“People had been sitting there for an hour and Dick Gregory was the featured speaker that evening, but he hadn’t arrived and he actually got off a bus and walked up from the bus station in town up to Mead Chapel in blue jeans and a dungaree jacket and just walked straight in, right up to the podium, and delivered a two-hour spellbinding presentation.”
—Tom McNeill ’74
Laurie Patton: A Midd Moment is when you have to stop, pause, and contemplate the fact that you’re part of such an amazing community. It could be the moment when you’re walking the three members of the class of the 70th Reunion up the aisle; the entire Mead Chapel is thumping on their canes and cheering. One of them looks up at me and says, “I’m not staying in my wheelchair for the first woman president of Middlebury.” There’s so many moments like this, and they’re not just the national championship moments. They’re not just the award moments. They are the everyday moments where things come together in a particularly Middlebury way that inspires us all.
Johanna: Hi, my name’s Johanna Smith, also known as Joey. I was Class of 1973, and I’m here with one of my two daughters who went to Middlebury. I’m helping take care of her children at her Reunion so she can enjoy the Reunion. To me that’s a Middlebury moment because Middlebury is so full of families that had children go to Middlebury, had cousins go to Middlebury. It’s a very family-oriented experience to me, so I’m back after 46 years with my daughter at her 15th, enjoying every moment.
Interviewer: Thank you so much.
Tom: Tom McNeill, Class of 1974. I remember the moment, it was actually in Mead Chapel, which was packed just like it was today. I’m not exactly sure what year it was, I think it might’ve been ’73, but Mead Chapel was packed. All of the surrounding balconies, the whole place was packed. People had been sitting there for an hour and Dick Gregory was the featured speaker that evening, but he hadn’t arrived and he actually got off a bus and walked up from the bus station in town up to Mead Chapel in blue jeans and a dungaree jacket and just walked straight in, right up to the podium, and delivered a two-hour spellbinding presentation. He went straight for two hours and people were just unbelievably responsive to his presentation. It was a great Middlebury event.
Interviewer: It sounds like a sight to behold. Thank you so much.
Mason: I’m Mason Arndt. I’m graduating in 2021. My Midd Moment is every Monday and Wednesday when I’d be a language table TA and I would see such a diverse amount of kids. So many kids come through and speak Spanish and all the other kids that came to all the other language tables as well. To me it’s my Midd Moment because it shows what’s unexpected about people and how many people have different talents that you wouldn’t expect.
Ellie: Ellie Krause, Eleanor, year 2014. So my freshman year, like two months in, my dad died, and I came back to school and this community created a place where I could heal and grow and truly become my fullest self. And I’ve always wanted to thank Middlebury for creating the space for that and never had the opportunity. So I’m really grateful to all the people who truly supported me and were there for me.
Henry: Okay. So my name is Henry Bell, Class of 2014. My Midd Moment comes from my freshman year. I was in Battell, just the best freshman dorm you can have, and I would get back from a late night. Maybe I was at a party, maybe I was studying, whatever it was. I’d roll into my dorm and into my double, and my roommate would be there. He’d be a little out of it. He’d be watching Friday Night Lights on his computer with a giant gallon jug of peanut butter and a spoon. He would be going to town, and he would finish this gallon jug of peanut butter in one night’s sitting. He probably watched like six episodes of Friday Night Lights and wake up in the morning and he’d have that gallon jug of peanut butter totally licked clean in his trashcan. He’d be like, “Dude, why’d you eat all my peanut butter?” He would have zero recollection that he had polished his entire gallon of peanut butter. This was a regular thing. The trashcan would have like three empty jugs of peanut butter in it. I kid you not. Great, great freshman roommate experience.
Speaker 8: Hello.
Interviewer: So these are my roommates. Don’t actually put this in the podcast because we aren’t supposed to be on this. This is Elaine.
Speaker 8: Hey.
Interviewer: This is Isa.
Speaker 9: Hi.
Interviewer: This is Jocelyn.
Speaker 10: Hi.
Interviewer: Do you guys have any Midd Moments to share?
Speaker 9: Nah.
Speaker 8: I feel like you should talk about your experience like just—
Interviewer: Yeah, what’s your Reunion experience? How did you game Reunion?
Speaker 8: We talked to a friend and they gave us fake name tags and we just snuck in to get some food. We’re having a great time.
Interviewer: Sounds awesome. What a wonderful Midd Moment. Again, please don’t put this in the podcast.
Patricia: My name is Patricia Sherlock Davidson and I was in the Class of ’59. I’m back for my 60th Reunion and having a wonderful time. One of the main moments for me was that I was in the first class that was allowed to do honors theses, and so that really launched my career of doing research and getting my doctorate and just continuing research and writing, and I felt I learned so much from Middlebury. Then I was honored to be on the Board of Trustees and to get one of their alumni awards, which was very meaningful to me. So all of that is precious, and this weekend has been a wonderful time to see so many classmates and good friends.
Speaker 12: Thank you to everyone who shared their Middlebury moments at this year’s Reunion. If you’re just joining us, make sure to subscribe to Midd Moment, where you can hear conversations between Middlebury alum and friends and our own president and professor of religion, Laurie Patton. Thanks for listening.
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