In the fall of 2021, Middlebury College abruptly removed the Mead family name from the Memorial Chapel that Governor John Mead built to honor his ancestors. Many of us have been quite upset ever since. It’s wrong on many fronts: the Governor conditioned his gift on using the name, the College has reaped enormous benefits from the Chapel for more than a century and the cancel culture that led to this act needs to be challenged. Erasure of Governor Mead’s legacy, based on some remarks in a 1912 speech, is directly contrary to the College’s policy on free expression and its professed tolerance for views that are controversial. Indeed, it conflicts with the very purpose of an institution of higher learning, which is to seek knowledge and pursue the truth.
Accordingly, the Governor’s estate has filed a complaint in Superior Court seeking justice from the College. The family has graciously asked me to serve as Administrator for this matter and I am honored to assume that responsibility. I’m confident that a jury, upon examining all the evidence, will recognize the unfairness of what has happened. I’ll sleep better knowing that I’ve done what I can to restore the good name of a generous alumnus and dedicated public servant.
We look forward to sharing information on this website as it becomes available. We hope that you'll let the College's Trustees and the media know how you feel.
Jim Douglas Special Administrator Estate of Governor John Mead