Middlebury College is a private liberal arts college located in Middlebury, Vermont. Founded in 1800, it is one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the United States. Drawing 2,526 undergraduates from all 50 states and 74 countries, Middlebury offers 44 majors in the arts, humanities, literature, foreign languages, social sciences, and natural sciences. Middlebury follows a 4–1–4 academic calendar, with two four-course semesters and a one-course January term.
Middlebury is the first American institution of higher education to have granted a bachelor’s degree to an African-American, graduating Alexander Twilight in the class of 1823. Middlebury was also one of the first formerly all-male liberal arts colleges in New England to become a coeducational institution, following the trustees’ decision in 1883 to accept women. Middlebury has an acceptance rate of 17.0% and was listed as the fourth-best liberal arts college in the U.S. in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report rankings. The 2016 Princeton Review includes Middlebury in “The Best 380 Colleges,” and ranks the college 2nd for “Impact Schools,” 3rd for “Best Science Lab Facilities,” 6th for “Best College Library” and “Students Study the Most,” 9th for “Their Students Love These Colleges” and “Top 50 Green Colleges,” 13th for “Best Financial Aid” and “Professors Get High Marks,” 15th for “Best-Run Colleges,” 16th for “Best Classroom Experience,” 18th for “Best Quality of Life” and “Happiest Students,” 19th for “Least Religious Students,” 20th for “Great Financial Aid,” and 46th for “Top 50 – Colleges that Pay You Back.”
Middlebury competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. The Panthers lead the NESCAC in total number of National Championships, having won 33 team championships since the conference lifted its ban on NCAA play in 1994. Middlebury enjoys national success in soccer, tennis, cross country running, lacrosse, ice hockey, field hockey, and skiing, and fields 31 varsity NCAA teams and several competitive club teams. Since 2000, Middlebury’s varsity squads have won 54 NESCAC titles. Currently, 28% of students participate in varsity sports.
Middlebury ranked #12 nationally in 2012 according to the National Collegiate Scouting Association’s annual report, which ranks colleges based on student-athlete graduation rates, academic strength, and athletic prowess.
In the early 20th century, Middlebury’s traditional athletic rivals included the University of Vermont and Norwich University. Today, rivalries vary by sport.