Things That Happened, Things to Do: Week of 3/26

Our 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


  • He was an at-risk teenager in Pittsburgh later named a MacArthur “Genius” for his lifelong work with his city’s disadvantaged, and last week the College announced that Bill Strickland will deliver the 2012 commencement address on Sunday, May 27. Strickland’s life took a hopeful turn when he learned the art of pottery in high school; he’s since helped tens of thousands of kids learn respect and motivation through the arts at MCG Youth and Arts Program. His Bidwell Training Center’s success in developing employment is a national model. He and the College’s honorary degree recipients promise an inspiring send-off for the Class of 2012.

  • spent some time with history of art and architecture professor Pieter Broucke (who’s simultaneously director of the arts, ancient art curator of the Middlebury Museum, and Belgian) getting the low-down on a new photography exhibit. Broucke and Juliette Bianco, curator of Dartmouth’s Hood Museum, are sequentially hosting “Nature Transformed: Edward Burtynsky’s Vermont Quarry Photographs in Context.”  The stunning images show the negative space left in nature by building with stone—“inverted skyscrapers.” The exhibit doesn’t reach Middlebury until February 2013, so whet your artistic appetite with Salon’s cool slide show.

  • J.D. Rothman’s Huffington Post blog, “The Neurotic Parent” humorously suggests starting the “college tour from hell” with a visit to Middlebury. While admitting it’s a fabulous school, she finds the distance from major airports a challenge to familial travel tempers. Only the strong survive, honey.

  • As we were saying about the strong, two Middlebury women just won Watson Fellowships for a year of international travel. Zaheena Rasheed ’11, a political science major and Davis United World College scholar from Maldives, will explore disciplined nonviolence in emerging democracies; Rhidaya Trivedi ’12, an environmental policy major from Toronto, will investigate how soot-free cooking stoves can improve health and lower climate impacts in developing countries. Rasheed and Trivedi were among the 40 fellows selected from a pool of 700 candidates.

  • Travelers of an earlier century are the focus of Baylor University history professor David E. Mungello’s talk, “Western Queers in China: Flight to the Land of Oz” on Tuesday, April 3 at 4:30. Drawing from his just-published book of the same name, Mungello will look at the allure China held for 19th-century western homosexuals.  Many were able to escape their own countries’ repression to find intellectual, social, and artistic fulfillment in their new “Oz.” (Note: Here “Flight” plus “Oz” does not equal scary monkeys.)

  •  Chill out Friday night with free jazz by the Bob Gagnon Trio at 51 Main. Vermont-born Gagnon counts among his influences such greats as Django Reinhardt and Bucky Pizzarelli. Bassist Nick Warner and drummer Bob Levinson will help funkify the proceedings. Starts at 9 pm.



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