For Valentine’s Day 2022, we celebrated all kinds of love and gratitude! We asked the Middlebury community to send short love letters to the students, faculty, staff, or alumni who made a difference in their lives. Here are the lovely responses, also available in a photo album.


To: Leah Gowron MPA ’97

Leah Gowron made a big difference in my life helping with alumni relations at MIIS.  I helped out with Alumni Activities in DC and Texas over the years.  Leah and her team were outstanding.

To: Jen Hambleton-Holguin MAIPS ’04

Jen Hambleton was super helpful on career advice and guidance for me over the years while working for MIIS.  Really valued her wisdom and her help.

To: Chieko Saito MBA ’93

Loved my time hanging out with my good buddy Chieko Saito in Monterey. Great experience we had at MIIS.

To: Angie White

Angie White worked tirelessly at MIIS in the Dean’s Office of the Business School. I used to work for her as a grad student.  She was always so gracious and helpful to work with. I learned a lot from her.

To: Tanya Williams

Dear Tanya-sensei, thank you so much, not only for all the skills that you taught us, but also for all the support you gave us while we were students. Because of your thoughtful words, I was able to maintain self-confidence. 

To: William Arrocha

I’d like to send a special shout-out to Dr. William Arrocha, a kind-hearted and knowledgeable mentor who supported and encouraged me in all of my academic antics. I’m so lucky to continue to have his mentorship in my life. 

To: Jonathan Miller-Lane

I can say with certainty that I will never encounter someone whose thinking is quite like yours—critical, optimistic, and open. I am grateful to have had the experience to learn with you. 

To: Deniz Ortactepe

I appreciate all your support during my stay at MIIS, with my coursework, with my project, and with a life growing to a better educator :)

George Koenig ’60

To: Shirley Ayres Tilden ’47

To my high school French teacher who encouraged me to attend Midd. I am forever grateful for your superb teaching and mentoring and for setting me on my own path as a language teacher.

Judy Stickler ’65

To: Jeff Maddox ’85, Karin Radasch Maddox ’85, and Lucy Maddox ’25

I love you all, as you connect me through the living generations of our family to the college I love, and remind me of the generations of our family before us who also loved Middlebury.

Carol Swanson Wright ’66

To: Tana Sterrett Scott ’65

Tana Sterrett Scott and I have been friends for more than 55 years.  We were sorority sisters during our Middlebury days in the 1960s, and then she married Chaplain Scott so I could visit them both at the same time.  Happy Hearts Day, Tana.

Peter Knobler ’68

To: Janet Reed 

In 1967 I didn’t tell Janet Reed I loved her because I didn’t know, and didn’t know how. She’s been gone 40 years. I can’t tell her now, when I do.

Ginny Hoverman ’69

To: Heather Mead Jack ’95

Dear Heather, I am so very grateful every day that you are in my life! You are engaging, funny, generous, kind, and warm with everyone lucky enough to know you. I love you now and always—Mom

To: Lizzie Jack ’24

Dear Lizzie, You are the cat’s meow—energetic, optimistic, fun, adventurous, kind, and smart! I am so grateful to be your grandmother. May your future always be bright and your friends be many. With much love, Gigi

Eleanor Coffey ’70

To: Alan Carter

A new freshman, I hoped to be able to perform in the Vermont State Symphony Orchestra. Fortunately, Dr. Alan Carter, chairman of the Music Department, heard me practicing in the old music studio and asked if I would become a member (no audition!).  

Julia Alvarez ’71

To: Kimberly Marshall

Helpful, caring, thoughtful, Kimberly Marshall at the Davis Library circulation desk exemplifies service to others, including barred owls. Some PhDs are invisible; KM has earned one on kindness.

Roger Sakolove ’72

To: Horace Beck

Dear Professor Beck: You are undoubtedly one of the greatest influences on me, both in my love of literature and life itself. You always had that glimmer in your eye that contradicted your sometimes gruff exterior. Love you, man!

Kathy Page Willis ’72

To: Emory Fanning

My love letter is for Emory Fanning. He not only made my four years at Middlebury exceptional; his influence impacted the lives of my three children, all of whom are musical in their own rights because of my time with him. Thank you, Emory!

Trudie Thompson ’74

To: Yasmine Signey ’22

Dear Yasmine, You are the first interviewee I have recommended for admission to Middlebury who has stayed in touch with me. Thank you for being a Midd Kid from Sussex County, and for continuing to stay in touch! Love, Trudie

Andrea Mahee ’76

To: Arnold McKinney ’70

Thank you Arnold McKinney for interviewing me when I was a high school senior and then recommending that I attend Middlebury on a partial scholarship; it was the best four years of my life!

Roy Heffernan ’78

To: Sam Segal ’23

Junior Sam Segal has become a super valuable part of my life as my mentee via Midd2Midd. Sam, you are a joy and a powerful asset for the college. Safe semester in Copenhagen, my friend!

Ann Luginbuhl ’81

To: Missy Foote

How could it be more than 40 years since you taught me the value of a team, of inside jokes, April Fools pranks, goofy games and long road trips. It has been a long time, but you shaped who I became and who I am, more than 40 years later.

Lydia Mason Hill ’82

To: Bill Jacobson ’82

Dear Bill, Thank you for the amazing date when you invited me to your friend’s Weybridge home. Van, garlic, red wine, your laugh, the cozy kitchen. It was all delightful. I just wish I had reciprocated your kindness. Love, Lydia

Leroy Nesbitt ’82

To: Matt Longman ’89

’Tis a special joy to have shared time working on campus with you, trying to love students, recognizing the joy of being a Midd Alum, and playing a role in Midd Kids. Three cheers my brother.

Alan Wagman ’82

To: Stephen Donadio

Professor Donadio instilled in me a love of American literature and culture and how the two are inextricably linked. I will always be grateful to him as a teacher and for his passion for literature. Thank you Stephen and thank you Midd!

Bessie Cromwell Speers ’86

To: Gail Smith

Dear Gail, a Valentine’s note to you from me and all the Middlebury women’s tennis team members whose lives you impacted as a coach and administrator. You were an advocate for women’s sports and led the first spring training trip for women.

Eileen Angelini ’87

To: Mike and Judy Olinick, and John and Amy Emerson

Huge hugs to Mike, Judy, John, and Amy. From when I first arrived at Middlebury to the present day, the Olinicks and the Emersons have been a huge part of my life. They are my trusted mentors and dearest of friends.  

Elaine Sherrick Valente ’87

To: Erica Wonnacott

Dean Wonnacott, you were a counselor, guide, and friend. Every semester I appeared in your office, and you would help me find a way to pay for the next semester. You were there through my crises. Your legacy lives on.

Lisa Preston ’87, MA ’88

To: Alya Baker, School of German ’68

Of all of life’s teachers, and there have been scores,
There’s no one on Earth from whom I’ve learned more
’Bout not rushin’ through Russian. No if, but, or maybe:
My skills make the grade thanks to dear Dragon Lady!

Victoria Lewis-Bogatyrenko ’88

To: Russell Leng ’60

Dear Professor Leng, you took such care in helping me adjust to Middlebury and guiding my academics.  I still remember the moment you handed me my diploma! Your support for students is exemplary of what is so special about Midd.

Marc Bujold ’91

To: Howard Kelton and Peter Mackey ’74

I am thankful that Howard Kelton and Peter Mackie let me be the first to ride the lift and snowboard down Allen in 1990. It led to a 10-year winter sports career when I told Burton that I helped get snowboarding accepted at the Snow Bowl.

Helen McCabe ’92

To: Patty Pack

Professor Patty Pack’s class on writing was one of the most eye-opening and useful classes I have ever taken. I think about her class frequently and now, as a college professor, tell my students about it ALL THE TIME. Thank you Patty! 

Simon T.G. Lim ’94

To: Middlebury College

You changed my life significantly, from teaching me how to read, write, and speak effectively; to being a place where I found life-long friends; to enriching memorable experiences. You have made me who I am today. I thank you and appreciate you.

Damien Saccani ’95.5

To: Middlebury College

Attending Middlebury has enriched my life in so many ways. Through Midd I met my wife and dearest friends and was given an invaluable education, love for community, and a professional network that welcomed me early in my career.  Thank you Midd!

Raquel Davis ’00

To: Allison Rimmer

It has been 22 years since I graduated, and not a semester passes that I don’t think of you and some of my favorite memories at Midd. You empowered all who joined the special tribe of designers, technicians and managers. Thank you!

Kira Gray MATESOL ’00

To: John Hedgcock

Two of my best teachers of a lifetime came from MIIS. John Hedgcock made excellence desirable and attainable, showing me a glimpse of what language could be. Add him to Cole Porter’s song “You’re the Top!” I love you forever, John!

To: Martha Clark Cummings

In my 75 years, Martha is the best teacher I ever had. I produced good stuff effortlessly in her class. She made me feel smart. Martha, you are in my heart forever!

Sean Hoskins ’01.5

To: Commons System

Initially I was quite the skeptic, but I came to really love you for fostering camaraderie on a smaller scale; decentralized deaning; and giving students control of financial support for programs and initiatives. Cool of you.

Carol Dyck MAIEP ’03

To: Laura Strohm and Jeff Langholz

An engaging lecturer, Professor Strohm fostered my desire to study environmental law, and served as a constant inspiration. Professor Langholz stands out as a professor passionate about teaching who cares about students’ success. Grateful to both.

Drew Miller ’03

To: Pete Nelson

In 18 years of admissions interviews, you’re one of my top-rated candidates. AND you love fly-fishing. Hope all is well, love to the family!

Karen Acheson ’04.5

To: Peggy Nelson

I took one class with you and suddenly I was a WAGS major and applying to graduate programs in social work. I am now a psychotherapist in community mental health. You shifted the course of my life and I couldn’t be happier! Thank you!

Marie Klein MATFL ’05

To: Leo van Lier

Dear Leo, even though you left us, I think often of you. Your passion for teaching languages was contagious, you always accepted people as they are without judging them. I miss you. You will be forever in my heart.

Jennifer Stout MBA ’05

To: Toni Thomas MBA ’00

I will never forget coming into your office, overly upset about a bad grade. You threw the test across the room and said: this is one paper! I snapped out of it, listened to your wise guidance and together, we came up with a game plan.

Dimitar Apostolov ’06

To: Moreen O’Brien ’06

Thank you for your love, which cracked open all my insecurities. The result was a 16-year journey of self-discovery. While I didn’t express it at the time, having loved you has been one of the most meaningful experiences in my life.

Kevin Bright ’06

To: Martin Beatty ’84

Hello from Rochester, MN! I wanted to reach out and let you know how much I appreciated your guidance, life lessons, and belief in me at Middlebury and after. I’m a better person and parent from your being a part of my life!

David Hopkins ’06.5

To: Jonathan Isham

Thank you for giving me a chance that laid the foundation for the rest of my life working in the field of social entrepreneurship, impact investing, ESG, and corporate sustainability. You changed the game, and I will always be grateful!

To: Christopher Wilson

Thank you for teaching me about LIFE and the interconnectedness of history and wisdom through your Knickerbocker New York class. I still quote your teachings to this day, and am grateful for all the fun facts I’ll always remember from you!

Ellie Molyneux ’08

To: Matt Kimble

Dear Professor Kimble, THANK YOU for encouraging my enduring love of psychology. I am currently teaching 5th graders about harnessing our brainpower and managing stress, and I always remember your lessons (and the videos of your girls!)

To: Jason Arndt

Professor Arndt, thank you for the valuable foundational experience of working in your lab. I learned so much about the bigger picture of the research process. I now teach research methods, and love to do Stroop tests with students :)

To: James Fitzsimmons

Professor Fitzsimmons, THANK YOU for helping a “non-history” person fall in love with Mexico and archaeology. I ended up moving to Mexico, becoming a teacher, and teaching about the Mexico’s history for the past 10 years. You’re the catalyst!

Julietta Bekker ’09

To: Aida Bueno Sarduy

Dear Professor Bueno Sarduy, I am so grateful that you challenged us all to think critically about anthropologist’s perspectives, and inspired lifelong learning about racism, representation, identities and equity.

Christen Visceglie MA ’12

To: Andrew Perniciaro MA ’12

Your love for Italian culture, your brilliant mind, and your joyous way of living inspired me to be the woman I am today.

Poorva Napate ’14

To: Yasmina El Muslemany ’14

Thank you Yaz for making Middlebury unforgettable. Long nights at the library/tavern, study abroad trips within Spain, and one crazy Indian visit! I know I can count on you, even if we aren’t in the same place. Love you, Poorvs. 

Cindy Alvarado ’15

To: Camila Fernandez ’15 and Spencer Salibur ’15

To my rocks: thank you for being by my side on this journey we call life. I am so grateful I get to witness you getting better with time, like fine wine. Your 10-going-on-11 years of friendship inspires me everyday. I love you endlessly. 

To: Angie Segura ’16

To the strongest person I know with the softest heart in this world: how you balance everything in life while staying authentic and vulnerable leaves me in awe. Sebastian is truly blessed to have a mama like you. Te quiero!

To: Feliz Baca ’14 and Felipe Guevara ’12

To my Pepas, how I wish I could see you everyday. Our friendship is the true definition of Isabel Allende’s quote: “True friendship resists time, distance, and silence.” I love you and look forward to our memories to come. 

Mikey Ford ’15

To: Hannah Deoul Ford ’15

To my darling angel…thank you for making me the happiest person on earth! I love you!

Sophie Xu MAIEM ’15

To: Grace O’Dell MAIEM ’12

Grace, thank you so much for all your help and support during my time at MIIS! I cannot image how I could navigate a career in international education as a newbie without you. You made my MIIS experience absolutely fruitful! 

Kelly Donovan MATESOL ’17

To: Terra Nicoll MATESOL ’17

Terra, my chocolate-stealing bestie… you gave me the instant validation of someone who understood and accepted me unconditionally. Your support has been unwavering and felt even across borders, time zones, and oceans. Love you always!

Casey Park ’17

To: Rebecca Cohen ’17

You were my first friend at Midd and are still one of my closest friends, nine years after we first met. I have to thank Midd for connecting us. Good luck on your upcoming X (iykyk) and ilysm!

Lily Wilson ’18

To: Jonathan Isham

Professor Isham, it is only fitting that this “love letter” goes to the professor who taught my J-Term class on Love, Hate, and Reconciliation. I still think about the discussions we had in that class! They taught me more than any textbook.

Lulu Zhou ’19

To: Jasmine Kashemsant ’22

Jasmine, thank you soooo much for shipping your sweet Thai care package to me from another side of the world! Much appreciated <3 Hope that you are enjoying your semester abroad in the UK! Miss you tons, sis!! Stay safe and joyful!!

To: Pim Singhatiraj ’21

My dear Pim, congrats on almost finishing up your college journey!!! Hope that you are staying safe and warm! Enjoy every last bit of Vermont! I cannot wait to see you soon *wink* Sending you lots of hugs, strength, and sunshine!!!

Anne He MATLM ’20

To: Marsha Man-Hua Chou MA ’89

Dear Marsha, I hope you’re doing well! Just want to say that I’m truly grateful that you were one of my professors. You really helped me level up my interpreting skills, and on top of that, you also inspired me in many ways. THANK YOU! 

Maria Barbaglia Antil, School of Spanish ’15

To: Andrew Antil MA ’14

Thank you for taking me to the hospital after I hit my head on the turf. You stole my heart right then and there. Since then, you have become my best friend, my knight in shining armor, and my favorite person. ¡Te quiero!

Claudia Brown, School of French ’90

To: Nancy O’Connor

I keep a special place in my heart and head for Professor Emerita of French, Nancy O’Connor, whom I first met at the French School in 1984.  She was an early mentor who sparked a lifelong career in—and passion for—French and French Studies.

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