Middlebury College Outdoor

Commencement Ceremony Beats Rainy Weather Again in 1997

Middlebury College’s 1997 commencement address was delivered

to 444 graduates and thousands of friends, parents and relatives

this May by Robert Brustein-founding director of the Yale Repertory

and American Repertory Theatres, artistic director of the American

Repertory Theatre, playwright, actor, critic, and author-at outdoor

ceremonies on the Vermont liberal arts campus. Under cloudy but

rain-free skies, Mr. Brustein advised students to think twice

about allowing “instruments of precision” to weaken

their capacity for independent thought, and asked students to

keep a place in their hearts for the imagination. After students

received their diplomas, Mr. Brustein also received a degree from

the liberal arts college, an honorary Doctor of Arts.

Middlebury College conferred honorary degrees upon six other

distinguished leaders. Dr. Thelma C. Adair and Mr. Curt C. Silberman

each received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters; Ms. Wendy

Reid Crisp, Ms. Jane N. Garrett, Mr. Robert J. Keeshan, and Mr.

William H. von Dreele each received an honorary Doctor of Letters;

and Mrs. Barbara W. Snelling received an honorary Doctor of Laws.

Middlebury College President John M. McCardell, Jr. presided

over the outdoor ceremonies and conferred the degree of Bachelor

of Arts on the graduates.