In this post we recognize Leger Grindon, Professor of Film and Media Culture for his 25 years of service to Middlebury. Leger shares information about his projects in the past, present and future, his experiences of becoming a part of the Middlebury community, and the role that tennis plays in it all. Continue on to learn how Leger has viewed his time at Middlebury as a father and teacher, as well as his wise words of advice to those new to Middlebury.
What did you do prior to work at Middlebury College and where were you located?
I was living in New York City and working as the academic coordinator in the Cinema Studies Department at New York University. I did adjunct, part-time teaching at various colleges around the New York metropolitan area in the evenings.
What job titles have you held while working at Middlebury?
Assistant, Associate and Full Professor; Program Director and Department Chair
Take us back to your first year as an employee at the College. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?
Adjusting to small town life and the long Vermont winter
What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?
Since my daughter graduated from Bard College in 2011 and moved to New York City I have been travelling to New York City more often. I went to the NYC Ballet 3 times last year. I’ve intensified my exercise program and I’m trying to meditate more frequently.
I have played tennis at the college for 25 years with faculty & staff colleagues, students and other players in the community. I have continued to watch movies both as part of my teaching and scholarship and for recreation
What is your fondest memory or experience that you’ve had while working at Middlebury?
Raising my daughter Blake.
I was very pleased to earn tenure in 1995. In 2011 I published two books, Hollywood Romantic Comedy and Knockout: the Boxer and Boxing in American Cinema. Both these works were long term projects and it was personally gratifying to complete them & rather surprising that they actually appeared in print at almost the same time even though Knockout was written before Romantic Comedy.
Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words?
Middlebury College is a fine place to work and an excellent employer.
What are your plans for the next 25 years?
I have a number of articles in the works and I expect to write one more book before I retire. I have a few options I’m considering and my direction will probably be influenced by what publishers want.
I’d like to work on my backhand and finally be able to hit a serve with pronation.
Do you have a favorite place on campus?
I’m very fond of my office at 214 Axinn; the theater class room in 232 Axinn; the tennis courts in the Nelson arena
If you could give one piece of advice to a new employee at Middlebury, what would it be?
Cultivate friendships among the faculty and staff outside your particular department or work area. Use the library, gymnasium and other fabulous facilities the college makes available to us. Bicycle to campus and around the community wherever the roads are free of ice and the temperature is above freezing. Attend the film screenings, music programs, the art museum the lectures and fully participate in other activities on campus
Is there anything else that you would like to share about your time at Middlebury?
I am very grateful to have had Middlebury College for an employer. I love my job. The students are strong, my colleagues stimulating and supportive, we have a genial staff eager and ready to serve, the administration runs the college very well . In a world that is sometimes cruel and heartless, I’ve been treated remarkably well. No doubt I don’t completely deserve my good fortune, but I have tried to serve the college as they have served me, with dedication and respect. I hope I have contributed in my role to the success of the institution.