke about his career, and the research and writing he's done on two of history's most influential composers, Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Listen to audio:

Read the citation

David S. Wolk '75
Doctor of Letters


David Wolk '75 is president of Castleton State College in Castleton, Vt. A native Vermonter, he has been a teacher, a school administrator, a state senator, and Vermont's commissioner of education.

Read the citation