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David Wandera, the M.Litt. recipient, delivered opening remarks.

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Bread Loaf School of English Awards Degrees at Commencement in Vermont

August 12, 2013

RIPTON, Vt.—The Bread Loaf School of English completed its 94th summer with commencement ceremonies at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf campus on August 10, during which 40 students received master’s degrees.

The degree candidates processed from the Bread Loaf Inn to Little Theater.

The academic procession was led by Elisabeth Robert, a Middlebury trustee and a 1978 graduate of the college. The two senior class presidents, M.A. candidate Lindsay Coffta and M.Litt. candidate David Wandera, offered opening remarks on behalf of their classmates and presented the senior class gift to the school.

The commencement speaker selected by the graduating class was Bread Loaf faculty member Jonathan Freedman, professor of English and American studies at the University of Michigan. He joined the School of English faculty in 1987 and has been teaching at Bread Loaf for over 20 summers, offering courses on topics as diverse as Proust, Oscar Wilde, fictions of finance, and Hollywood film.

 Professor Jonathan Freedman delivered the commencement address.

Freedman is the author of three books: “Klezmer America: Jewishness, Ethnicity, Modernity” (Columbia University Press, 2008), “The Temple of Culture: Assimilation and Anti-Semitism in Literary Anglo-America” (Oxford University Press, 2000), and “Professions of Taste: Henry James, British Aestheticism, and Commodity Culture” (Stanford University Press, 1990).

The traditional Bread Loaf “hooders,” who present the master’s hood to each graduate during the ceremony and are also chosen by the senior class, were Alan MacVey and Carol Elliot MacVey. Alan MacVey has been a member of the Bread Loaf faculty since 1976, and director of Bread Loaf’s program in theater and of most of its major productions since 1978. This summer he directed the last of his School of English plays, Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” Carol Elliot MacVey, who received her M.A in English at Bread Loaf in 1976, has been a member of the Bread Loaf faculty for over 30 years and has taught a number of workshops on reading and teaching drama through acting.

President Liebowitz presented a diploma and a replica of Gamaliel Painter's cane to each graduate.

During the ceremony, Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz conferred 39 Master of Arts degrees and one Master of Letters degree. In addition, the president conferred one Bachelor of Arts degree to a Middlebury undergraduate who completed degree requirements at Bread Loaf.

On July 24, at the Bread Loaf campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 23 graduates received their M.A.s; on July 27, seven students at the campus in Asheville, North Carolina, received their M.A.s; and on Aug. 3, 16 students at the Bread Loaf campus in Oxford received M.A.s. A total of 85 M.A.s, one M.Litt., and one B.A. have been awarded this summer at the four Bread Loaf School of English campuses.

The Bread Loaf School of English

Established in 1920, the Bread Loaf School of English is one of Middlebury’s summer residential graduate programs, offering courses in literature and the related fields of literacy and pedagogy, creative writing, and theater arts. Students, most of whom are K-12 English or language arts teachers, come from across the United States and beyond for one or more summers of intensive continuing education. Students may also elect to pursue an M.A. or M.Litt. degree in English. Faculty come from eminent universities in the U.S. and U.K. to teach and learn with the student body, this year at campus sites in New Mexico, North Carolina, England, and Vermont.

For more information about the Bread Loaf School of English, contact the administrative offices at 802-443-5418 or

With reporting by Sandy LeGault and photography by May Mantell