MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — At Middlebury College’s opening Convocation, President Ronald D. Liebowitz encouraged the Class of 2016 to delve “both deeply and broadly” into the academic curriculum during their undergraduate years.

Watch the Convocation video

As he spoke to the 602 first-year students gathered in the pews and arranged by Commons, the president also advised them to “resist the myth that more is better, that for example two majors are necessarily better than one, and instead take advantage of the strength of your faculty and curriculum by taking multiple courses in the arts, humanities, languages, social sciences and natural sciences.”

By doing so, he said, “You will graduate four years from now better educated and just as prepared to go on for a Ph.D. in any discipline or pursue any career you wish, as you would have been had you completed a double major.”

His third recommendation was to “strike a balance in what you study and what you do outside your academic work and what you do to create a satisfying social life. Contrary to how it might seem from afar, the transition to college is never seamless for anybody.

“Finding a significant connection to something here and finding it early — an athletics team, an improv group, a literary club, artists and entrepreneurs at the Old Stone Mill, or any of the college’s 150 plus student organizations — will provide the kind of social entrée that will make the transition here richer and easier.”

With reporting and photography by Robert Keren