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Monday, May 16, 2022

College Celebrates Homecoming Weekend

Author: Craig Szela Staff Writer

The Bicentennial Campaign raised $213 million dollars, $13 million more than its already ambitious goal, remarked Phil Benoit, director of public affairs. This campaign, which concluded on June 30, was celebrated during Homecoming weekend.

President John McCardell said about the celebration, "I think it was important to bring a formal, celebratory closure to the Bicentennial Campaign, and to do so when alumni were back on campus."

The largest gift, an anonymous $10 million dollars, was donated this past May to support the planned Library and Technology Center (LATC) and the financial aid program.

Ann Crumb, director of development, said the widespread support of alumni was integral to the campaign's success. Eighty-four percent participated. "Special note should be made of the contributions from members of the Board of Trustees," she noted. "As a group, they contributed $53 million."

McCardell said he was excited by this broad support of Middlebury, stating, "I think this achievement, and the way in which it was carried out bodes well for the College in the future — our donor base is much broader, our participation much higher."

The Bicentennial Campaign celebration was originally scheduled to take place in Nelson Arena. The plan was to hold the reception in the Center for the Arts with a "Young America" theme to accompany the exhibit of the same name currently on display in the Museum of Art.

"The venue was changed because Nelson Arena was not open to us," Shelley Glassner, director of college advancement administration, explained.

Fletcher Field House was used instead and required a new theme since it was too far from the Center for the Arts. "We had to make it look stunning and we accomplished that," said Glassner of the organizers' work.

Fletcher was festively decorated with pumpkins, tractors, scarecrows and candy corn. The tables were adorned with carved pumpkins lit by fire-safe glow sticks and The Unknown Blues Band played in front of a dance floor. Inside tents, lighting and decorations transformed the field house into an elegant dining room.

Not to be overlooked is the reason this all happened – College endowment gifts, totaling $90 million dollars, have led to the creation of seven new professorships, new academic programs and two coaching positions. Thirty-five million dollars was designated for financial aid. Aside from endowment, Crumb elucidated, the other major areas of support included $32 million for current academic programs such as faculty research, scientific equipment and technology in the classroom, $54 million for facilities improvement including the construction of Kenyon Arena, Bicentennial Hall and Ross Commons and $36 million towards annual giving to support current operations and programs.