Middlebury College President Patton to Step Down in December | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice


Middlebury College President Patton to Step Down in December


Published May 2, 2024 at 4:20 p.m.

  • Courtesy Middlebury College
  • Laurie Patton
Middlebury College president Laurie Patton will leave her post next year to helm the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a prestigious honorary society and research center based in Cambridge, Mass., that was founded during the American Revolution.

Patton has led Middlebury since 2015 and is the only woman to serve as president in its 224-year history. The private liberal arts college announced her forthcoming departure on Thursday. She will continue in her role through the end of 2024.

"I have no words to describe my gratitude for and joy about Middlebury, and who we have become together in the world," Patton wrote in a public letter.

The chair of the college's board of trustees, Ted Truscott, described Patton's new position as an "extraordinary honor for Laurie — and for Middlebury.”

The Massachusetts legislature chartered the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1780 to promote learning in the new country. Its founding members included John Adams. More than 14,000 members across academic and creative disciplines have been elected by their peers in the centuries since. Today, the academy also serves as an independent research center dedicated to advancing the common good.

Patton, a scholar of religion and experienced college administrator, was elected to the society in 2018. Prior to Middlebury, she held a deanship at Duke University.

In his own open letter, Truscott said college trustees would soon begin an "accelerated" search for Middlebury's next president. The board plans to release a timeline and assemble a search committee in the weeks ahead.

Truscott said the process would be "inclusive" and "as transparent as possible."

"We will be looking for a new president to build on the achievements of the past decade and take us to new heights," he said.

Middlebury is one of the most prestigious and well-heeled liberal arts colleges in the country, with a $1.4 billion endowment. The annual cost of undergraduate tuition and fees, excluding financial aid, is about $87,000.

Related Stories

Speaking of...



Comments are closed.

From 2014-2020, Seven Days allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we've appreciated the suggestions and insights, right now Seven Days is prioritizing our core mission — producing high-quality, responsible local journalism — over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.