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.