Middlebury College to Celebrate 197th Commencement

Robert Brustein, artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre,

will deliver the 1997 commencement address at Middlebury College

on May 25. As founding director of the Yale Repertory and American

Repertory Theatres, Mr. Brustein has supervised 210 productions,

directing 12, including his own adaptations of Ghosts,

The Changeling, The Father, and the trilogy of Pirandello

works. His most recent theatrical work includes the klezmer musical

adaptation of Schlemiel the First, by I. B. Singer, and

the play Demons. He is author of 10 books on theatre and

society, including Who Needs Theatre; a collection of reviews

and essays; and a memoir of his years as dean of Yale’s Drama

School. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Mr.

Brustein will receive the honorary Doctor of Arts degree from

Middlebury College.

Seven distinguished leaders in a variety of fields will also be

recognized with honorary doctorates at the commencement ceremonies.

Receiving the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters is Curt C. Silberman.

In 1994, Mr. Silberman and his wife established a fund to provide

the initial underwriting for the Curt C. and Else Silberman Chair

in Jewish Studies. The scope of the chair includes aspects of

Jewish history, ethics and philosophy, and examines the lessons

of the Holocaust, the Diaspora, the modern events in the Middle

East, the establishment of Israel, and other aspects of Jewish

life in a multi-cultural world.

Barbara Snelling, who is presently the Chittenden County state

senator in Vermont, will receive a Doctor of Laws degree. She

was lieutenant governor of the State of Vermont for two terms

and has served as chairman of the board of the Chittenden Bank

Corporation. She was vice president for external affairs at the

University of Vermont, and president of her firm Snelling and

Kolb. She is a trustee of the Shelburne Museum.

Thelma Adair, past national president of Church Women United in

the U.S.A., will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree. As

president, she was the major spokesperson for Church Women United,

a national ecumenical women’s movement uniting Protestant, Catholic,

Orthodox and other Christian women in fellowship and action through

some 1,900 units across the United States. She is past national

president of Black Presbyterians United.

A Doctor of Letters degree will be bestowed on Wendy Reid Crisp,

who is national director of the National Association for Female

Executives. She is author of Do As I Say, Not As I Did: Perfect

Advice from an Imperfect Mother; 10 Things I’m Not Going

To Do Now That I’m Over 50, and other books and columns.

She has held positions as publisher, editor, and producer, and

has been keynote speaker on issues of leadership, citizenship,

the personal/professional life balance, and the challenge of change.

Jane Garrett, who has served as editor and senior editor of Alfred

A. Knopf, and has been active with the Episcopal Church, both

in the Diocese of Vermont and at the national level, will receive

the Doctor of Letters degree. At Knopf, Ms. Garrett has been

involved in the publication of books that have won Pulitzer Prizes,

the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award,

the Bancroft Prize, the Parkman Prize, and many other prizes and


Bob Keeshan, also known to millions as Captain Kangaroo, will

receive a Doctor of Letters degree. Mr. Keeshan started the “Howdy

Doody” television show with Bob Smith, and created the character,

Clarabell the Clown. Leaving “Howdy Doody,” he worked

with children’s programming in New York City, resulting in the

first Captain Kangaroo on CBS-TV in 1955. The program continued

on CBS for 30 years, making it the longest running children’s

program. “Captain Kangaroo” won six Emmy Awards, three

Gabriels, and two Peabody Awards.

Receiving the Doctor of Letters degree is William von Dreele.

After graduating from Middlebury College, he worked with IBM

in magazine writing and executive speech writing, and began contributing

to William F. Buckley’s National Review. He was invited

to appear in The New York Observer and was commissioned

by Mr. Buckley to write new verse interludes to Saint Saens’ “Carnival

of the Animals,” with original verse by Ogden Nash. This

was performed in Stamford, Connecticut, with Mr. Buckley reading.

Weather permitting, ceremonies will be held behind Forest West

at 10:00 a.m.