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Carole Cavanaugh, the Kawashima Professor of Japanese Studies, at a May 13 reception celebrating retiring faculty.

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College Celebrates the Careers of Retiring Faculty

May 15, 2019

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury honored the careers of 16 faculty members who have announced they will retire at the end of the current academic year. Collectively representing more than 500 years of teaching experience at Middlebury, the teachers and scholars joined with their colleagues and staff members for a reception at the Mahaney Arts Center on May 13.

“When I look at this extraordinary group of retiring colleagues, I see the many faces of this vocation,” said Andi Lloyd, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. “I see dedicated teachers—teachers who have collectively logged many thousands of hours in the classroom. I am not exaggerating when I say that generations of students have benefited from their passion, dedication, and expertise.”

Numerous faculty members took turns paying tribute to their retiring colleagues during the reception.

Lloyd offered some parting thoughts as the event drew to a close.

“Colleagues, please know how grateful we are for all that you have given to Middlebury College over the course of your remarkable careers,” she said. “You will be missed, but we send you off to your next adventure with good wishes and sincere appreciation for all that you have done for your students, your colleagues, your disciplines, and the College over the years.” 

About this year's faculty retirees:

David Bain, senior lecturer in English and American literatures, began working at Middlebury in 1987.

John Bertolini, the Ellis Professor of English and Liberal Arts, began at Middlebury in 1975.

Mary Ellen Bertolini, senior lecturer, tutor in writing, and director of the Writing Center, joined Middlebury in 1993.

Carole Cavanaugh, the Kawashima Professor of Japanese Studies, began teaching at Middlebury in 1990.

Claudia Cooper, assistant professor of education and English and American literatures, began teaching at Middlebury in 2003.

Stephen Donadio, the Fulton Professor of Humanities and former editor of the New England Review, came to Middlebury in 1977.

Peter Hamlin ’73, the Christian A. Johnson Professor of Music, joined Middlebury in 2004.

Barbara Hofer, professor of psychology, joined Middlebury in 1998.

Kirsten Hoving, professor of history of art and architecture, joined Middlebury in 1983.

Kathryn Kramer, assistant professor of English and American literatures, joined Middlebury in 1997.

Richard Romagnoli, professor of theatre, joined Middlebury in 1986.

Tom Root, professor of biology, joined Middlebury in 1979.

Steve Trombulak, professor of biology and environmental studies, joined Middlebury in 1985.

Kit Wilson, the Julian W. Abernethy Professor of Humanities, joined Middlebury in 1979.

Richard Wolfson, the Benjamin F. Wissler Professor of Physics, joined Middlebury in 1976.

Larry Yarbrough, the Pardon Tillinghast Professor of Religion, joined Middlebury in 1983.


Steve Trombulak and especially, Richard Wolfson, congratulations on your retirement! Both of you had a huge impact on me and, I'm sure, on the College!

by John Beeson (not verified)

Congratulations on this distinguished group, and many thanks for your commitment to teaching. Rich Wolfson, your Physics 101 lectures in 1976 or '77 were pure genius--thank you. And Stephen Donadio, your Bread Loaf courses remain, for me, the most memorable of all courses; the content, the books, and your guided discussions in the The Barn at BL were more influential than I can explain. Thank you!

by Richard Tarlov (not verified)

Steve Trombulak, congratulations on your retirement! Ditto to what John Beeson said- you had a huge influence on me too! Your Natural History of Vermont course was one of my favorite courses at Middlebury. I still know and use many of the bird calls that I learned in that class! Best of luck to you and hope you greatly enjoy your retirement which is very well-deserved. But I’m sure you will truly be missed at Midd!

by Wendy Goyert cl... (not verified)

I salute Larry Yarborough on his retirement. It has been a joy to collaborate with him.

by Eliot Levinson (not verified)

Rich Wolfson's Physics 101 class was so popular between 1979-1982 that Professor Wolfson was somewhat of a local cultural phenomenon, but unfortunately, I could never seem to get in. Then, I considered auditing the class, but that didn't come to pass. It looks like I've missed my chance! All the best in your retirement, Professor Wolfson!

by Lydia Hill (not verified)

I took two wonderful classes with Professor Bertolini. He was having back trouble, and taught both of them lying on his desk, but they were still among the best classes I have ever taken. I learned so much. Thank you!

by Kate Cote Gillin (not verified)

Congratulations, Larry Yarbrough! I loved your classes and remember them and you very fondly. I even ended up getting my MTS thanks in a very large part to you. Thank you for imparting your enthusiasm for religious studies and for everything you taught us.

by Steph Galbreath... (not verified)

Kit Wilson, the insights you shared in class, whether impromptu or not, truly gave me a new and preferable view of the world. I cherish the lessons you shared related to how man is now "on the clock", and believe I'm able to be a better person because of them. Peter Hamlin, you showed me that we can truly spend our lives learning and being curious, fun, and excited (I take it that VR was not a thing during your undergrad days). You were the inspiration for a commencement speech I wrote and auditioned that would have urged my fellow classmates
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to continue learning for the long haul, had it been selected by the committee. Thanks a lot, gentlemen! Please enjoy what comes next. - Henry '18
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by Henry Swaffield (not verified)

Congratulations to all the professors and may your next adventure create wonderful memories. Thank you to John Bertolini for improving my writing skills. Almost 30 years later, I still pause periodically when writing or editing and question if I've over used the verb "to be" or question how else I can write the same sentence. You'll never be forgotten.

by Karen Kehoe Swank (not verified)

I finished my MA at Breadloaf in 1989, but even all these years later, I credit Stephen Donadio for my professional success as a literature teacher in The American School of This Hague. His classes were transformative, and to this day, I have harbored a secret hope of making it back to the mountain one summer to audit a few of his classes just for the sheer joy of watching him open up a book again, so I am sad that he is retiring; but I can well imagine that he has read enough student essays in his
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lifetime to get credit hereafter for the work of two great teachers instead of one. Thank you again Mr. Donadio for your humor, your insight, and all your wonderful classes.
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by Irene V. Nicastro (not verified)

I echo your remarks about Stephen Donadio. More influential than can be explained. I just keep saying, "He taught me to read."

by Irene V. Nicastro (not verified)

Congratulations Prof. Wolfson on your retirement! 43 years at Middlebury. Absolutely incredible! I got an A from your PH 101 class in the spring of 2002 and it was one of (if not) the best classes I have ever taken. Wishing you the very best in the next chapter of your life!

by Yohanne Kidolez... (not verified)

Congratulations to Kit Wilson! I have great memories of your American Art History classes and of my days working with your lovely wife, Claire in the Student Activities office. I wish you all the very best!

by Elaine King NIc... (not verified)

I feel incredibly lucky to have spent time in the classroom with four of those incredible educators. As a teacher now myself, both Kit Wilson and Barbara Hofer remain at the heart of my daily pedagogy and practice. Congratulations to each of you.

by Will McDonough (not verified)

Professor Trombulak, THANK YOU! I still remember many of your lectures from the introductory ES course. Your lectures were captivating & I feel so lucky I got to be one of your students!

by Andrea Hamre (not verified)

Kit Wilson, you carefully guided me through my thesis. I was quick to do many stupid things and you recognized my enthusiasm and understood how to correct me without discouraging me. The Art History department no longer includes Kit Wilson, John Hunisak, nor Glenn Andres. I'm sure there are fantastic new professors, but I can't imagine they'll ever be three any better than the three of you.

by Matthew Slaughter (not verified)

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