January 19, 1999

Middlebury College Receives $8M Grant from The Starr Foundation

Grant is the Largest Single Foundation Gift in Middlebury's History

Middlebury College has received a grant of $8 million from The Starr Foundation to support the Middlebury Schools Abroad. The schools will be renamed the C.V. Starr-Middlebury Schools Abroad in recognition of this grant, the largest single foundation gift in the College's history.

The C.V. Starr-Middlebury Schools Abroad are located in France (Paris), Germany (Mainz), Italy (Florence), Russia (Irkutsk, Moscow, Voronezh, and Yaroslavl), and Spain (Getafe, LogroƱo, Madrid, and Segovia). Students from Middlebury and other institutions attend the schools, which offer courses appropriate to both undergraduate and graduate degree programs during the academic year. The schools abroad have been in operation for half a century; the French School in Paris, the first of the schools to begin operation, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.

Dean of Languages and International Studies Michael R. Katz said, "The grant will support Middlebury's existing schools abroad, help to develop satellite programs in those countries, and foster new initiatives in other areas of the world." The College is currently considering program locations in Asia and Latin America.

The gift builds on a long-standing partnership between the College and The Starr Foundation. The foundation has supported a number of programs and projects at Middlebury, including financial aid and endowed chairs in language and linguistics, and in Russian and East European studies.

According to Middlebury College President John M. McCardell, Jr., "There has been no greater single sponsor of the international curriculum at Middlebury than The Starr Foundation. We look forward to building on our historic relationship, an association that will forever link Middlebury and The Starr Foundation as partners in preparing young people to undertake leadership roles in the international marketplace."

The Starr Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to supporting education, health and human services, arts and culture, and international programs. Headquartered in New York City, the foundation has strong ties to New England and has supported financial aid and other programs at a number of Vermont institutions. The Starr Foundation is named for Cornelius Vander Starr, founder of the American International Group Inc. (AIG). Begun by Mr. Starr in Shanghai in 1919, AIG has grown to become a leading international insurance organization.

Middlebury College is currently engaged in a $200 million Bicentennial Campaign that coincides with the College's approaching 200-year anniversary in the year 2000. The campaign has raised $120 million to date.