Monthly Archives: March 2011

Five Questions for Luther Tenny

Luther Tenny is Assistant Director of Facilities Services.

1. As Assistant Director of Facilities Services, you are responsible for building and maintaining the College grounds. What is your favorite area of the campus?

That’s a tough question because I was born and raised in Middlebury and have several perspectives to choose from. As an employee, Voter Quad on Commencement morning at sunrise. You’ve got the sun just starting to rise hitting the peaks of Mead Chapel and Old Chapel, and the tents are up and we’ve already got a few thousand chairs set. You can see the graduating seniors heading to Alumni Stadium and eventually hear them singing in the distance. The landscaping is perfect and, for me, it is the most rewarding day of the year.

My other favorite place is the top of the Allen trail at the Snow Bowl. I’ve skied it thousands of times in my life starting at the age of 6. It’s one of my all-time favorite ski trails because of the history I have racing there. It’s not uncommon for me to head to the Bowl and take 8-10 runs on the Allen and head home.

Honorable mentions would be the deck of Kirk during sunset and the Great Hall at McCardell Bicentennial Hall.

2. We hear you’re an avid golfer. What’s your handicap and where is your favorite place to play?

Pretty personal question for a first date! I will admit I have a golfing addiction. I would have to look up my handicap, but I think I’m around a 13. I was down to about 11, but I tore my ACL (ski racing on the Allen) and getting my knee back up to strength and getting my timing back down has not been easy. Now with a new daughter I can kiss getting to single digits goodbye. My favorite place to play would have to be Lake Presidential in Maryland. Each year we go down to visit my in-laws in Annapolis, and I play this course every day including Thanksgiving morning. I like it best because I always seem to birdie the last hole of the day. I also usually win some money off of my playing partner Pete who happens to be my partner for the Member Guest tourney at Ralph Myhre. My favorite course I’ve been to but never played is Augusta National. I’ve been very lucky to attend the Masters twice, and that is perfection on every level.

3. You and your wife Carey welcomed a new daughter into your lives a few days ago. Tell us about Millie.

She’s a little peanut and looks just like her dad. Carey read somewhere that it is a biological thing for infants to look like their fathers, so the dads will “stick around.” It’s working. She’s already got me wrapped around her tiny fingers. Amelia (Millie) Bass Tenny has been the most wonderful thing. She’s perfect in every way…but all parents say that.

4. Some of your colleagues, who wish to remain nameless, want to know: Exactly how long was your hair in your skateboard punk days?

Let’s just say I’m glad facebook wasn’t around in those days. I was a walking disaster. Puberty can be so cruel. My hair wasn’t really that long because I had a bowl cut. It was like Justin Bieber meets Eminem. My hair was longest in College when I was spending my extra time traveling to see as many Phish concerts as possible. At the longest, it was down to my shoulders. I entered the working world at an engineering firm where the owner was a graduate from Norwich, so the long hair didn’t last long.

5. You grew up in town, and now work at the College.  What single word best describes life in Middlebury as you know it, and why?

Community. I think it’s great that I can bump into my old babysitter or my friends parents or even a former teacher while grocery shopping. So many high school friends left after college but came back to settle down with a family, because it’s truly a special place to grow up. After high school all I wanted to do was get out of Middlebury, but after four years of College I missed Vermont. It gets in your blood. I returned and shortly after met a group who just graduated from Middlebury. That group turned into some of my closest friends, and that’s how I met my wife Carey who also graduated from Middlebury. Not bad for a “townie.” Both my parents settled in Middlebury because of their ties to friends who graduated from Middlebury. I guess it was only natural to go to work for Middlebury College.

All-Gender Restroom Project

In recent months, Sarah Franco, Special Projects Coordinator, and Jennifer Herrera, Special Assistant to the Dean of the College, have been engaged with a group of students to develop a plan for creating all-gender (also known as gender-neutral) restrooms in non-residential buildings on campus. This initiative grew out of a recommendation put forth last spring by an ad hoc study group that published a review of potential student life issues facing transgender students. In their final report, JJ Boggs, Associate Director of Campus Activities, and Mary Hurlie, Associate Director for Career Services, recommended that the College “initiate a collaboration with other appropriate college offices, with a goal to convert as many gender-designated bathrooms into gender-neutral bathrooms as possible.”

In pursuing this recommendation, the College hopes to provide support for the safety and health of Middlebury’s transgender students, faculty, and staff. We also believe that acting on this recommendation will benefit other members of our community. For example, the presence of all-gender restrooms would provide more flexibility for disabled individuals who have opposite-gender caretakers. It would also help parents of young children since they would not have to decide which restroom to use. In sum, all-gender restrooms would create more restroom options for all people to use.

It is important to note that the majority of restrooms on this campus would still have a male or female gender designation. There are many within our community who are unable to use mixed-gender restrooms for a variety of religious and personal reasons. These perspectives are equally valued by the College.

Now that the group has engaged President’s Staff, the Space Committee, Community Council, Faculty Council, and Staff Council in conversations about the proposed changes, the College will begin implementation in two phases. In the first phase, we will change the signs on all non-residential single-stall restrooms to one that includes the male and female symbols as well as the universal symbol of accessibility where applicable.  Single-stall restrooms may then be used by anyone. We expect that this phase of the project will be complete by the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year. Because not all buildings have single-stall restrooms, the College will work collaboratively with the occupants of such buildings to identify a multi-stall restroom that could be converted to an all-gender facility. This process will likely begin in the fall. We recognize this is a sensitive issue, and so if it is not possible to reach a consensus, then there may be some non-residential buildings that do not have any all-gender restrooms.

If you have any questions or concerns about this project, please do not hesitate to send a note to Alternatively, you may leave questions and feedback in the comments section (anonymously, if you wish).

Wanted: Turf Battle Feedback

On Tuesday afternoon, three groups of students presented their proposals for the Atwater landscape. The students, staff, and faculty in the audience asked a lot of great questions and provided solid feedback for how certain aspects of each proposal could be improved. One suggestion that came up frequently was to incorporate various elements of each design into one plan.

Over at the Turf Battle blog, Tim Parsons has provided a summary of each proposal. There you can download their plans and presentation slides. We strongly encourage you to leave your questions and feedback in the comments section, or email Remember: the landscape is for the community and we want to know what you think! When the Master Plan Implementation Committee meets in the coming weeks, your ideas will be taken into consideration.