Every year since 1981, the members of the senior class have honored their time at Middlebury by making a gift to the College. This year’s senior class gift is the 2017 and 2017.5 Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor the memory of our classmates Nathan Alexander and Murphy Roberts, by providing financial aid for future Middlebury students. Knowing that our time at Middlebury was shaped by our shared experiences as a class, we hope that once again we can come together and leave a lasting legacy.
We reached out to Nathan and Murphy’s families and they shared the following photos and reflections:
Middlebury was Nathan’s first and only choice for college, having attended the Bread Loaf Young Writer’s Conference while at the Hotchkiss School. Nathan studied economics, computer science, and public policy, and was a member of the Socially Responsible Investment Club, the Sailing Club, Hillel, the Southern Society and Architecture Table. Nathan felt strong commitments towards diversity and social justice. He was a gifted artist, played the violin and taught himself the ukulele, harmonica and banjo. He had boundless creativity and intellectual curiosity and ability to absorb knowledge.
Nathan had so many at Middlebury and beyond who called him their friend. When they had challenges, he was there for them. He even recognized when their troubles were serious, and coached them into professional therapy. But he didn’t share with them that he had issues himself. Unfortunately, he had a dark place that he could not open up to others. At the reception following his memorial service at Mead Chapel we were overwhelmed with people telling us how much Nathan meant to them.
Rather than focusing on what could have been, and might have been, and what was lost, we would like to focus on what we had – and to celebrate 20 years of the life of an extraordinary human being. But we hope that Nathan’s experience will inspire us to reach out to anyone who might be on his same path, but can be turned away from it.
Thanks very much to all of you for honoring Nathan’s memory. He would certainly approve of helping provide a Middlebury education to those who cannot afford the cost.
Murphy Roberts ’17 fully embraced his Middlebury experience. As a political science major with a concentration in nonproliferation studies, Murphy found many ways to expand his worldviews and deeply study his passions. He took advantage of Middlebury’s relationship with the Monterey Institute of International Studies and spent a semester there diving deeper into terrorism studies. He had many close relationships with professors and spent the summer of 2016 as a research assistant for Professor Orion Lewis. Murphy was also a member of the alpine ski team while at Middlebury, and loved being a teammate above all else. Murphy’s cheers could be heard above anyone else’s at races, and we are told that his announcing at last year’s Middlebury Carnival was, in his words, totally epic.
Above all, Murphy was as goofy as he was thoughtful, as hilarious as he was insightful, and as charismatic as he was scholarly. He made friends with almost anyone, and made a huge and lasting impact on many of his classmates. To know him was to love him; to know him is to miss him terribly. While his physical presence will be missing from graduation in May, the Roberts family hopes that his classmates will carry his spirit with them through graduation and beyond.
By giving to the 2017 and 2017.5 Memorial Scholarship Fund, you will ensure that more people like Murphy will get to expand their horizons and enrich the Middlebury community. Thank you for your consideration in giving!
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Deadline: Jun 30, 2017
Total needed: $100,000