Things That Happened, Things To Do: Week of January 21

dispatch_distressed-300x160Our regular recap of goings on at the College and a look ahead to events on the horizon. As always, we hope to call your attention to items that captured ours and alert you to events that you won’t want to miss. If you have a news item that you think we’d be interested in, drop us a line at

  •  The discussion was lively and informative Tuesday night as panelists debated whether environmental and social concerns should influence the College’s endowment policy at the first of a planned series of open discussions on the topic. Several panel members asserted that divestment would come with a significant cost but Bill McKibben, Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury, had another angle. Read the story and watch the video.

  • Poet Richard Blanco, who was a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2000 and has been back to visit several times, was invited to read an original poem at the inauguration of Barack Obama on Monday. Three out of the six poets invited to read inaugural poems over the years have had ties to Bread Loaf: Robert Frost, Miller Williams, and Blanco.
  • On Friday, January 18, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave an inspiring talk to Monterey Institute students urging them to advance disarmament and nonproliferation for a more peaceful future. Speaking to a packed audience in Irvine Auditorium, he lauded the Institute for its role in educating students on these issues. If you missed the talk, you can watch it here.
  • Once again, Middlebury has made the top ten. Mother Nature Network announced its “10 of the best college environmental programs in the U.S.” recently and Middlebury’s Program in Environmental Studies came in at no. 3.
  • Campus will be hopping over the next three days. The Center for Social Entrepreneurship is holding its second annual symposium with the topics of social entrepreneurship and social justice. At 7:00 p.m., Thursday, January 24, after a welcome from President Liebowitz, Billy Parish, founder and president of Mosaic, will give the opening address and have a book signing. Friday night eco-entrepreneur Majora Carter, founder of the Majora Carter Group, will give the Martin Luther King Jr. address in Mead Chapel at 7:30 p.m. after a day of workshops and activities. Saturday morning Parish, Carter, and Bill McKibben will be part of a panel discussion, “Preparing Students to Lead a Life of Meaning.” Check out the entire schedule. You’re sure to find something to attend!
  • If the arts are what you’re craving this week, the Middlebury College Orchestra will be performing Thursday, January 24, at 8:00 p.m. in the Concert Hall at the Center for the Arts. On Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m., the Dance Company of Middlebury will be celebrating their 30th anniversary with a premiere of “Simply Light,” their newest collaborative creation. Being held in the Dance Theatre at the Center for the Arts, the performances will be kicking off a tour of the seven-member company to San Francisco and the Monterey Institute.
  • And for some lighthearted fun, check out the talent show being held in the Great Hall at Bicentennial Hall next Wednesday, January 30, from 2:00–5:00 p.m. No, you won’t be watching students sing and dance. The performers are Lego robots and their feats are the culmination of the J-term class Lego Robot Design Studio, taught by David Kauchak. To get a preview of what you might see, click here.

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