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New students sing the alma mater at Convocation.

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Keren, Robert J.
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Academic Year Set to Begin on Sept. 9

August 30, 2013

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.—Middlebury College will welcome the Class of 2017 to campus on Monday, Sept. 2, for four days of orientation followed by organized weekend trips, College Convocation on Sunday and the first day of classes for all students on Sept. 9.

The 629 first-year students, selected this year from a record field of more than 9,100 applicants, are organized at Middlebury into five “Commons” or living-learning communities that combine the academic, social and residential components of college life.

In addition to three elective courses, each new student has chosen a first-year seminar—a writing-intensive, discussion-oriented class of 16 or fewer students that is taught by a faculty member who also serves as the students’ adviser until midway through their sophomore year. Among the 44 first-year seminars offered in 2013 are: Speechmaker’s Studio, Chemical and Biological Warfare, Literature on Trial, Culinary History of Italy and Mountains of the Northeast.

The first-year class includes a diverse range of students including a flutist who has performed with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra, the queen of the 2013 Tournament of Roses, a member of the U.S. National Equestrian Team, the two-time winner of a young playwrights' festival and an illustrator for a daily newspaper in China.

There are also 34 members of the Class of 2017 who were accepted to the class that enrolled last fall but elected to take a gap year before attending college.

Returning students will bring the on-campus population up to 2,495 individuals representing 51 territories, states and the District of Columbia, and 72 foreign countries. The states sending the most students to Middlebury are New York with 377, Massachusetts with 333, California with 246, Connecticut with 168 and Vermont with 157. The countries that are most frequently represented in the Middlebury student body are China with 60 students (including 14 from Hong Kong), Canada with 31, United Kingdom with 12, India with nine, and Republic of Korea with nine.

New this year at Middlebury is a conservation psychology focus in the Environmental Studies Program, and a museum studies track within the Department of History of Art and Architecture. Also, two programs have been renamed to better reflect the depth and breadth of their curricula: women’s and gender studies is now the Program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, and international studies is now the Program in International and Global Studies.

Sixty-seven new courses will be offered during the 2013-14 academic year. Among them are: Palestine and Its Diaspora, Introduction to Neuroscience, Mathematics for Teachers and Children of the Russian Revolution. Also new at Middlebury are the courses Tokyo Between History and Utopia, Holocaust in Literature, Language in Africana Studies and Otherness in Hispanic Literature.

In February 2014, the college expects approximately 90 “Feb” first-years to enroll at Middlebury and join the first-year class. Twenty-six percent of the Class of 2017 are U.S. students of color; 13 percent are the first generation in their families to attend college; and 11 percent are from foreign countries. Members of the incoming class will represent 43 states, the District of Columbia and 43 foreign countries.

The Middlebury calendar also contains a full slate of co-curricular events. Beginning on Sept. 12 and continuing through Dec. 8 the Museum of Art will present two simultaneous exhibitions in contemporary art: “Vito Acconci: Thinking Space” and “Screened and Selected II: Contemporary Photographs and Video Acquisitions 2006-2011.”

This fall the Mahaney Center for the Arts will welcome guest artist Imogen Cooper performing Schubert’s three final piano sonatas on Oct. 10, and the 2012 Gramophone young-artist-of-the-year Benjamin Grosvenor, also on piano, on Oct. 29. And in the spring the English pianist Paul Lewis will return to Middlebury to perform works by Beethoven, Bach and Mussorgsky on April 4, 2014.

Also on the fall arts calendar are: Marc Bamuthi Joseph and the Living Word Project on Sept. 20-21; Catherine Cabeen and her contemporary dance company on Oct. 11-12; and Lasyam: An Evening of Indian Classical Dance on Oct. 14.  

The curtain will go up this autumn on two plays presented by the Middlebury theatre program: “Vinegar Tom” on Oct. 31-Nov. 2 and “Pentecost” on Nov. 21-23.

The annual Nicholas R. Clifford Symposium Sept. 26-28 will focus on “Translation in a Global Community: Theory and Practice” with keynote addresses by David Bellos of Princeton University and Emily Apter from NYU in addition to a translingual poetry slam, a workshop and other events.

The Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs will host the 2nd annual International Politics and Economics Symposium on the topic “Global Inequalities in Gender, Public Health and the Environment: What Can We Do?” It will be held on Sept. 20. The center will also present lectures on “Central Asia and Its Powerful Neighbors: A Struggle for Influence” on Sept. 30, and “Crafting a Christian Identity in the Middle East: The Case of the Maronites in Lebanon” on Oct. 3.

The Environmental Studies Colloquium Series opens on Sept. 12 with a lecture entitled "Greening Vermont: The Next 50 Years," and continues on Thursday afternoon throughout the semester. Future topics in the series named in honor of Howard E. Woodin are: "Global Inequalities and the Environment," "Enhancing Habitat for Endangered Bats," and "Bringing Local Foods to the Table." 

All students will discover something new in the McCullough Student Center this year. The college has retained a South Carolina firm to operate a sushi bar in the space known as Crossroads. Sushi with Gusto will be open for lunch five days a week and open for dinner every day.

For more information about events listed in this story, please consult these links:


Museum of Art

Performing arts

Clifford Symposium

Rohatyn Center

Environmental Studies Colloquium