Contact: Sarah Ray

Posted: April 15,

- Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson will
deliver the commencement address at Middlebury College’s graduation
ceremony on Sunday, May 25. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws
degree. The College will award honorary degrees to six other distinguished
individuals as well.

Bill Richardson was elected governor of New Mexico in November 2002. From 1983
to 1997, he represented northern New Mexico, one of the nation’s
most diverse congressional districts, in the United States House of Representatives.
During his years as a congressman, Richardson concentrated on environmental,
energy and international issues, and served as a special envoy on several
sensitive missions to North Korea, Iraq and Cuba. He also served in President
Clinton’s Cabinet for four years, from 1997 to 1998 as U.S. ambassador
to the United Nations and from 1998 to 2001 as secretary of energy. After
leaving the Clinton administration, Richardson taught at Harvard’s
Kennedy School of Government and the United World College in Montezuma,
N.M., prior to being elected governor.

to Middlebury College President John M. McCardell Jr., Richardson’s
career has encompassed a wide array of interests. McCardell said, “Bill
Richardson has negotiated the release of prisoners from Saddam Hussein.
He has worked to reform a large government agency, the Department of Energy.
And he has served the people of New Mexico, first as their representative
and now as their governor. We are honored to recognize a man who has used
his many talents to work on behalf of both his state and his country.”

The College also will present honorary degrees to six other distinguished
individuals, including Frederic W. Allen, who will receive
a Doctor of Laws degree. A native of Burlington who now lives in Shelburne,
Allen practiced law from 1951 to 1984 with the firm of Wick, Dinse and
Allen in Burlington. He served as chief justice of the Vermont Supreme
Court from 1984 through 1996, and was named a justice emeritus upon his
retirement from the court. He was a member of the Middlebury College board
of trustees from 1988 to 1998, and is the father of Zachariah Allen, a
member of the class of 2003.

College will award Deborah Bial a Doctor of Humane Letters
degree. Bial is the founder and president of the Posse Foundation, a nonprofit
organization that identifies, recruits and selects student leaders from
public high schools to form multicultural support teams called “posses.”
These teams then prepare, through an intensive eight-month training program,
to pursue academics and to promote cross-cultural communication upon their
enrollment at top colleges and universities nationwide. Middlebury’s
first posse will graduate in May. Prior to founding Posse, Bial held positions
at several organizations, including the New York Urban Coalition and the
CityKids Foundation.

David Herbert Donald will receive a Doctor of Letters
degree. Donald is the Charles Warren Professor of American History and
professor of American civilization emeritus at Harvard University. One
of the nation’s leading historians of the Civil War and the American
South, he is also the author of numerous books, including “Lincoln’s
Herndon,” “Lincoln Reconsidered,” and, with J.G. Randall,
“The Civil War and Reconstruction.” He has twice won the Pulitzer
Prize for biography: in 1961 for “Charles Sumner and the Coming
of the Civil War” and in 1988 for “Look Homeward: A Life of
Thomas Wolfe.” His book “Lincoln,” published in 1995,
was on The New York Times best-seller list for 14 weeks and won numerous
honors, including an award from the American Library Association for distinguished

The College will present Eve Ensler with a Doctor of
Letters degree. Ensler, a member of the Middlebury College class of 1975,
is a playwright, activist and the artistic director and founder of V-Day,
a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. Named one
of Worth magazine’s best charities, the organization has raised
more than $13.5 million in five years for anti-violence groups through
benefit performances of “The Vagina Monologues,” Ensler’s
Obie Award-winning play. Translated into 25 languages, “The Vagina
Monologues” has been performed in theatres around the world. Other
plays by Ensler include “Extraordinary Measures” and “Necessary
Targets.” She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Playwriting
and many other theatrical awards.

College will award Julie Johnson Kidd a Doctor of Humane
Letters degree. A 1967 graduate of Middlebury College and a trustee from
1974 to 1982, Kidd is the president of the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor
Foundation in New York City, a nonprofit organization that contributes
primarily to educational projects. Most awards are made to private institutions
of higher learning at the undergraduate level, and to educational outreach
programs of visual and performing arts organizations. The Johnson Foundation
has provided major funding for programs in economics and the arts at Middlebury.

will receive a Doctor of Letters degree. A resident of
Goshen, Stone is the recipient of the 2002 National Book Award in Poetry
for “In the Next Galaxy.” Born in Roanoke, Va., in 1915, Stone
is the author of seven other books of poetry, including “The Second-Hand
Coat,” “Who Is the Widow’s Muse,” “Simplicity,”
and “Ordinary Words,” which won the National Book Critics
Circle Award in 1999. Stone’s many honors also include the 2002
Wallace Stevens Prize, an annual award that recognizes outstanding and
proven mastery in the art of poetry, and two Guggenheim Fellowships. She
has taught at numerous colleges and universities, including Indiana University
at Bloomington, the University of California at Davis, and New York University.

The outdoor graduation ceremonies will take place on the lawn behind Forest
Hall on College Street (Route 125) at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 25. More
than 4,000 family and friends are expected to attend. In the case of severe
weather, commencement will be held in Kenyon Arena on Route 30.