Douglas, a prominent Middlebury alum, skips 50th reunion over college’s cancel culture

By Jennifer Kabbany | The College Fix

James Douglas is one of the most prestigious graduates of Middlebury College in the Vermont-based institution’s 222-year history.


Former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas

Douglas graduated from Middlebury in 1972. A Republican, he was elected Vermont’s governor in 2002 and served four two-year terms. Prior to that, he served for 12 years as the Green Mountain State’s secretary of state, as well as eight years as its treasurer.

If Middlebury ever bragged on Douglas in the past, it may not have that right anymore: Douglas is sort of disowning his alma mater. His May 19 op-ed for the New York Sun is headlined: “Why I’m Skipping My 50th Reunion at Middlebury College.”

In it, Douglas takes issue with Middlebury’s decision to shun another of the state’s former governors, John Mead, also an alumnus of the college, for its abrupt September 2021 decision to remove Mead’s name from its chapel:

It had been Mead Memorial Chapel for more than a century, since a former Vermont governor, John Mead, donated the funds to construct it on the grounds of his — and my — alma mater. He specified its name, to which the trustees readily agreed. …

Middlebury’s denigration of Governor Mead sullies the reputation of a decent man, as well as a generous benefactor. The September 27 statement portrays him as essentially a precursor of Hitler, rather than presenting him in the context of his time. Support for eugenics was mainstream in the early 20th century, embraced by leaders in society, education and government, including, most likely, the Trustees who gratefully accepted his gift. …

John Mead not only served his state with distinction; he and a group of classmates interrupted their studies to join the Union Army. He appeared in arms at Gettysburg and subsequently returned to complete his degree. He practiced medicine for a while, but his prosperity derived from several manufacturing firms that created prosperity for many families. He was a Middlebury trustee, received an honorary degree, and gave generously to our alma mater, beyond financing the Chapel. …

Nearly everyone’s legacy is mixed. I’ll bet all of us have at some point made a remark or written a comment that, upon reflection, seems inappropriate, even offensive, and that we later regret. Is that the sole basis on which a long and distinguished career should be judged? Under the scrutiny of the Thought Police, no one’s legacy is safe. …

I’ll miss seeing my classmates and reminiscing about our college days. My regret would be greater, however, if I were to pretend that I was happy to be there, in the shadow of Mead Chapel, the scene of the College’s expunction of the Governor’s legacy.

I hope that the institution’s officials reconsider this unfortunate deed. Cancel culture is alive and well at Middlebury, so, for now, I’ll celebrate alone.

The College Fix has tracked several additional cancel culture examples at Middlebury in recent years.

In January 2021, it revoked Gov. Rudy Giuliani’s honorary degree. In 2019, administrators abruptly canceled a talk by conservative Polish philosopher and politician Ryszard Legutko several hours before he was set to give his talk. He ended up giving it in secret on campus.

And, most infamously, in 2017 a rowdy crowd of students protested political scientist Charles Murray in a demonstration that left one professor injured and sent to the ER. Professor Allison Stanger had gone to the ER with a neck injury after escorting Murray from campus surrounded by a mob of protesters.

Image courtesy of TNR

11 thoughts on “Douglas, a prominent Middlebury alum, skips 50th reunion over college’s cancel culture

  1. I just checked the cost to attend Middlebury….Tuition, Room and Board comes to $72,000 a year, stated. Can you imagine that? Parents willing to pay $280,000 for four years – simply to see their kids being leftist indoctrinated? And how many degree’s are given there have little value in the real world? Science, Tech, Business, Engineering, Math? Those areas are not Mibddlebury’s strong points….but a “Liberal” educatiion, is. Four years being expertly schooled for protest marches, placards & posters?

  2. Douglas, as many other alumni, are disgusted and ashamed and sickened at the “WOKE direction” taken by Middlebury College.

  3. Actions such as Gov. Douglas’s principled response to Middlebury College administration’s antics are sorely missed and missing in Vermont.
    Bravo, Sir!

  4. Muddle berry collage should be made to change their name from collage to
    indoctrination center. A collage would welcome all speech and let the student
    determine their interpretation, not ban any the administration don’t approve of.
    Good for Gov Douglas on taking a stand as all alumni should along with no more
    donations until the school reverts it’s nazi stand on speech.

  5. I think this is very, very admirable.
    It’s about time we saw good people dare to rise up and take a stand against the Woke culture that is really destroying the country at this point.
    It’s certainly not improving Vermont any- according to the numbers.

  6. I have always admired Governor Douglas. He was, and continues to be, an honest, thoughtful example of the best in politics. A true leader with compassion for the working Vermonter. His recent “disowning” of Middlebury College shows his concern, respect for history and courage.
    I regret that the influx of Dem-Progs, especially in the Vermont statehouse and governmental agencies, has made his inclusive, “down to earth” style of governing impossible.
    Governor Scott has shown signs of a yearning to return to common sense government, but he is pragmatic enough to realize that, under the current political “leadership”, his only successes are in making things a little less-worse than they otherwise would be. He cannot make things better, without help from the legislature.
    We need to clean house (and senate) in Montpelier.


      Go to the polls and be an observer

      Vermont has a huge, padded, registered voter list, courtesy of Condos
      Vermont has universal mail out of ballots
      Vermont has universal HARVESTING of ballots
      Vermont does not require any personal ID
      Vermont Town Clerks are not allowed to even ASK for an ID, BY LAW!!!

      All these measures are to promote/facilitate fraud
      Watch the movie 2000 MULES for a shocking, fraud eye opener.

      Ballot box stuffing is alive and well in Vermont

  7. Jim Douglas, the best and wise Vermont governor we have had in modern history. The only governor to run this state with a balanced budget the entire time he was in office. He is totally correct not to attend with the shameful, sad cancel culture at Middlebury of great people of different time in this state. Cancel culture is nothing but fascism in disguise………I for one commend Douglas to having principles and standing up to the fascists.

Comments are closed.