» More than 500 graduating seniors received their diplomas and replicas of Gamaliel Painter’s cane (see “19 Things We Love About Commencement) on a wonderfully unpredictable Vermont May day. A chilly downpour gave way to parting clouds and a warming sun during the course of the ceremony, a ceremony that featured words of wisdom offered by Jacob Liberman ’09—“The life we live at Middlebury has taught me the meaning of the strength of these hills, and that is exactly the value of a Middlebury education”—and Stonyfield Farm CEO Gary Hirshberg —“I don’t know what the future holds, and neither do you. But I do know who holds the future.” Kurt Schaberg, a chem and biochem major, was recognized as the class’s valedictorian; salutatorian honors went to Nicholas Spengler, an English and American literatures major. Both seniors hail from Vermont.
» In addition to Hirshberg, six other luminaries received honorary degrees at Commencement. They were Betty A. Jones, M.A. French ’86, a longtime Middlebury trustee and champion of international education; her husband, David A. Jones, a trustee at MIIS and founder of health-care giant Humana, Inc.; John M. McCardell Jr, president emeritus of Middlebury; his wife, Bonnie G. McCardell, an advocate for children and literacy programs; Frank W. Sesno ’77, a veteran journalist and former trustee; and Clara Yu, a former Middlebury administrator and faculty member, who recently retired as president of MIIS.
» Noah Graham (physics), Bert Johnson (political science), and Amy Morsman (history) were granted tenure by the Board of Trustees this spring.
» The Language Schools are in full swing, as is the Bread Loaf School of English. This summer also marks the opening of a second Language Schools site in Oakland, California, on the campus of Mills College. Middlebury at Mills is serving as the home base for the entire Arabic School, and also offers courses in French and Spanish.
» Though the iPhone is still a relative novelty in Vermont—only last winter did AT&T extend its reach into the Green Mountain state—but that hasn’t stopped a Midd professor and a student from seeing the Champlain Valley as an incubator for Apple ingenuity. Associate computer science professor Timothy Huang and comp-sci major Bevan Barton ’10 received a $50,000 grant this spring through the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies to launch a company that will help aspiring software developers learn to make applications for the iPhone. Their company’s name is Appstone. Keep an eye on them.