A rain delay may have bumped the celebration back a few days but it certainly couldn’t dampen their spirits. Team Middlebury was more than prepared for their ceremonial kick-off, aptly named “Uprising,” during which the incredibly committed group of students literally raised the first wall of the house they have designed and are constructing as participants in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition. Inspired by historic New England farmhouses, Self-Reliance will eventually be a comfortable, sustainable and entirely solar-powered home for a family of four. Team Manager Melissa Segil ’11 welcomed the crowd and Construction Lead Alex Jopek ’11 rallied the troops. President Liebowitz reminded onlookers that while this undertaking may be a first for Middlebury it’s in no way the last we’ve seen of this kind of student-driven creativity and innovation.