Gratitude for Tolkien

We are writing to express our appreciation for both Chris Vaccaro, senior lecturer of English, and to The Tolkien Club at UVM for their outstanding work during the tenth annual Tolkien at UVM conference.

This yearÕs conference was organized in the face of financial adversity and administrative apathy.

With no funding from the college, the students of The Tolkien Club offered their time and money to make sure that those guests and lecturers in attendance were provided with coffee and donuts for breakfast and pizza for lunch.

These students took it upon themselves to welcome the Tolkien academics who journeyed to Vermont for the conference. Their hospitality and generosity was much appreciated by all in attendance.

We offer a tip of the hat to Anders Albertsson, Haley Markosian, Brenden Anderson, Braden Kaiser, Kerry Oster and Corey Dawson for making us feel welcome. We look forward to seeing them again at next yearÕs conference.

Tolkien at UVM is the only conference of its type that is held annually on the East Coast. As such, it is an event that has been attended by such Tolkien luminaries as:

Dr. Michael D.C. Drout, Prof. of English, Wheaton College

Dr. Jonathan Evans, Associate Prof. of English, University of Georgia

Dr. Verlyn Flieger, Prof. of English Emerita, University of Maryland

Dr. Thomas Alan Shippey, Prof. of English Emeritus, Saint Louis University

Dr. Michael Neill Stanton, Associate Prof. of English Emeritus, University of Vermont and many other noted academics from many other institutions including Middlebury, Rice and Harvard.

These academics are a veritable ÒwhoÕs whoÓ of Tolkien studies. They and many other independent scholars gather at this conference to share their thoughts and ideas about TolkienÕs legendarium.

Of particular importance is the presentation of papers by students of Tolkien Studies under the scholarship of Chris Vaccaro.

As Tolkien Studies is one of the only academic areas that allow for independent scholars to be actively involved in scholarship, this platform for their work should not only be encouraged but eagerly supported by the administration at UVM.

Chris Vaccaro should be congratulated for organizing the annual Tolkien at UVM conference for the past ten years.

It is our hope that future conferences will be well-funded by the administration at UVM and that, once again, academics from all walks of life will gather to hear the thoughts of both the current and next generation of Tolkien scholars.




Andrew C. Peterson, ALB candidate, Harvard Õ14

Mark Kaminsky, MIT/Lincoln Laboratory; ALB cum laude, Harvard Õ10

Erik Mueller-Harder, Vermont Softworks; ALB cum laude, Harvard Õ99