Family Weekend at Bennington College

Family Weekend

September 28-30, 2018

getting to benningotn

campus map (pdf)

where to eat, sleep, explore

Family Weekend 2018 (September 28-30, 2018)

Online Registration is now closed. Should you wish to register, contact

September in Vermont is beautiful, and we recommend that you make your accommodations as soon as possible due to high demand at this time of year. 


Contact or call 802-440-4330.

All events are open to family, students, and guests unless otherwise noted.

Ongoing Events (September 28-29)

1:00-5:00 pm
Scalar, A Solo Exhibition by Torkwase Dyson
The gallery will be open from 1:00-5:00 pm on September 28-September 29. Closed Sunday. 
VAPA Usdan Gallery

Friday, September 28

*9:00 am-6:00 pm Bookstore extended hours

1:00-5:00 pm
Please check in at the registration table for your welcome packet and refreshments.
Tent at the flagpole

2:00-2:30 pm
Welcome and Orientation to Family Weekend
Xenia Markowitt, Dean of Students, and Laurie Kobik, Dean of Studies, will welcome families to campus to kick off the weekend
Cricket Hill Barn

2:00-4:00 pm
Campus Tours
Tours depart at 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm.  
Meet at the flagpole

2:30-5:00 pm
Administrative Offices Open
The offices of Academic Services, Field Work Term, Financial Aid, and Student Life are open for walk-in appointments.
The Barn (various locations)

5:30-7:00 pm
Farm-to-Table Dinner
The Farm-to-Table dinner will feature food from our own student-run Purple Carrot Farm and other local farms to give you a taste of the Vermont fall season. Tickets are located in your packet if you prepaid for dinner. If you have not prepaid but have decided to join us, we are delighted to have you; please have cash or credit available at the door.
Student Center Dining Hall

8:00-9:00 pm
Robert Frost Talk with Frost Biographer Jay Parini
Esteemed poet, author, and Middlebury College professor Jay Parini will give a reading at the Frost House and discuss his celebrated biography of Robert Frost. We will meet in the red barn outside if weather is nice, and inside the house in the main gallery if not.
Robert Frost Stone House Museum: 121 Route 7A Shaftsbury, Vermont 05262 (Meet at Flagpole for shuttle service)


Saturday, September 29

*9:30 am-5:00 pm Bookstore extended hours

8:00-9:15 am
Family Volunteering Breakfast
Join President Mariko Silver, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Matt Rizzo, and Director of Field Work Term and Career Development Faith McClellan for breakfast and conversation about how you can participate in the College community and become an integral part of the Bennington network. All are welcome to visit Bennington’s downtown office and learn about ways you can help further Bennington’s mission through involvement in Field Work Term, connecting with other parents, participating in local events, and fundraising. Register here
Office of Institutional Advancement: 105 Union Street, Bennington, Vermont 05201 (Corner of South and Union Streets; park in lot on Union Street.)

9:00-2:00 pm
Please check in at the registration table for your welcome packet and refreshments. If you have already checked in, stop by for a light continental breakfast, including coffee, tea, apple cider, and Bennington homemade granola.
Tent at the flagpole

9:00-10:45 am
Faculty Session | Kerry Woods: Reading the Bennington College landscape: the Field Biologist's View
An outdoor walking tour and ecology lab using natural history observations to explore hypotheses about Vermont’s diverse landscape history, current function, and future. Please wear shoes and clothes appropriate for walking in the woods.
Lawn in front of Jennings Music Building

9:45-10:45 am
Faculty Session | Susan Sgorbati and Brian Campion: Engaging in Public Action in a Divisive Era
Perhaps more than ever people are trying to find ways to engage in meaningful discourse and public action. CAPA offers Bennington students a range of opportunities to engage in public policy discussions and to work directly with policy makers to make effective change. We will share examples of student work, discuss the role of students at the Vermont State House, provide an opportunity to hear from CAPA students directly about their experiences, and share the multitude of projects and experiences that have evolved from CAPA over the past year.
CAPA Symposium

9:45-10:45 am
Faculty Session | Noëlle Rouxel-Cubberly: What’s in a (French) film title?
Film titles, precisely because they are a lowest common denominator, are also a way to approach a language and culture. Explored as palimpsests, we will focus on American and French film titles in order to decipher what and how they reflect us. Excerpts from Freud, Barthes, and Derrida will guide this investigation. Whatever your level in French, you should be able to pick up a few new words and deepen your cultural understanding of French language, films, and culture.
VAPA Kinoteca

9:45-10:45 am
Faculty Session | Terry Creach: Bennington’s Dance Legacy, 1932 to Today
How did Bennington College become the nurturing “Home of American Modern Dance” within just a few years of its founding in 1932? We will look at rare footage of dance on the College lawn from 1938, as well as excerpts from a film focused on the pioneering leadership of Martha Hill. Pulling photos from the Bennington College Archives, we will review the early years, and also look at the decades of extraordinary artist-faculty who have contributed to the College dance legacy.
VAPA Martha Hill Theater

10:00-1:00 pm
Bennington Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday during the fall season, the Bennington Farmer's Market is open and welcomes students and families. The first 10 students receive $5 in Bennington College market bucks to use. Dedicated transportation is not available, but interested students and families can use the college van service that runs after 10:00 am. Parking is available onsite.
150 Depot St, Bennington, VT 05201

11:00-12:00 pm
Bennington Today: A Conversation with President Mariko Silver and Chairman Alan Kornberg ’74
Families are invited to join President Mariko Silver and Board of Trustees Chairman Alan Kornberg ’74 for a conversation about Bennington and its future. Unable to attend? Join us via livestream
Greenwall Auditorium

12:00-1:30 pm
BBQ Lunch / Soccer Game / Purple Carrot Farm Tour
Join us for a BBQ-style lunch at the Student Center and enjoy watching our club sport soccer team play a match on the soccer field and/or take a tour of our student-run Purple Carrot Farm. Bring your BBQ lunch meal ticket or pay cash/credit at the registration tent.
Student Center | Soccer Field | Purple Carrot Farm

1:15-2:30 pm
2018 Elizabeth Coleman Visionary Leadership Award: Gay Johnson McDougall ’69
President Mariko Silver will present to Gay Johnson McDougall ’69 the 2018 Elizabeth Coleman Visionary Leadership Award, followed by Ms. McDougall’s presentation, "My Pilgrimages to Understand Racism." A lawyer who has dedicated her work to addressing international human rights and ending racial discrimination, McDougall served as the first United Nations Independent Expert on Minority Issues (2005-2011). McDougall is currently a Distinguished Scholar-In-Residence at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School. In 1999, McDougall was a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award. Among McDougall’s many other honors, in 2015 the Government of South Africa bestowed on her the Order of O.R. Tamo Award for her contributions to ending apartheid.
CAPA Symposium

2:00-3:00 pm
Campus Tour
Tours leave every 15 minutes.
Meet at the flagpole

3:00-4:00 pm
Paran Creek Apartments Tour
Interested in exploring Bennington’s newest housing option? Join us for a short walk down the path to the Paran Creek Apartments. Tours leave every 30 minutes.
Student Dining Center

2:45-4:00 pm
Faculty Session | Phillip Williams: Concrete Poetry and the Shape of Meaning
A historical overview of the concrete poem and its shapes/purposes from the 17th century to the present. Leading inquiry: How do poets present abstract ideas through the shape of a poem and what tactics do they use to secure the sensibility of language?

2:45-4:00 pm
Faculty Session | Debbie Warnock: FLoW: Supporting First-Generation, Low-Income, and/or Working-Class Students at Bennington
First-generation, low-income, and working-class (FLoW) students face unique challenges on college campuses, yet they also bring a number of strengths. Bennington faculty, staff, administrators, and students have joined together to build a network of support and community to help FLoW students thrive. This session will describe student and faculty research that has informed FLoW programming and efforts at Bennington.
Barn 100

2:45-4:00 pm
Faculty Session | Donald Sherefkin/Andrew Schlatter: Re(Center): Reimagining a New Student Center
This course engages students in envisioning the next iteration of the Student Center building, currently serving as our temporary dining facility during the Commons renovation. Join us for an exploration of programming concepts and design ideas that anticipate the needs and potentials of student life on Bennington's campus after the Commons renovation is complete.
VAPA Crit Room B206 (Back Crit Room)

2:45-3:45 pm
Life After Bennington: Recent Alumni Perspectives
Join us in welcoming recent alumni Devin Gaffney '10, Kate Davis '14, Genelle Rankin '15, and Fatima Zaidi '16 back to Bennington. They share their experiences of life after Bennington and how they have balanced following their passions with building a career.
Tishman Lecture Hall

4:15-5:15 pm
Reception for Faculty and Families
Petrie Terrace. Rain location: VAPA Upper Galleria

6:00-8:00 pm
Dinner on your own
Look to your Bennington & Downtown Guide located in your Family Weekend packet. Please enjoy the many restaurants in North Bennington, Bennington, and the surrounding southern Vermont area.
North Bennington/Downtown Bennington

Sunday, September 30

9:00-11:00 am
Purple Carrot Farm Service Day
The Purple Carrot Farm is a student-run farm behind the student dining hall. Join us for a work day and an opportunity to be a part of this long-standing tradition of farming at Bennington.  
Purple Carrot Farm (Meet at Student Center)

9:00-11:00 am
Frost House Tours (with donuts and cider)
The Robert Frost Stone House Museum and Grounds are open and free to students and parents. Apple cider and doughnuts will be served. Come walk the grounds and visit the house in which Frost wrote some of America's best known poetry. Director Megan Mayhew Bergman will be on hand to discuss the museum's future and innovative student work in progress.
Robert Frost Stone House Museum: 121 Route 7A Shaftsbury, Vermont 05262 (Meet at Flagpole for shuttle service)

1:00-2:00 pm
Meditation in Motion: A Yoga-style Experience
Drop in for a mediation, movement, and yoga session. This weekly offering is open to students and community members.
Dance studio at the Meyer Recreation Barn (upstairs)