January 19, 2001

Middlebury College fetes mid-year graduates with annual ski-down celebration on Feb. 3

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.―Eighty-six students from the class of 2001 expect to receive bachelor of arts degrees from Middlebury College upon the mid-year completion of their academic requirements at the liberal arts institution in Vermont. These graduates first entered College during the spring term instead of the fall, and subsequently earn degrees mid-year. Because they must nevertheless wait until May to receive actual diplomas, the College plans a special mid-winter celebration to more immediately honor their accomplishment. This year, the annual "ski-down" in cap and gown will take place on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl in the nearby Green Mountains.

Following the custom initiated by mid-year graduates over a decade ago, most students choose to participate one way or another in the festive procession on the slopes. Led by a Middlebury College standard-bearer, honorees ride the chairlift up the mountain and parade back down again in a procession of caps and gowns, blue and white balloons, skis, snowboards, sometimes snowshoes, sometimes toboggans—and even, once, a canoe—to the cheers and hearty congratulations of family, friends, and College faculty and staff waiting below.

The College also looks forward to seeing its ski-down graduates return later each spring, when they join the rest of their graduating class at the College's official commencement ceremony on the main campus in May.

For more information, contact Glenna Emilo, Middlebury College campus event coordinator, 802-443-5335.

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