David S. Wolk '75

Doctor of Letters

From left, Ron Liebowitz, David Wolk, and John Tormondsen '82.

David S. Wolk, educator, public policy expert, native son of the Green Mountain State. Born and raised in Rutland, Vermont, you have done more to advance the cause of public education in your home state than anyone else of your generation.

After graduating from Middlebury as a political science major in 1975, you embarked on a career that has taken you to the halls of government, between the walls of the schoolhouse, and into the towers of academe, all in the name of advancing educational opportunities for students of all ages in this great state. You have served as a teacher, a public school principal, a county superintendent, a state senator, the chief of policy to Governor Howard Dean, the state commissioner of education, and, since 2001, as the president of Castleton State College. 

Your tenure at Castleton has reflected your dedication to the entire state of Vermont. You have made civic engagement and service learning hallmarks of the institution that you affectionately refer to as “a small college with a big heart.” One need look no further than the newly inaugurated Castleton Polling Institute, to find evidence of this small college’s dedication to local policy issues. Who other than David Wolk could have built such a place?

It is therefore my privilege, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees of Middlebury College, to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, with all the rights, honors, privileges, and responsibilities here and everywhere appertaining to this degree.

May 27, 2012