Middlebury

August 14, 2001

Contact:
Sarah Ray

802-443-5794

sray@middlebury.edu

Posted: August 14, 2001



Middlebury
College students participate in the Middlebury Outdoor

Orientation program (MOO) in the Saranac Lakes region of New
York.

MIDDLEBURY,
VT -
The 515 expected members of the Middlebury College
class of 2005 will begin arriving on campus on Sept. 3.
Coming from 40 foreign countries, 47 states and the District
of Columbia, the students will bring a wide range of
experiences with them as they undergo a week of orientation
events and trips that include outdoor activities, volunteer
projects and seeing some of Vermont's sites.

"We
are looking forward to the arrival of the class of 2005, an
outstanding group of young people drawn from a
record-breaking pool of more than 5,400 applicants," said
Mike Schoenfeld, dean of enrollment planning.

The
new class's members include students with a wide range of
talents, from a karate expert who earned a black belt by age
13 to a student who has toured the country for three years
with the performing group Circus Smirkus as a professional
clown.

Another
member of the class, Jonathan W. Stuart-Moore of Chapel
Hill, N.C., counts among his talents the ability to produce
music by playing glasses-water goblets-often with his
mother. He appeared on PBS' "Scientific American Frontiers
with Alan Alda" in 1998.

Aleksandra
Vasilyuk came to San Francisco from Russia in 1996.
Vasilyuk, who speaks four languages, founded a Russian
language magazine, Transit, for Russian youth
émigrés. As part of this effort, she secured
funding, added several staff members, and served as editor
of what has evolved into a successful
publication.

Joannah
M. Opot was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, where she
served on the interim committee of the Kenyan National
Students for Peace organization. The committee established
and ran country-wide training programs designed to educate
teachers and students about peace building, conflict
resolution and human rights. She then moved to India, where
she was a volunteer teacher in Mahindra, working with
children from surrounding villages and training other
volunteers.

With
the theme "celebrating community," Middlebury College's
orientation week for the new class begins Sept. 3 and
focuses on academic activities, such as meetings with
faculty advisors and an introduction to computer
facilities.

Several
gatherings will introduce new students to the commons
system, which divides the campus into five groups of dorms
housing approximately 400 students each. Students play key
leadership roles in the commons, contributing to the
cultural and intellectual life of the College community by
organizing a variety of events.

Social
opportunities, ranging from a barbecue hosted by
Middlebury's president to a nighttime square dance,
encourage students to get to know their new
classmates.

Later
in orientation week, three activity programs will relieve
the stress students often encounter as they make the
transition to college: MOO or Middlebury Outdoor
Orientation, This is Vermont, and Volunteer Preview. The
events give students another opportunity to get to know
fellow classmates and experience life beyond campus¾
both in the local Middlebury community and
beyond.

Now
in its 14th year, MOO is a student organization that was
founded by members of the Middlebury College Mountain Club.
MOO leads student groups on overnight trips in Vermont and
in New York's Adirondack Mountains. The expeditions feature
a number of outdoor activities: trail maintenance, canoeing,
rock climbing, fly fishing, backpacking and mountain biking.
Each group consists of eight first-year students and two
experienced student leaders. As part of the MOO program,
students will hear an expert on the raptors of Vermont give
a presentation that will include five live birds. The trips
develop among the new class an immediate appreciation for
Vermont's beautiful countryside as well as the opportunity
to gain useful wilderness skills.

This
is Vermont offers students who wish to become familiar with
the Green Mountain state the chance to experience local
culture and sites. Beginning with an overnight stay,
storytelling and music at Middlebury's Bread Loaf campus in
Ripton, Vt., the program continues with a day exploring the
city of Burlington, cruising Lake Champlain on the "Spirit
of Ethan Allen II," and feasting on a traditional New
England barbecue. Students will conclude their adventures
with the trip of their choice to Lake Dunmore, downtown
Middlebury or Manchester, the Killington/Pico Adventure
Center or the Ben and Jerry's factory in
Waterbury.

Those
participating in the third program, Volunteer Preview, work
daily on local community service projects. Tasks include
trail maintenance in cooperation with the United States
Forest Service and the Green Mountain Club, reconstruction
of playgrounds for area childcare centers, home renovation
for affordable housing, and painting the gazebo on the
Middlebury town green. The College's Web site declares,
"Volunteer Preview seeks to provide work sites that help
meet local needs, are fun, and provide participants with a
sense of accomplishment, contribution and teamwork." In the
evening, students will enjoy cookouts, hiking and various
social activities. With over half of all Middlebury students
volunteering at some time during their college career,
Volunteer Preview offers an early glimpse into the real
world concerns of Addison County.

On
Sunday, Sept. 9, after students have returned from their
trips, they will line up for the traditional convocation
procession from Old Chapel to Mead Chapel. Following the
ceremony, which formally marks the class's entrance into the
College, they will gather for a class photo.