Graduates march from the Bread Loaf Inn to Little Theater for their Commencement.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English will confer a total of 85 master’s degrees and two honorary doctorates at Commencement exercises on its three campuses. The Ripton, Vt., and Oxford University ceremonies will take occur on Saturday, August 6, and at Santa Fe, N.M., the Commencement took place on July 30.

The ceremonies are tailored to the traditions of each locale. In Santa Fe, for example, the event took place under the expansive New Mexico skies; in Oxford the graduation occurs in Lincoln College’s 17th-century chapel; and at Bread Loaf in Ripton, where the school was founded in 1920, Commencement is conducted in the Burgess Meredith Little Theater.

Eighty-five students are expected to earn their master’s degrees in English this summer: 49 Master of Arts (M.A.) and one Master of Letters (M.Litt.) degrees at Ripton; 22 M.A. degrees at Oxford; and 13 M.A.s at Santa Fe. Candidates for the master’s degree typically take courses for four or five summers, and students are free to decide which of the three campuses they wish to attend in any given summer.

Two honorary Doctor of Letters degrees will be conferred at the Ripton, Vt., ceremony this year. The recipients are: Louis Bernieri M.A. ’80 and Nancie Atwell, who attended several sessions of the School of English. Bernieri, an English teacher at Phillips Andover Academy since 1977, started an enrichment program for Lawrence (Mass.) public school teachers modeled after the Bread Loaf School of English. Atwell, a retired teacher and author from Maine, recently received the $1 million Global Teacher Prize from the Varkey Foundation.

On all three campuses the graduates choose an admired faculty member to deliver an address and a member of the faculty or staff to place the master’s hoods on each of the graduates. Tradition holds that the class president at each campus also speaks and presents the class gift to the school.

The School of English is one of Middlebury’s summer residential graduate programs offering courses in literature and the related fields of literacy and pedagogy, creative writing, and theater arts. Students, most of whom are K-12 English or language arts teachers, come from across the United States and beyond for one or more summers of intensive continuing education.

For more information about the Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English, consult the website or contact the administrative offices at (802) 443-5418 or