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Honorary Degree Statement

January 10, 2021


Dear Middlebury Community,

In my letter to you earlier this week, I spoke of our responsibility for safeguarding and improving our fragile democracy, especially those of us privileged to be in higher education. I asked us to renew this work with mutual respect and the building of trust across difference, which are core values of this institution. As we pursue these goals, we must not be indifferent to the actions of those who are actively working against them, and opposed to our institutional values.

In light of the role that presidential attorney Rudolph Giuliani played in fomenting the violent uprising against our nation’s Capitol building on January 6, 2021—an insurrection against democracy itself—Middlebury’s leadership has initiated the process we have put in place to consider revoking an honorary degree. This institution awarded a degree to Mr. Giuliani in 2005. We will have more to communicate to you about this in the days ahead.

Laurie L. Patton
President