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About Wonnacott
Erica Wonnacott

Erica Wonacott

The namesake of Wonnacott Commons, Erica Wonnacott, was the first person to hold the title of Dean of Students at Middlebury College.  Erica had the highest, most noble aspirations for the College, and she desired to foster personal relationships with as many Middlebury students as possible. In this way, she became a noticeable beacon for community building at Middlebury.  Erica was a strong, compassionate person who cared deeply about students and the community.  She was engaging, courteous, unrestrained, and forthright which allowed her to help, rescue, and touch thousands of students.

Erica would take students into her office and make them feel as if she had nothing else to do that day but talk to them.  She treated everyone with respect, and approached discipline in the same way.  Wonnacott's innovative approach to discipline was clearly illustrated during one instance when the Ruby Club was "causing trouble."  Instead of imposing some form of traditional discipline, Wonnacott sent the team outside to plant daffodils on the hill between Hillcrest and Munroe Hall.  It was humiliating for them to be planting flowers.  However, students passing by the gardening ruggers soon joined in the festivities and a fun day was made out of it by all who were involved.

Erica promoted everyday fun things, and she is remembered as one of those renaissance people who put a personal touch on everything.  Rather than using e-mail as so many people have done for the past decade, she always hand-wrote letters — to former students, colleagues, acquaintances and friends.  During her funeral in March 2002, Wonnacott's letters tucked away somewhere in a bureau drawer came "home" to Middlebury in celebration of Erica's life and legacy.  Crowds packed the Congregational Church in Middlebury; a testament to her far-reaching compassion which will never be forgotten. Past Wonnacott Commons heads are Cynthia Packert, Scott Atherton, William Nash and Deborah Evans.

Wonnacott's Mascot
Wonny

Wonny Wonnacott

Wonny the Squirrel represents Wonnacott's appeal for adventure, fun, and determination to explore new things.  The color for Wonnacott is orange.


Wonnacott's Traditions

Wonnacott hosts many family-style dinners at the Commons Head's home as well as in Atwater Dining Hall.  Each year, Wonnacott hosts Midd's Got Talent (formerly known as Global Rhythms) as well as the annual Wonnacott Awards ceremony. Many Wonnacott students join members of the Middlebury community with service to enrich the lives of those in need.