Centennial Challenge Success Sparks Additional Giving Opportunity

Ted ’83 and Kathy O'Connor Truscott ’83 are challenging alumni and friends to support the Language Schools this year in celebration of 100 years of innovative language education.

Last fall, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Middlebury’s first summer Language School, Ted and Kathy O’Connor Truscott announced that they would match all gifts made to the Language Schools and Schools Abroad up to a total of $350,000—a goal that has already been met.

Inspired by the response to their challenge, the Truscotts have increased it, offering to match additional gifts up to $150,000, and bringing their total challenge gift to $500,000. Their purpose is not only to increase support for the schools, but also to draw attention to the centennial celebration and Middlebury’s contributions to language education and cross-cultural understanding.

The Truscotts' match doubles the impact of every gift to the Language Schools and Schools Abroad. Gifts to the overall programs, to individual schools, to financial aid, or to any other purpose qualify for the match. The Truscotts are directing their matching gift to Language Schools financial aid.

Language reveals a culture. Speak the language, read the literature, and your outlook changes and is never quite the same.
—Ted and Kathy O'Connor Truscott

Both members of the Class of 1983, Ted and Kathy studied languages as undergraduates: Chinese for Ted and Spanish for Kathy. Ted spent a semester abroad in Taiwan, and Kathy attended the Middlebury-C.V. Starr-School Abroad in Madrid. Ted also studied at the Chinese School for one summer.

Ted’s fascination with the Chinese language and culture laid the foundation for his career. After graduating from Middlebury, he went to work for Chemical Bank as a credit analyst and banking officer covering Asian banks and corporations. In 1992, he joined Scudder, Stevens & Clark as a portfolio manager and equity research analyst, eventually rising to the position of chief investment officer and managing director of Zurich Scudder Investments. Since 2002, he has been with Ameriprise Financial,where he is now CEO of the global asset management division.

This is the most recent of many generous gifts Middlebury has received from the Truscotts, including gifts to endow two professorships: the John D. Berninghausen Chair in Chinese and the John C. Elder Professorship of Environmental Studies. They have also served the College in a number of leadership roles. Ted is currently a member of the Board of Trustees.

We spoke with the Truscotts recently about the Language Schools Centennial Challenge. Read the interview.