MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-With the end of Middlebury College’s winter term, many students will celebrate the closing of their undergraduate college careers as well. More than 100 students from the class of 2005 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. 29, at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl in Hancock. In addition to the afternoon ski-down, graduates will be lauded at a special event held earlier in the day in Mead Chapel at 9:30 a.m.

The College offers admission to students twice each year, in September and again in February. A program in its own right at Middlebury since the 1970s, February admissions is designed to allow 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, most students choose to participate one way or another in the ski-down event, a festive procession on the slopes. Led by a Middlebury College standard-bearer, honorees ride the chairlift or trek up the mountain to ply their way back down in a procession of caps and gowns, regalia-bedecked faculty, blue and white balloons, skis, snowboards and snowshoes to the cheers and hearty congratulations of family, friends and College faculty and staff waiting below.

The College community looks forward to seeing its March graduates return later each spring, when they 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 Timothy Marks of Middlebury College Alumni and Parent Programs, (802) 443-5803.

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