MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-The Middlebury College Language Schools will hold commencement for the 90th summer session in Mead Chapel on Friday, Aug. 13, at 8 p.m. In honor of graduation, Middlebury College Carillonneur George Matthew Jr. will perform a recital prior to the ceremony at 7 p.m. that will also take place in Mead Chapel. The recital will include pieces from all the countries represented by the Language Schools. Mead Chapel is on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125). Both events are free and open to the public.
Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz and Dean of the Language Schools and Schools Abroad Michael Katz will award degrees to approximately 150 master of arts candidates in French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish. Three candidates will receive a doctorate in modern languages. Awards for distinguished study will also be given to select students in the schools of Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese.
Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian will deliver the commencement address. Djerejian, the founding director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, is a diplomat whose career spans the administrations of eight United States presidents. A leading expert on the complex political, security, economic, religious and ethnic issues of the Middle East, Djerejian has played key roles in the Arab-Israeli peace process, the U.S.-led coalition against Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, successful efforts to end the civil war in Lebanon, and the release of U.S. hostages in Lebanon.
Prior to his nomination by President Clinton as Ambassador to Israel, Djerejian served both President Bush and President Clinton as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, and President Reagan and President Bush as U.S. ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic. A foreign service officer since 1962, Djerejian served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant in the Republic of Korea following his graduation from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He holds both a bachelor of science degree and an honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Georgetown University, and is fluent in Arabic, Russian, French and Armenian.
Djerejian has been awarded the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award, the President’s Meritorious Service Award and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Following his address, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree will be conferred upon Djerejian.
John Jay Allen will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. A professor emeritus of the University of Kentucky, Allen is a renowned scholar of “Don Quijote.” Selected to edit the Spanish University edition of this classic-the Cátedra edition, now in its 22nd reprinting-and chosen again last year to produce the new edition for the novel’s 400th birthday, he is the author of seminal books and articles on Spain’s most famous, and most studied, novel. He has also become the world’s expert and leading restorer of Spain’s only authentic stage of that day, the Corral de Comedias in Alcalá de Henares. The author of numerous scholarly articles, Allen has received many fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Humanities Center. In 1957 he earned a master’s degree from the Middlebury College Spanish School. Taking a hiatus from his retirement, Allen came back to Middlebury this summer to teach at the Spanish School-his first return to campus since his graduation 47 years ago.
Middlebury College Professor Emeritus of Music Emory M. Fanning will accompany the commencement procession and recession on the Mead Chapel organ.
Middlebury College’s first Language School, the German School, was founded in 1915, followed by the French and Spanish Schools in 1916 and 1917, respectively. Since then, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic programs have been added. In 2003, a ninth program, the Portuguese School, opened. The language programs follow an immersion philosophy, at the heart of which is a language pledge-a formal commitment to speak, read and write only in the student’s respective language of study for the duration of the summer session.
Middlebury also offers language programs at the C.V. Starr-Middlebury Schools Abroad located in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Belo Horizonte and Niteroi, Brazil; Hangzhou, China; Paris and Poitiers, France; Mainz and Berlin, Germany; Ferrara and Florence, Italy; Guadalajara, Mexico; Irkutsk, Moscow and Yaroslavl, Russia; Getafe, Logroño, Madrid and Segovia, Spain; and Montevideo, Uruguay.
— end —