This website was created in the fall of 2018 by Will DiGravio ’19 and Randy Spillane ’19 for “Vermont Life’s Vermont: A Collaborative Web Project,” overseen by Professors Kathryn Morse and Michael Newbury at Middlebury College. The end result is a byproduct of roughly two months of work. This website is not meant to be a definitive study of higher education in Vermont Life, but rather, an introduction to what one may expect to find in the magazine. The complete archive of Vermont Life can be found here.


Due to the limited time given to complete this project, we did not read every article about higher education in Vermont Life, nor did we examine every individual issue of the magazine. Instead, using the magazine’s online archive we typed the word “college” into the “search text content” feature and skimmed the results, looking for articles that were about college or that dealt with college in a significant way. For example, an article about an individual who went to “Middlebury College” and made no other reference to higher education would not have been part of our study. Given the nature of this methodology, there may have been articles that we missed or did not include.

Future Questions

Our two areas of study — the liberal arts and engaging communities — are simultaneously complementary and dissimilar. The former deals with isolation, the idea that the liberal arts education is an oasis that allows one to disassociate completely from society. The latter deals with the essential role that colleges play in the places and economies in which they operate. There is an inherent tension there, one that may be used to explain why college students are not always popular with the communities in which they live. What are we to make of this tension? Of this symbiosis?