Author Archives: Sarah Ray

Middlebury Names 10 Recipients of Virtue Award

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – In a most unusual year, Middlebury has announced the recipients of the 2020 Virtue Family Exceptional Service Awards, which are presented annually to faculty and staff.  

This year, 10 recipients were selected in recognition of the many and varied contributions of faculty and staff at Middlebury during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The 2020 Virtue Family Exceptional Service Award recipients are:

  • Lisa Apgar, Custodian
  • Megan Brakeley, Food and Garden Educator 
  • Jeffrey Buettner, Christian A. Johnson Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities 
  • Caitlin Carr, Laboratory Stores and Safety Manager 
  • Bob Cole, Director of Exploratory Initiatives and Partnerships at the Middlebury Institute 
  • Jennifer Kazmierczak, Environmental Health and Safety Officer 
  • Dana Olsen, Assistant Director of the Bread Loaf School of English 
  • Nate Orvis, Custodian 
  • Kathleen Parent, Curriculum Information Specialist 
  • Anna Vassilieva, Professor of Russian Studies, Head of the Russian Studies Program, and Director of the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies at the Middlebury Institute 

“This year’s recipients represent an exceptional group who went above and beyond in leading our work, at a time when each and every one of us was challenged to adapt, and in some cases redefine, everything we do at Middlebury,” said Middlebury President Laurie Patton, noting that the awards recognize faculty and staff who have surpassed their normal professional responsibilities to support and connect with students. 

Established in 2017 by Ted ’82 and Dani Shaw Virtue ’82, P’10, ’15 the award traditionally recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond their normal professional responsibilities to support and connect with students in ways that build a more engaged and inclusive Middlebury community. Each year, faculty, staff, and students of the College, Institute, Language Schools, Schools Abroad, Bread Loaf School of English, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences are encouraged to submit nominations for this award. A committee of faculty and staff reviewed  more than 140 nominations to select the recipients from among the 48 nominees. In recognition of this extraordinary time, the Virtues agreed to expand the number of recipients to 10 this year

Read the full Newsroom story here

Pickle Ball in Nelson

Led by Bruce Byers ’55, pickle ball is now being played three days a week in Nelson Recreation Center. It takes place at the north end of Nelson (just past the four indoor tennis courts) three days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3:00-5:00 p.m. when the court is reserved exclusively for pickle ball. Faculty, staff, and students interested in learning how to play will receive free lessons. If you’re already familiar with the game, bring some friends and play. There are rackets and whiffle balls available at the desk inside the entrance to the new field house that you can borrow free of charge. For more information, contact Bruce Byers ’55 at

Free Community Concert and Fireworks Saturday, Oct. 10

Help celebrate the inauguration of Laurie Patton as Middlebury’s 17th president by coming to a free, family-friendly concert on campus on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. The great triple bill features the iconic Québécois band, La Bottine Souriante, singer songwriter Taylor Watson, and Brad Corrigan, cofounder of the band Dispatch. The concert starts at 7 p.m. on the main quad on Old Chapel Road. Fireworks will follow the concert at 9:45 behind athletics. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and dress for cool fall weather. This is a no-alcohol event. For more information about the inauguration weekend, visit