The following message was sent to February graduates and their families on February 2.
Dear Class of 2022.5 and Families,
We are writing with an update about plans for the Ski-Down portion of Feb Celebration this weekend.
The weather forecast has not improved. Starting Friday morning and continuing through Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service (NWS) is predicting the coldest wind chill temperatures we have experienced in our region in the past 30 years. At the scheduled time of the Ski-Down, windchill temperatures at the Snowbowl are forecast to be minus 22 degrees, posing a serious threat of frostbite and hypothermia.
As a result of these extreme and dangerous conditions, and after consulting with our Safety Team and the manager of the Snowbowl, we have decided that we cannot safely host the Ski-Down at the Snowbowl this year.
Ski-Down Moved to Middlebury Chapel Hill
Following the Saturday ceremony, we invite the Feb class to gather for a class photo in Middlebury Chapel, followed by a Ski-Down on our storied sledding hill next to the chapel. The hill has hosted many Middlebury skiers, sledders, hikers, and snowshoers in the past, and we are delighted that we can take up that tradition again in new ways. It will be a shorter, safer run, and convenient to warm locations and the luncheon afterward. Thank you to the students and Snowbowl Manager Mike Hussey who offered this suggestion, and who will work overtime to make this a successful and celebratory run.
If you were planning to rent equipment for the Ski-Down, we will bring it to campus and you will receive separate instructions on how to pick it up.
Families may gather along Old Chapel Road to watch their graduates make their run down the hill. We will have fire pits and heaters to make the cold temperatures a little more pleasant. But please also dress warmly as well. Hot chocolate will be available in McCullough Student Center for anyone who needs to warm up inside.
We will send more logistical details in a separate email, but wanted you to receive this update as soon as possible. Remember, even on campus it will be extremely cold, so bundle up in many layers and cover any exposed skin when you’re outside.
This solution is the safest, most inclusive, and hospitable for all Feb graduates and their families wanting to celebrate together. We look forward to seeing you this weekend to honor the many achievements of the Class of 2022.5!
Director, Event Management
Meg Storey Groves ’85
Associate Vice President for Alumni and Parent Programs