MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - At the end of Middlebury College’s winter term, many students will celebrate the closing of their undergraduate college careers. About 120 students will earn bachelor of arts degrees from Middlebury upon the mid-year completion of their academic requirements, officially on March 1. As part of a congratulatory weekend for these graduates, the annual “ski-down” procession in cap and gown will take place on Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl in Hancock.

The college offers admission to students twice each year, in September and again in February. Since the 1970s, February admissions have allowed some first-year students to begin their college studies in the spring semester after high school graduation instead of starting immediately in the fall. As these students complete their undergraduate careers, the college honors their accomplishments with a weekend-long mid-winter celebration. Following the custom initiated by mid-year graduates more than two decades ago, many students participate in the ski-down event, which is a festive procession on the slopes. Led by a Middlebury College standard-bearer, honorees ride the chairlift or hike up the mountain and make their way back down in a make-shift procession to be met by the cheers and hearty congratulations of family, friends and college faculty and staff waiting below.

The graduates are invited to return later this spring, when they can join the rest of their class at the official commencement ceremony on the main campus in May.

For more information prior to the event, contact the Middlebury College Alumni and Parent Programs Office at (802) 443-5183.