Founding and Governance

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Middlebury is a liberal arts college of the first rank, an achievement that is the result of a process of growth and change that began in 1800, when a few men of the town of Middlebury took upon themselves the challenge of building a college in a small New England town, on what was then the American frontier. Over the more than two centuries since it was established, Middlebury has developed from “the town’s college” into an institution of international renown.

A New Chapter

In 2015, Middlebury celebrated the inauguration of its 17th and first female president, Laurie L. Patton. With a focus on the institutional optimism that attracted her to Middlebury, Patton has expressed her deep commitment to creating a diverse, welcoming community with full and equal participation for all individuals and groups. In 2016, under her leadership, Middlebury embarked upon a strategic planning initiative called Envisioning Middlebury, which brought together faculty, staff, students, and alumni across all of Middlebury’s schools, programs, and campuses to engage in conversations that will ultimately lead to the creation of a new set of strategic directions for the institution.

For more information about governance, please visit Governance at Middlebury.

Legal Status

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Middlebury is a nonprofit educational corporation incorporated under the laws of the state of Vermont. Middlebury is a tax-exempt institution under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

The governing body of Middlebury is the Board of Trustees, which has delegated broad authority to Middlebury’s president, senior leaders and faculty to manage Middlebury’s schools and programs.

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The formal legal name of Middlebury is “President and Fellows of Middlebury College,” often referred to simply as “Middlebury.”

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The Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) at Monterey offers graduate programs in international policy studies, translation and interpretation, language education, and international business, which have propelled alumni into international careers that address the critical challenges of this century. It is a school that is part of Middlebury.

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The Middlebury Language Schools are part of Middlebury and run during the summer on the Middlebury, Vermont, campus. Middlebury’s first summer language school—the German School—was founded in 1915, followed by the French and Spanish schools in 1916 and 1917, respectively. During the summer, courses are offered to approximately 1,500 students from beginning to graduate level in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, and Spanish; study is also offered in Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese. 

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The Bread Loaf School of English is a graduate program of Middlebury that takes place on three campuses each summer (St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Lincoln College, University of Oxford, in England; and the Bread Loaf Mountain campus in Vermont) for an intensive six-week course of study. Students may enroll for one or more summers for continuing graduate education, or they may pursue a full program of study leading to the Master of Arts or Master of Letters degrees in English over the course of four to five summers.

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The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences are a series of Middlebury programs that take place during the summer. The oldest writers’ conference in America, Bread Loaf held its first session a generation before “creative writing” became a course of study in educational settings. Today Bread Loaf is again leading the way with programs dedicated to environmental writing and literary translation.

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The Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad, located in 37 cities in 16 countries, are part of Middlebury designed to immerse undergraduate students in the language and culture of the host nation. The Schools Abroad also offer expanded opportunities for graduate study in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, or Spanish for those pursuing master’s degrees.

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The Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium (GMHEC) is a separate legal entity that is the collaborative endeavor of three Vermont colleges: Champlain College, Middlebury College, and Saint Michael’s College. The goal of the GMHEC is to create and foster collaborative endeavors among member institutions by serving as an agent for economic and educational initiatives that bring value to all. This partnership is determined to find ways to reduce administrative costs and improve services common to all three institutions. In turn, this will create greater efficiency and help to reduce costs over the long term, which will benefit our higher education community.

Office of the General Counsel
9 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury, VT 05753

gc@middlebury.edu