Contact: Sarah Ray


Posted: August 21, 2002


VT- The 570 expected members of the Middlebury College class

of 2006 will begin arriving on campus on Sept. 1. Coming from 38 foreign

countries, 47 states and the District of Columbia, the students will take

part in a week of orientation events and trips that open their eyes to

the state they will call home for the next four years.

Students will be introduced to the campus by registering bikes, picking

up their student identification, touring facilities and learning more

about the commons system, which locates 400 students in a self-sustaining

residential systems complete with living facilities, dining halls and

study areas. All 580 incoming students will eat dinner with the president

and his wife at his house after touring the campus. The dinner is a tradition

that introduces and makes the president more accessible to the class of


The linchpins of the orientation week, however, are three activity programs,

which will relieve the stress students often encounter as they sign up

for classes and say goodbye to their parents. The programs, “Middlebury

Outdoor Orientation” (MOO), “This is Vermont,” and “Volunteer

Preview” mix students together in small groups and introduce them

to the state, its beauty and its culture at the same time students are

introduced to each other.

Currently in its 15th year, MOO is a student organization

that was founded by members of the Middlebury College Mountain Club. MOO

leads student groups on overnight trips in Vermont and in New York’s Adirondack

Mountains. The expeditions feature a number of outdoor activities: trail

maintenance, canoeing, rock climbing, fly fishing, backpacking and mountain

biking. Each group consists of eight first-year students and two experienced

student leaders. As part of the MOO program, an all-women’s backpacking

trip is being offered for the first time.

This is Vermont offers students who would like to become familiar with

the Green Mountain State the chance to experience local culture and sites.

Beginning with an overnight stay, storytelling and music at Middlebury’s

Bread Loaf campus in Ripton, Vt., the program continues with a day exploring

the city of Burlington, cruising Lake Champlain on the “Spirit of

Ethan Allen II,” and feasting on a traditional New England barbecue.

Students will conclude their adventures with the trip of their choice

to Lake Dunmore, downtown Middlebury or Manchester, the Killington/Pico

Adventure Center or the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Waterbury.

Those participating in the third program, Volunteer Preview, work daily

on local community service projects. Tasks include trail maintenance in

cooperation with the United States Forest Service and the Green Mountain Club, reconstruction of

playgrounds for area childcare centers, home renovation for affordable housing and painting

the gazebo on the Middlebury town green. In the evening, students will enjoy cookouts,

hiking and various social activities. With more than half of all Middlebury

students volunteering at some time during their college career, Volunteer

Preview offers an early glimpse into the real world concerns of and future

volunteerism in Addison County.


Sunday, Sept. 8, after students have returned from their trips, they will

line up for the traditional convocation procession from Old Chapel to

Mead Chapel. Following the ceremony, which formally marks the class’ entrance

into the College, they will gather for a class photo.