is a small, selective liberal arts
college located in the small, New England hamlet of Middlebury, Vermont. Founded in 1800, the college has a long history of distinguished scholarship, and is particularly known for the strength of its
foreign language and writing programs. Today, Middlebury consistently ranks among the top liberal arts colleges in the nation.
The 350 acre (1.4 km²) main campus is located between Vermont's Green Mountains to the east and New York's Adirondack
Mountains to the west, while nearby is a 1,500 acre (6 km²) mountain campus, where Middlebury operates the Bread Loaf School
of English and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, founded by poet Robert
Frost, every summer.Approximately 2,300 students attend Middlebury during the regular academic year. Founded in 1915, the Middlebury Language
Schools take over the campus during the summer, teaching about 1,200 students Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese,
Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.Alexander Twilight, class of 1823, was the first black
graduate of any college in the United States.Middlebury competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference; its athletic strengths are in
lacrosse, hockey, and skiing, but generally enjoys success in all disciplines. Also, it has approximately 30 varsity NCAA teams. The Middlebury campus includes a downhill ski area, the Middlebury College Snow Bowl,
and the Carroll and Jane Rikert Ski Touring Center in the mountains near the Bread Loaf campus. The college mascot is the
panther.In May 2004, an anonymous benefactor made a $50 million donation to Middlebury. It was
the largest cash gift the school has ever received. The donation brought Middlebury's total endowment to more than $700 million.
The donor asked only that Middlebury name its recently built science building, Bicentennial Hall, after outgoing President
John McCardell Jr.