| by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Any athlete understands the importance of momentum. Each time you achieve a goal, it provides a fresh boost of energy and focus and confidence as you prepare to move on to the next one. And while the Middlebury Institute doesn’t compete in any NCAA-approved leagues—regrettably, multilingualism hasn’t yet been recognized as a competitive sport—as an institution, we have a keen appreciation for the difference momentum can make.

At least, that’s what came to mind earlier this fall as I contemplated the fact that the Institute recently surpassed our fairly ambitious goals on two of the most important metrics for any postsecondary educational institution—enrollment and fundraising.

In a year when many smaller schools have struggled to meet their enrollment targets, applications to the Institute rose 17 percent and enrollment was up 8 percent. Those figures suggest another conclusion borne out by the data—at the same time enrollments rose, selectivity actually increased, meaning the Institute is attracting both more and (on average) better students. These results could not have been achieved without a great deal of hard work by staff and faculty, as well as new investments made in our recruiting and outreach activities that have enabled us to be more strategic and effective in sharing the Institute’s message with the right audiences.

At the same time enrollments rose, selectivity actually increased, meaning the Institute is attracting both more and (on average) better students.
— Jeff Dayton-Johnson

On the fundraising side, the fiscal year ending June 30 was one of the most successful years of fundraising in the school’s 61-year history, with more than $4.2 million raised from the second highest number of individual donors we’ve ever recorded. The annual June challenge—staked by four alumni who collectively pledged $56,000—played an important role in these results, generating a single-month record of 412 gifts totaling $156,000. This effort alone netted $212,000 for the Institute and boosted giving and participation totals significantly.

These funds will go toward scholar- ships for students, immersive learning opportunities, faculty development, research support, and campus improvements, among other key initiatives, all ultimately aimed at supporting the core of the Institute’s mission: academic excellence. Attracting brilliant students who are determined to make a difference in the world is just the start; then we have to deliver a genuinely meaningful and transformative educational experience. Every dollar we raise on top of student tuition helps us to improve the student experience here in Monterey, as well as anywhere in the world our students may travel on one of our immersive professional learning opportunities.

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Jason Warburg