An investment that nurtures teaching and mentoring is an investment that lasts a lifetime. Middlebury’s intensive and personalized teaching inspires students for the rest of their lives.
Our professors challenge their students in classrooms, labs, and studios, mentor them in side-by-side research, and get to know them on and off campus, all the while breaking new ground in their own disciplines. This teaching tradition develops analytic, creative, and technical abilities that distinguish our graduates in top graduate schools and in advanced career positions worldwide. Endowed professorships, funds for faculty research and development, and department and program support help realize the full potential of all Middlebury faculty and students.
An endowed professorship supports a teacher's salary and an annual research stipend, stimulating numerous new teaching and learning opportunities campus-wide. This investment in our best senior faculty members and in promising junior faculty members enables them to involve students in their enables them to involve students in their scholarship, expand their research and publications, and to bring the fruits of that work into the classroom, especially in new course offerings.
Almost 60 percent of Middlebury faculty, including junior faculty in critical periods of professional
development, require other means of support to finance their research and to stay connected with colleagues and professional organizations. To remain competitive in recruiting and retaining gifted teachers/scholars, Middlebury must provide sufficient research support. Endowing research and development funds for assistant and associate professors would assure them of a reliable and expanded source of support for their own development and that of the students who work alongside them.
Faculty members also mentor their students by advising them on course offerings, opportunities abroad, internships, graduate programs, or possible career paths. Middlebury professors truly know their students, and each professor has advising responsibilities. In one semester, a professor might write as many as 100 letters of recommendation for students applying to graduate school or for fellowships, internships, or jobs. Because Middlebury professors know their students’ talents and ambitions, they are able to connect current students with the Middlebury alumni, creating an international network of people prepared to make a difference.
Gifts to particular departments and programs help provide staff support so that professors can focus on individual advising and mentoring and less on administrative details for their classes. They enable faculty members to develop new courses and explore innovative—often interdisciplinary—new programs, such as food studies and global health.