Skip to main content

Commons system

 Record Group
Identifier: A23


  • Existence: 1992-

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact:
Special Collections & Archives
Middlebury College
Phone: (802) 443-2387

Biographical / Historical

In 1992, Middlebury College adopted a new residential system that divided all students into one of five Commons. This significant change came after the abolition of fraternities had altered the social system on campus, and the administration knew that a new system must be established. The five Commons are named after important College figures: President Jeremiah Atwater, President Ezra Brainerd, Dean Eleanor Ross, Professor Reginald Cook, and Dean Erica Wonnacott. The Commons provide social programming and a close-knit student government structure. The Commons residential system has evolved greatly since 1992, and currently the Commons system is based on the "4/2" model. The 4/2 model has students always remain part of the Commons they are assigned as freshmen, but only live in Commons-specific housing for the first two years. Junior and senior year housing is determined by a lottery system, and is not determined by Commons affiliation.

Commons mascots/colors: Ross rhino/red; Brainerd owl/purple; Wonnacott squirrel/orange; Atwater frog/green; Cook flying pig/blue

More information on the Commons system can be found on the Commons website.


1.5 Linear Feet (3 document boxes)

Language of Materials


A23 Commons system
Middlebury Special Collections staff
May 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

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