Update: Former SGA President Charlie Arnowitz has released the following video to address the “We the Middkids” petition to keep commencement outside.
Early Friday afternoon after taking a class photo, the graduating class of 2013 was informally told that this year’s commencement ceremony, taking place on Sunday, would be moving indoors. The commencent website states that the ceremony will take place outdoors, rain or shine. This move would limit students to only two guests at the ceremony, with others forced to watch a live stream elsewhere.
Not even an hour after the announcement, students have taken it upon themselves to keep the ceremony outside. Former SGA President Charlie Arnowitz just sent out an email to the senior class encouraging them to email President Liebowitz the following sample message:
As a member of the Class of 2013, I respectfully request that the Commencement Ceremony remain outside. Many of us have friends and relatives who have traveled here from around the country and the world under the premise that they would be able to attend Commencement, rain or shine, as it represents an important achievement for each of us. We strongly feel that the ceremony should remain outdoors in order to remain as accommodating as possible.
Members of the Class of 2013
MiddBlog will update this post as more reactions and responses from the administration are received.
So what if commencement was two weeks ago? It’s advice season on the Internet. Everyone picks the end of May and early June to dish their pearls of advice career-related or not. But instead of fighting it, I welcome the deluge of wisdom both good, bad and mediocre. I encourage you to consider this an open thread in the comments: what advice would you give to the class of 2011 at Middlebury? Read more
593 Middlebury students graduated on Sunday. The weather held and even stayed sunny for the Class of 2011′s commencement after almost a week of rain showers.
Addressing yesterday’s graduates were student speaker Donnie Dickson and celebrated Paralympic skiier and motivational speaker Chris Waddell of Middlebury’s Class of 1991. Dickson spoke of the changes the entire class had undergone in 4 years and what it truly means to be a MiddKid (full text). Meanwhile, Waddell emphasized the gift that comes from facing challenges, using his own disability as an example. His main message to the graduates: “It’s not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you.” (full text) Both Dickson and Waddell spoke of the incredible bonds within the Middlebury community and how those connections are not severed when one leaves our beautiful campus in Vermont.
The ceremony also included a moment of silence in memory of the three members of the class that died during their time as students in the past four years: Pavlo Levkiv, Ben Wieler, and Nick Garza. Read more
The College announced today that National Ski and Paralympic Hall of Famer Chris Waddell will be giving the Middlebury commencement speech for the Class of 2011 on Sunday, May 22. Waddell is a Midd Grad of the Class of 1991 and the founder of the nonprofit organization One Revolution, whose mission is to educate people worldwide about the range of human capability. Waddell was left paralyzed from the waist down after a skiing accident in 1988. A year later, he was back on the slopes and has since become the most decorated male skier in Paralympic history. In addition to his work with One Revolution, Waddell has worked with the International Paralympic Committee and has also had a successful career as a motivational speaker, addressing the topic of human resilience. He has inspired many with his overall motto of “It’s not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.”
In addition to Waddell the College will also be honoring Padma Desai, Sen. Patrick Leahy, Dorothy Bigelow Neuberger, Edward M. Rubin and Maxine Atkins Smith with honorary degrees.
For more details, especially concerning this year’s honored guests, check out The Middlebury Campus article.