Lakeside Pathrunning in Chicago

The usual chaotic end to the academic year has limited my local trail running, but a short work-related trip to Chicago gave me the opportunity to explore a city that I have never been to before.  Well, I guess I was there once – in my teens my family did our version of the Chevy Chase road trip, and piled into our trusty Wagon Queen Family Truckster and road tripped from coast to coast and back in 3 weeks.  We didn’t have the funds to spend the night in Chicago, so we drove through, got out of the car for 5 minutes along Lake Michigan, and continued on to visit a cheese factory in Wisconsin.  I am not making this up.  And I digress.

One of the best ways to see a new city, and get the lay of the land, is to go for a run.  So, on my first morning I stepped out of my high-rise hotel, just a few blocks from Lake Michigan and a little north of the Chicago River, and attempted to sync up my Garmin GPS watch.  After a good 10 min of waiting for it to grab the satellite signals, I realized that the towering skyscrapers in this part of the city were having the same effect as walking under a canopy of maple trees – the signal filtering between the tall buildings was apparently too weak for the watch to sync.  So, I ran a few blocks east to Michigan Avenue – Chicago’s version of 5th Avenue, and south to the broad bridge over the Chicago River where there was finally enough open sky to sync up my watch.  This vantage also offered great views up “The Magnificent Mile“, the heart of downtown Chicago’s shopping, which to me appeared to be a lot of luxury mall stores in really pretty older high-rise buildings.

After crossing the bridge, I took the walkway down to the waterfront for a great view up at the famous Wrigley building, the iconic Chicago landmark, and a great view of some of the other classic buildings of Chicago’s skyline.

Chicago River and Wrigley Building

Chicago River and Wrigley Building

Adjacent to the Wrigley Building, and conveniently out of the above picture was a modern steel and glass monstrosity built by “he who must no be named”, the verbally flatulent presidential candidate known for emblazoning his architecture with the 5-letter serif font “TRUMP Stamp“.

After pausing to take this picture, I went a short distance alongside the riverfront, which was quiet now, but would be bustling with late morning tourists upon my return an hour later.  In a few minutes however, I was alongside Lake Michigan on a crystalline blue sky morning, and enjoyed the bulk of my run on the the recreational path which runs along the lake for a few miles. Heading south, I enjoyed the lake on a windless morning, running by a mix of luxury yacht clubs and public parks until I reached the peninsula leading out to the domed planetarium.  Turning around here, I caught a view of full skyline, including a nice angle on the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower.

Waterfront Yachts

Waterfront Yachts

Full Skyline

Full Skyline


I made my turnaround point a small park in front of the home of “Da Bears” Soldier Field, and its partner building, the famous natural history museum “The Field Museum”. And yes, the museum was built before the stadium. From here, I returned to my hotel room, for a 7.5 mile run which was as flat as you might expect a run in Chicago might be, except for the stairs down and up from the river to Michigan Avenue.  It was a fun run, but I am looking forward to get back to the trails, and describing them here.

The Start/Finish is at the right.

The Start/Finish is at the right.


New Special Collections exhibits just in time for summer!

Currently populating the glass cases of Davis Family Library are Margaret Armstrong book covers and historic postcards. Don’t miss the chance to see them before heading out for the summer!

As part of American Studies professor Ellery Foutch’s AMST 101 course, American Holidays, students researched holiday postcards from our collection, exploring how symbols and themes reflect the cultural mores of turn-of-the-century American life.

The postcards they studied and their comments are on display in the library atrium.

To compliment this exhibit, college archivist Danielle Rougeau curated and designed an exhibit featuring postcards and scrapbooks from the archives. The postcards capture Middlebury College’s landscape and characters as well as the role of postcard correspondence through history.

Postcard from Marjorie Phelps, class of 1917, to her mother. As she mentions, she and her roommate are pictured on the reverse.
Postcard from Marjorie Phelps, class of 1917, to her mother. As she mentions, she and her roommate are pictured on the reverse.

Rounding out our summer exhibits is a tribute to Margaret Armstrong, curated by Joseph Watson and designed by Danielle Rougeau. Margaret Armstrong (1867-1944), one of the most accomplished book cover designers of the early twentieth century, produced cover art and illustrations for over 270 books.

Come to Special Collections to see a selection of her cover designs and learn more about her life!

Can you tell which cover Margaret Armstrong didn’t design? Come to Special Collections for a closer look and the answer!


Middlebury will Adopt Canvas

In January, 2016, the ACTT (formerly CTT) submitted a recommendation for Middlebury to adopt Canvas. We have received budget approval, and will begin the work of moving Middlebury into the Canvas service.

Thank you to all of the faculty and students that participated in the pilot. Your participation and feedback (Midd and MIIS) helped to make a strong recommendation. And thank you to Joe Antonioli, Bob Cole, Bill Koulopoulos, Stacy Reardon, Shel Sax and Heather Stafford for supporting these classes during the pilot.

Also, thank you to all of the schools that provided us with insight and the benefit of their experience with Canvas. We learned a lot from you.

There is a lot of work still to be done to move Canvas from pilot to enterprise, but we do hope that you take a moment to celebrate this milestone and the collective effort to get to this point.

Weekly Web Updates – May 23, 2016


Fixes and Tweaks

  • A problem with Drupal’s video_filter module failing to correctly parse YouTube pop-up overlays on our Drupal sites has been resolved.
  • The Open Video Overlay class is now available when creating hyperlinks on
  • The photo enlarge functionality on upper right images has been fixed, and captions will now appear underneath the popped up image, if the image title or description fields are set.
  • The list of GO links sorted by destination now sorts by destination, instead of the code’s description. The code’s destination also now prints next to the first alias.
  • When running the Course Hub’s site building/update functionality, custom page settings granting extra resources to certain programs piloting those resources will now be properly retained.

Cue Kevin Bacon! National Polls Show General Election Dead Heat!

Cue the panic! Two new national polls are out,  and and they show Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a near tie in a hypothetical general election matchup. That represents a considerable tightening of the survey results from a month ago, when Clinton held double digit leads over Trump in most national polls, as this […]

ACTT In-Progress Project Presentation for GoogleApps for Edu and OneDrive

[This meeting was rescheduled from May 17th to May 31st.]

Tuesday, May 31st from 3-4pm
LIB 105A or Polycom 712833

The new ACT Team process includes in-progress project presentations. These presentations are meant to inform the community about how things are going, what has been done and what still needs to be done, what is going well and what are the challenges.


In this meeting we will look at the GoogleApps for Edu and OneDrive projects.

In-progress project presentations are open meetings, anyone may attend. Please feel free to share the invitation with anyone you feel is interested in the topics discussed.

ACTT Extended Team Meeting Agenda for May 24, 2016

Extended Team meetings are closed meetings that allow the members to focus on discussions and work that needs to be done. You are receiving an invitation because you are either on the Extended Team or Project Team.