by Jeffrey Dayton-Johnson

Dear Middlebury Institute Community,

As we all do our part to help limit the spread of COVID-19, it has become increasingly clear that our spring Commencement celebration cannot take place as planned, in-person, on Saturday, May 16. Our celebrations will instead be adapted to be a series of virtual events. We would also like to invite all members of the spring 2020 graduating class, and their families, to participate in a future ceremony of their choice. At any future ceremony in which 2020 graduates participate, they will be celebrated and recognized as members of this class.

Spring Commencement is a beloved tradition and graduates greatly value the opportunity to celebrate the culmination of their hard work with classmates, family, and friends. Ours is an intimate community, and for most of our faculty and staff, celebrating the achievements of our graduates at Colton Hall is the highlight of the year. Even though we will not be gathering physically in May this year, we will honor the traditions we have established through the years—Mike Gillen will play the bagpipes; you will laugh (and possibly cry a little) over the speeches; there will be flags!; and, of course, ample cheering for what our graduates have accomplished with the support of their families and their faculty. 

This decision may not come as a surprise to most of you, as this is one that educational institutions around the country have unfortunately been forced to make in this year of unprecedented measures. We have established a team of staff and students from the graduating class who are already working on several innovative ideas to honor graduates and this important milestone in a meaningful and memorable way.

Stay tuned for more information about these plans in the weeks to come, as well as the announcement of the Alumni Achievement Awards next week.

Sincerely,

Jeff Dayton-Johnson

VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Institute

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