MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – A Middlebury College rite of passage will occur on Jan. 31-Feb. 1 when 125 undergraduates complete their academic requirements and participate in the 2014 February Celebration. Though not a formal graduation ceremony – “Febs” and their families are invited back to campus in May to participate in Commencement – the February Celebration is a beloved tradition recognizing the contributions of the College’s mid-year graduates.
On Friday, Jan 31, students and families are invited to the President’s Reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Dr. Robert Sideli ’77, president of the Middlebury College Alumni Association, will be the guest speaker at the reception.
On Saturday morning, Feb. 1, students will process in academic regalia to Mead Chapel, where President Ronald D. Liebowitz will address the “Feb” class at 9 a.m. Student speaker Daniel Briggs Loehr ’13.5 will address classmates, and Sideli will present a replica of Gamaliel Painter’s cane to each of the seniors on behalf of the Alumni Association. Painter was one of the founders of the college.
Following the ceremony at Mead Chapel, festivities will move up the mountain to the Middlebury College Snow Bowl, where most members of the class will ski down the Allen trail – dressed in their caps and gowns – in the annual spectacle known as the “Feb Ski Down.” Non-skiers will also join the fun, either hiking or snowshoeing down the mountain with their classmates. The web site Campus Grotto recently named the Feb Ski Down one of the “Top 100 Greatest College Traditions.”
The 2014 February Celebration will conclude back on campus with a family luncheon between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. in Proctor Dining Hall, with students, families and friends invited.