One hundred years ago, Middlebury resolved “to conduct a School of English at the Inn next summer.”

That next summer, fifty students embarked on a journey of discovery and metamorphosis at the newborn graduate school located in the mountains beyond Middlebury. Travel along ten miles of winding dirt stagecoach road would have given these students ample time to imagine the intellectual possibilities of a summer devoted to study within a remote and spectacular backdrop.

As Bread Loaf approaches its Centennial in 2020, we’ll be sharing related news and stories. We’ll be inviting you to join in a reunion extravaganza at the Vermont campus and offering other opportunities to celebrate one hundred years of revolutionary education with us. To commence our celebratory year, we ask you to contribute to the Bread Loaf Centennial Journal with your creative work and photos. 

So begin to reminisce about your own initial journey up the mountain and to imagine what Bread Loaf can become in the next 100 years.

Bread Loaf Reunion

In response to the current pandemic, we have made the tough decision not to offer any face-to-face programming—including our Centennial Reunion and events—at the Bread Loaf campuses this summer. Our first priority is to protect the health and safety of our communities, within and beyond Bread Loaf. We do want to thank everyone who has signed on to participate in our 2020 Centennial Reunion. We appreciate—and share—your desire to be with Bread Loaf friends. We will refund your registration fees in the coming days.

Be assured that we—the Bread Loaf administration, faculty, and staff—are developing ways for us to stay connected and to learn and grow together, nonetheless. During our 2021 session, we’ll celebrate our 100-plus years by hosting special events that will be open to the full Bread Loaf community.

This summer, we will be live streaming a number of talks and readings by Bread Loaf faculty. We’ll post the schedule and links on our website by the end of June, so keep an eye out for more information about those. We hope you’ll be able to join us virtually!

The Centennial Challenge

You can help shape Bread Loaf’s second century. Make a gift for financial aid, and generous donors will match your gift 1:1 (up to a combined total of $1 million). The goal is to build support for student scholarships.

Make Your Centennial Gift

Every year, exceptional teachers who would contribute to classrooms and community—at Bread Loaf and beyond—do not enroll because they cannot afford the cost of a Bread Loaf summer. Additional funding for scholarships would enable more teachers to say yes to Bread Loaf and to take what they have learned back to their schools. Funds raised through the Centennial Challenge will make that dream a reality.

Stepping forward as Centennial challengers are Bread Loaf dean Emily Bartels, former director Jim Maddox, longtime faculty members Lucy Maddox and Andrea Lunsford, Middlebury trustee Roxanne McCormick Leighton ’67, trustee Ted Truscott ’83, and Kathy O’Connor Truscott ’83.

Bread Loaf Centennial Journal

In celebration of the idea that sparked the Bread Loaf School of English one hundred years ago, the creativity that is ignited each summer at Bread Loaf’s campuses, and the imagination that will fuel our next one hundred years, we’re asking alumni, current students, and faculty to contribute their creative work to our online, multimedia Centennial journal.

We’ll be accepting submissions of poetry, stories, essays, memoirs, creative nonfiction, flash fiction, one-act plays, lyrics, comics, photography, video, photo essays, documentaries, two-dimensional art, videos of performances and readings, or an as-yet unimagined genre of creative work.

Submit Your Work

Online Centennial Book Shop

In celebration of our Centennial, Bread Loaf faculty, staff, and alumnae/i publications are available for browsing and purchase through the website of the locally-owned Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.  

Shop the Online BLSE Centennial Book Store
25 photos in a gris showing different BLSE students wearing their t-shirts.
Bread Loafers far and wide proudly show their support on International Bread Loaf T-Shirt Day.

International Bread Loaf T-Shirt Day

Nearly one hundred years ago, Middlebury College’s board of trustees voted to open a school of English on the Bread Loaf campus. And we’re so glad they did. We commemorated that date, August 31, 1919, by instituting the first-ever International Bread Loaf T-Shirt Day.

Bread Loafers around the country and the world celebrated the founding of Bread Loaf by joining us in wearing their favorite Bread Loaf t-shirts on August 31, 2019.

Centennial Communication

We hope to send most of our Centennial-related communication electronically, so please ensure that you’ve updated your contact information.

Update Your Information

You can reach us with your Centennial-related questions and thoughts at blse100@middlebury.edu. We look forward to hearing from you.