Skip to main content

Robison, Olin (President, faculty), October 27, 1995

Identifier: MOH111

Scope and Contents

1 interview with Olin Robison, Middlebury College President and faculty member. Robison was interviewed by Alison Kirk at Old Chapel.

President Robison's role as college president for 15 years; considered a "change agent" (04:37); Pivotal improvement in perception of college as a more confident institution. Promotes the college to encourage a strong international perspective. Goal was to make the college the best liberal arts college in nation (11:09); College becomes an international institution through language program as diverse with a greater proportionate number of students from around the world - they came from 66 states, 55 countries which was a big difference in 20 years, 1975 to 1995 (18:20); Defines term, "diversity" at the college (22:16); His role as president of Salzburg Seminar, Admissions Department at Middlebury and cultural changes occurring to become a better place (28:10); End of capital fund drive coincided with his resignation as college president-announced in fall, 1989. He raised $80 million and resigned. He was first president to remain in town after resigning (38:50); Enjoyed teaching while working as president of Salzburg Seminar-combined commitment to higher education and role as fundraiser. Raised $30 million in 36 months for Salzburg seminar (43:25); Fundraising process detailed; process became more aggressive after 1985 (50:06); showed the college as best of liberal arts schools. Idea of perception and college's image. 1979 he ran afoul of trustees, changed college image by raising tuition- public perception changed as result (58:51); protests in late 1980s on divestment, which Middlebury did in the end, as it was ethically symbolic (1:04:29).


  • October 27, 1995


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restriction.

Biographical / Historical

Olin Clyde Robison (1936-2018) was the 13th President of Middlebury College, serving from 1975 to 1990, after which he returned to the College as a professor, teaching seminars for first-year students and seniors until 2015. Robison received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Middlebury College in 2000.


From the Collection: 147+ Objects

Physical Location


Physical Description

1 audio cassette


Assigned identifier: a13af19951027-01

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States