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The first Middlebury Language School, the German School, was founded in 1915.

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Language Schools to Hold Centennial Celebration July 10-20

June 26, 2015

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — The Middlebury Language Schools will celebrate a century of immersive language and culture study this year with festive and academic events from July 10–20. The renowned summer programs take place on the Middlebury, Vermont, campus and at Mills College in California. Celebrations will be held on both campuses. All events are free and open to the public.

Schedule
of 
Events

More than 50,000 students have attended the Language Schools since their founding, and more than 12,000 students have earned degrees. The German School was launched in 1915, followed in quick succession by French (1916) and Spanish (1917). Over the years, offerings have grown to include Arabic, Chinese, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Russian. The Centennial celebration will coincide with the inaugural summer for the School of Korean, Middlebury’s 11th summer language school.

“The Centennial gives us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the rich traditions and unique pedagogy that have come to define the Language Schools,” said Vice President for Language Schools Michael Geisler.



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Chinese zither player Wu Fei and Nashville-based clawhammer banjo player Abigail Washburn will perform July 19. Credit: Michael Weintrob

On July 15–17, the Language Schools and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey will host a conference in Middlebury titled “The Local App: Language and Culture in a ‘Flat World.’” Attendees will tackle the question, “What is the environment in which tomorrow’s students and professionals will most productively learn about other parts of the globe and how to engage speakers of other languages?”

The conference will feature keynote speaker Adrian Wooldridge, management editor and writer of the Schumpeter column for The Economist magazine. Several expert panel discussions will cover topics including global academics, language and identity, and the next century of language schools. The conference will close with speaker Frank Sesno ’77, a Middlebury alumnus and former CNN correspondent, anchor, and Washington bureau chief, who is now director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University.

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Grammy-nominated jazz singer Stacey Kent will give a concert July 17.

The July celebration in Middlebury will include numerous artistic and cultural events, with musical performances by alumni, faculty, and students of the Language Schools, including:

  • Grammy-nominated jazz singer Stacey Kent will perform in the Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts on Friday, July 17.
  • Nashville-based clawhammer banjo player Abigail Washburn and Chinese zither player Wu Fei will perform in Mead Chapel on Sunday, July 19.
  • The Vermont premiere of the film “Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Final Symphony” will take place July 15 in the Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts. This documentary film takes a cinematic journey across five continents and into the heart and soul of one of the greatest works of art. The film will be introduced by its producer/director, Kerry Candaele.
  • Paco Álvarez, piano, and Maria Laetitia Hernandez, soprano, will perform on Thursday, July 16, in the Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts.
  • An exhibit, titled “The Language Schools at the Art Museum,” is on display now at the Middlebury College Museum of Art and will remain on view to August 9.

At the concerts on July 17 and July 19, Middlebury ID holders will be admitted until 15 minutes before the start of the performances. For more information visit the Language Schools Centennial website.

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