In May, California-based Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey will host the nation’s first all-vegan graduation. The event will include a buffet of vegan dishes such as meatless Sonoma chicken-salad sandwiches, fish-free sushi, veggie crudites, potato samosas, Mediterranean platters filled with falafel, dolmas, olives, hummus, and pita, and dairy-free cheese platters with Miyoko’s Kitchen gourmet cheeses and crackers. Professor Jason Scorse, Chair of the International Environmental Policy program, is behind the school’s shift toward more plant-based options and spearheaded the implementation of the 50/50 policy that requires campus events to offer at least 50 percent vegan food options. “I am very proud that our institution has made such a commitment to promoting plant-based foods throughout the campus activities,” Scorse told VegNews. At the graduation, 266 graduates will participate in the ceremony and celebration, and approximately 1600 guests are expected to attend. “The institute has a long track record of promoting sustainable practices and continues to push toward the goal of making our campus completely carbon neutral,” Jeff Dayton-Johnson, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Middlebury Institute, told VegNews. “We view this spring’s 100-percent plant-based commencement reception as one more example of our efforts and are proud to have partnered with the student council in pursuing this initiative.”

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