January 8, 2002

Sarah Ray



Posted: January 8, 2002

Middlebury College has established the first endowed
professorship in its Chinese department. The endowed chair
was made possible by a gift of $1.5 million from Kathy
O'Connor Truscott and William F. "Ted" Truscott, both
members of the College's class of 1983, in honor of
Middlebury College Professor of Chinese John D.

chair will be known as the Kathleen O'Connor Truscott and
William "Ted" Truscott Chair in Chinese until
Berninghausen's retirement, at which time it will become the
John D. Berninghausen Chair in Chinese.

College President John M. McCardell Jr. publicly announced
the news in October at the Chinese department's 25th
anniversary celebration, which many alumni had traveled
thousands of miles to attend. "Ted and Kathy have chosen a
fitting tribute to a man who has dedicated his life with
such passion both to his academic specialty and to his
students," said McCardell at the event.

Truscott, who was an East Asian studies major at Middlebury,
is currently the chief investment officer of the
Minneapolis-based American Express Financial Advisors, part
of the American Express Financial Corporation. Truscott
said, "We chose to honor John Berninghausen because of his
commitment to excellent teaching, his ability to expand the
mind, and his courage in establishing what was, in 1976, a
unique undertaking?a Chinese language program at Middlebury
College. I owe my global view of the world largely to John,
and I am indebted to him for teaching me about a fascinating

who recently stepped down after more than two decades of
service as chair of the Middlebury College Chinese
department, earned his bachelor's degree at the University
of Minnesota with a double major in Chinese and Spanish. He
also received a master's and a doctorate in Chinese from
Stanford University.

1976 Berninghausen joined the Middlebury faculty, co-founded
the Chinese language program with the late Gregory Kuei-ke
Chiang, and became the program's first chair. In 1982, the
program officially became a department with its own

Berninghausen's arrival he has served in a number of roles
at the College, including co-founder and first chair of the
inter-disciplinary major in East Asian studies from
1979-1984, chair of the division of foreign languages from
1981-1986 and 1991-1994, dean of the Middlebury College
Chinese School from 1988-1994, and acting director of the
Language Schools from 1990-1991. In 1993 he was named to a
Charles A. Dana Professorship. Prior to coming to
Middlebury, Berninghausen founded and directed the Chinese
language program at the University of Vermont, where he
taught from 1973-1976.

is the author of a book of essays in Chinese, co-editor of
an anthology of Chinese short stories, and translator of a
number of short stories, speeches, essays and other works
for publication in newsletters, books and journals. He has
also collaborated on two advanced Chinese language

has served as a faculty member and visiting scholar at the
Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies in
Nanjing, and a visiting scholar at the Center for Chinese
Studies at the University of Michigan and at the Center for
Asian Studies at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. He
has also served as a member of the external review team of
the Wellesley College Chinese department, an outside
evaluator of the Williams College Chinese language program,
and a member of the executive board of the Chinese Language
Teachers Association.

on academic leave in China, Berninghausen, in collaboration
with his wife Alice, is conducting research into modern
Chinese painting, including extensive interviews with
leading contemporary Chinese artists.