From the History Files: The Beginning of the Oxford Program

“Starting with the summer of 1978, Middlebury College proposes to inaugurate a graduate/undergraduate school of literary studies at Lincoln College of Oxford University….It will be modeled on the summer pattern of the Bread Loaf School of English, but it will also take advantage of the exclusive opportunities of studying at Oxford itself.”

These words mark the beginning of a proposal that then-director Paul Cubeta sent to Bread Loaf students in July of 1976 to gauge their interest in attending such a program. Cubeta initially proposed the concept to the Middlebury College administration in 1969, with the intention of giving students the invaluable experiences of immersing themselves in an atmosphere of British literature and culture, of studying with Oxford faculty, and of broadening their research resources within the British libraries.


Fifty-nine students attended that first summer, enrolling in course offerings including the History of the English Language, Modern British Poetry, and Shakespeare’s History Plays through Performance (with Professor John Wilders, shown here in class).


 Commencement Gala Dinner
Blackwell's bookstore on The Broad