Founder and first President, Ernest Martin Hopkins ’01, organized the Dartmouth Alumni Council in 1913.


To sustain a fully informed, representative, and engaged exchange of information and sentiment between alumni and their College, and to enhance and inspire alumni involvement that furthers the mission of the College.

  • Clearing house for alumni sentiment and interchange of ideas
  • Official two-way liaison between College and her alumni
  • Primary forum for discussion of issues and concerns of alumni
  • Initiate and sponsor activities reasonably within province of alumni activity
  • Nominate Alumni Trustees (for the eight alumni trustee seats on the Board of Trustees)
  • Maintain working relationship with Board of Trustees
  • Resource for alumni providing service and talents to Dartmouth

Originally 25 members, but incrementally expanded over the years. (Amendments to the Alumni Council constitution were approved in November 2007, revising representation and increasing the size to 125. Additional members were transitioned onto the Alumni Council between 2008 and 2010 resulting in the composition listed below.) The Council attempts to be representative in respect to age, geography, gender and professional backgrounds of its members, providing membership for various alumni organizations and representatives for faculty and undergraduate bodies of the College.

  • Class Representatives: 58
  • Affiliated Alumni Groups: 10
  • Members-At-Large: 6
  • Regions/Clubs: 20
  • Class Officers Associations: 5
  • Undergraduates (non-voting): 4
  • Professional Schools (DMS, Thayer, Tuck): 6
  • Arts and Sciences Graduate Program: 2
  • Club Officers Association: 3
  • District Enrollment Directors: 1
  • Faculty Representative (non-voting): 1
  • President and President-elect: 2
  • Chair of Alumni Awards, ALC, Nominating, Young Alumni Awards Committees: 4
  • Current and past two AoA presidents: 3

Total (maximum) 125


Performed by the classes, other alumni constituencies represented on the Council, and the Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee. Seek men and women:

a)  of outstanding achievement and/or special qualifications
b)  who have demonstrated an active interest in Dartmouth
c)  available to attend meetings
d)  who can represent legitimate interests of alumni and report back on their work as Councilors.


Most Council work is performed by Committees:

  • Alumni Liaison
  • Athletics
  • Academic Affairs
  • Alumni Awards
  • Alumni Service
  • Communications
  • Enrollment & Admissions
  • Executive
  • Honorary Degrees
  • Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search
  • Professional Development
  • Student Affairs
  • Young Alumni
  • Young Alumni Awards

Many have formed the backbone of contemporary Dartmouth history and success. Outstanding results achieved in student enrollment, communications, recognition of alumni service, and selection of Alumni Trustees.


a)  Committee work period
b)  Education of Council in work of the College
c)  Opportunity for Councilors to raise questions, discuss policies
d)  Attend certain ceremonial events
e)  Social and recreational opportunities


The Association of Alumni is Dartmouth’s alumni body. Each of Dartmouth’s 78,400 alumni is a member of the association.


The Alumni Council represents Dartmouth’s alumni. It is the principal spokesperson for alumni and the primary forum for the exchange of alumni sentiment. It consists of 125 members representing classes, geographic clubs, graduate schools, affiliated groups, students, and others. The constituencies select their representatives through various methods, including election at reunions and club meetings and Internet voting. The Alumni Council’s mission is “to sustain a fully informed, representative, and engaged exchange of information and sentiment between alumni and their College, and to enhance and inspire alumni involvement that furthers the mission of the College.”

The Alumni Council also nominates candidates to run for alumni-nominated trustee seats.

The Executive Committee of the Association of Alumni

The Executive Committee of the Association of Alumni runs balloting for trustee elections and for the election of its own leadership. It consists of 11 members elected from and by the alumni body in alumni-wide balloting.


The Association of Alumni was founded in 1854 and historically met once a year in Hanover for an annual meeting that was open to all alumni. Only alumni physically present in Hanover could vote in association affairs.

By 1913 Ernest Martin Hopkins, Class of 1901, recognized that the Association of Alumni was too cumbersome to represent alumni interests effectively. Acting through the association, Hopkins created the Alumni Council “to act as the official spokesman of alumni sentiment,” to be the “clearinghouse for alumni sentiment and interchange of alumni ideas,” to “approve or disapprove of projects put forth in the alumni name, and... [to be] the seat of authority in all such matters.” The formation of the Alumni Council left the Association Executive Committee with few responsibilities. Since 1913, the Executive Committee’s sole responsibilities have been to run trustee elections (during those years when such elections have occurred) and to host an annual meeting in Hanover at which the Executive Committee is elected. With the introduction of all-media voting, alumni are no longer required to attend the annual meeting in order to cast votes in Executive Committee elections.

alumni leadership flowchart

The Alumni Councilor represents alumni by:

a) Bringing ideas and concerns of alumni to the attention of the Council and College
b) Reporting back to alumni on these matters and any other affairs of alumni interest
c) Acting on behalf of his/her alumni constituency

  1. The Alumni Councilor communicates at least four times to his/her constituency annually.
  2. The Alumni Councilor serves usually on one Council Committee.
  3. An Alumni Council class or club representative serves as an ex-officio member on the Board of Directors of his/her assigned Alumni Club or as an ex-officio member of his/her Class Executive Committee and performs the following:

    a) Attends annual club board meetings or class executive committee meetings when possible;
    b) Attends the annual club dinner;
    c) Speaks at club functions on current events at the College and Council news;
    d) contributing the same to the Class Newsletter;
    e) Answers questions of alumni;
    f) Brings ideas, problems and comments of alumni to the Council;
    g) Serves as an official College representative at important Club and Class functions (reunions, seminars, etc.)

  4. The Alumni Councilor serves on special committees, by appointment of the Council President and Executive Committee, formed to undertake College projects (these committees may include representatives from the faculty, student body, administration, and alumni).
  5. The Alumni Councilor thinks independently and deeply and works with the Trustees, faculty, students, and administration in a common effort to preserve the College's strengths and build her future.

Communicate - Deliver and receive information to/ from constituencies
Attend - Contribute to all Council meetings
Prepare - Review communications delivered and prepare for Council meetings
Interact - Know and be involved in College life – students, faculty, and issues
Talk - Use the plenary sessions to convey information and opinions, make an impact in committee sessions, contribute ideas
Accept - Acknowledge differing viewpoints respectfully
Listen - Consider other peoples’ comments

Alumni Councilors are encouraged to communicate with their constituencies at least four times each year. Ideally, Councilors will reach out to their constituents in advance of each council meeting and report back to them after the meeting. The mechanics for Alumni Councilors to communicate with their constituents are outlined below.

1. How to verify your constituents/alumni you represent:

Please contact Meg Ramsden ‘87, Assistant Director of Alumni Leadership, if you have any questions regarding the composition of your constituency base. Meg can produce an updated email list of your constituency and process the mailing of your email. Meg's contact information is:

Office: (603) 646-0974
Email: Meaghan.Ramsden@Dartmouth.edu

2. How to send constituents an email:

Please notify Meg Ramsden 3-5 days in advance of the date you would like to email your constituency. When you finish drafting the email you would like to send, you should send Meg your preferred email address from which you would like it to be sent along with the final draft of the email. She will then send the email to your constituents. All of the “reply to sender” emails that your constituents send will go directly to your email address that you have provided as the sender.

You may also communicate to your constituents via alternative channels such as class newsletters and class/club websites.

3. How often to communicate:

It is expected that you communicate with your constituents at least four times each year, approximately one month before and one month after the two Dartmouth Alumni Council meetings that take place in May and October, in addition to any other time throughout the year where you feel a communication is appropriate. Examples of past communications and different types of contents used are included in the appendix of this booklet. A post-meeting summary template is composed after every meeting by an Alumni Councilor who is a member of the Communications Committee. You are welcome to use this template in its entirety or include any part of it in your communication. The official minutes of every meeting are posted online.

The Alumni Liaison Committee is meant to provide a “communications hub” for the Alumni Council as they interface with the administration and Board of Trustees. With this committee in place, there is a process in which to channel the communications you receive from alumni where it will then be assessed, acted upon and used to produce the annual report at year’s end. The email address of the ALC is also available to all alumni who may directly send comments. However, when an email is sent to you, the following process has been put in place:

Communications Process with the Alumni Liaison Committee:

1. After reading email from alumni, forward to ALC@Dartmouth.edu

a)  Put in the topic bar the subject of the email from the following:

  • Academics
  • Administration/policy
  • Administration/operations
  • Admissions
  • Athletics
  • General Response
  • Governance
  • New Topics
  • Student Life

b)  If an action needed is identified, it also may be included in the topic bar

2. Briefly respond to the sender:

a)  Acknowledge receipt of email
b)  Let them know it has been forwarded to the ALC
c)  Thank them for their input

3. The ALC will receive the forwarded email, review and sort them as further needed.
Any specific action items will be managed by working with Alumni Relations who will make the appropriate contact with college administrators.

4. The ALC will also meet with members of the Advancement Committee of the Board of Trustees several times a year to review feedback.

5. Finally, the ALC will prepare their annual report, providing updates at the spring and fall meetings and a final report to be presented to the Board of Trustees after June 30 of each year.

Much of the council's work is accomplished through committees. These committees are principally made up of and headed by council members. Sometimes the work of a committee may include one or more non-members of the Council from either the alumni body or some other source. For example, appropriate staff officers at the College can serve as committee secretaries to coordinate the work of groups and provide accurate information to committee members.

Committee meetings are held between sessions of the council as may be required. An outline of the functions of each of the operating committees is included below.

The Committee on Academic Affairs serves as a principal interface between the faculty and the Alumni Council of Dartmouth College such that a strong relationship is affirmed and alumni are kept informed about the curriculum and other elements of the Dartmouth academic experience. The committee also serves as the platform for exploring intersections of the intellectual life of Dartmouth with programs or strategies that will increase engagement of alumni. The committee will work with Alumni Relations and the faculty and College representatives on the committee to identify academic opportunities to enrich the lives of our alumni as they in turn support the institution with their time and talents, with the overall goal of creating lifelong connections between faculty, students and alumni. The committee consists of alumni councilors, the faculty representative to the Alumni Council, a representative of the Provost's office, and a representative of the Dean of the Faculty.

The Alumni Awards Committee consists of seven former recipients of the Dartmouth Alumni Award and a staff member of the Alumni Relations Office (committee secretary). This committee seeks strong alumni candidates that meet the eligibility criteria for the Dartmouth Alumni Award and selects three to four alumni recipients each year to be honored for a combination of accomplishments in Dartmouth volunteerism, career and civic involvement.

The Alumni Liaison Committee consists of the president, the president-elect, and immediate past-president of the Council, the presidents of the Association of Alumni during their term on the Alumni Council, three current council members elected by the Alumni Council, and three members of the Association of Alumni elected by the Alumni Council. A representative of the Board of Trustees’ Advancement Committee may also serve on this committee. The committee gathers feedback from alumni on topics of interest and shares this information with the Alumni Relations office, the Board of Trustees, and the senior administration.

The Alumni Service Committee maintains a central repository of information regarding existing service opportunities, and communicates this information to interested alumni constituencies. The committee also serves as a constructive resource for students, faculty, and administration who would like to discuss and receive informal feedback and guidance regarding service proposals. Members will facilitate the juxtaposition of service over existing College and alumni events. These will provide an avenue though which alumni professionals could volunteer their trade skills to nonprofits in need of these services. This committee will also serve as a liaison to the Club Officers Association and Class Officers Association on all matters relating to alumni service.

The Athletics Committee promotes the interests of Dartmouth alumni in athletics at Dartmouth, including varsity athletics, club sports, intramural athletics, physical education, and recreation. Specifically, the committee gathers and assesses information regarding the administration and financial support of athletics by the College, particularly the Department of Athletics and Recreation, as well as student participation in athletics; solicits input from the alumni body regarding the interests and concerns of alumni with respect to athletics at Dartmouth; communicates these interests and concerns to the department; and communicates the results of the committee’s work to the Alumni Council, the administration, and alumni.

The Communications Committee encourages and facilitates communication between and among members of the council and their respective constituencies regarding both the council’s activities and the College as a whole. The committee also encourages and facilitates communication within the council itself, by providing tools and resources to aid constituent discourse; metrics regarding successful communication practices; training to improve the council’s overall accessibility to and from alumni at large; and a means to safeguard the council’s legacy of information. The committee regularly reviews opportunities to improve council communications broadly.

The Enrollment and Admissions Committee serves as a sounding board for the admissions and financial aid offices on issues such as general admissions, accepted student yield, financial aid practices, and nationwide and international trends. The committee also supports the Office of Admissions in coordinating and assessing the alumni interviewing process throughout the United States and the world.

The Executive Committee consists of the president, the president-elect, and the chairs of the other standing committees of the council. Chaired by the president, this committee sets the agenda for the council and plans and designs council meetings in consultation with the Alumni Relations Office. It is also empowered to act on council business between meetings, and is the final authority on strategic matters.

The Honorary Degrees Committee seeks strong alumni candidates for the award by canvassing the alumni body. It then forwards three to five names to the College Committee on Honorary Degrees, which makes the final decision regarding recipients.

The Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee consists of the president, the president-elect, the immediate past chair of the Nominating Committee, a council member appointed by the committee for a term of three years, and six other council members elected for terms of three years by the council. The Nominating Committee makes two nominations for the president-elect, each vacancy for at-large representatives, and other positions specified in the Alumni Council constitution. Importantly, it also makes nominations for alumni trustee as provided in the constitution. The Nominating Committee welcomes alumni trustee candidate recommendations from alumni at any time.

The Orientation Committee plans and oversees the orientation of first-year alumni councilors. Responsibilities include establishing direct mentor roles for new councilors, updating orientation materials and methods, and monitoring the effectiveness of current orientation programs. The committee is chaired by the Alumni Council president-elect.

The Professional Development Committee works with the Center for Professional Development and the Office of Alumni Relations to help to generate program ideas designed to leverage alumni expertise in service to other alumni and students at Dartmouth. The committee identifies and solicits appropriate alumni to participate in professional development programs; shares information about professional opportunities serving students and alumni with constituents and current councilors; promotes college programs designed to encourage alumni to hire and mentor Dartmouth students; and plans and carries out on-campus career programming for students in conjunction with Alumni Council meetings in Hanover.

The Student Affairs Committee monitors and reports on all aspects of student life to both the Alumni Council and, through the councilors, to the alumni body. At each of its meetings, the committee has extensive dialogue with several undergraduate and graduate student leaders regarding current “hot” campus issues.

The Young Alumni Committee The Young Alumni Committee engages Dartmouth's young alumni through collaborative efforts with the College, student organizations, Alumni Relations, and other Alumni Council committees to:
- Effectively address the needs of young alumni around the globe
- Provide students with support as they transition to alumni of the College
- Inspire young alumni to build a lifelong commitment to the College

The Young Alumni Awards Committee consists of five to seven former recipients of the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award and a staff member of the Alumni Relations Office (committee secretary). This committee seeks strong alumni candidates who meet the eligibility criteria for the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award, placing strong emphasis on Dartmouth volunteerism when selecting two to three recipients each year.

Report from the 212th Meeting of the Dartmouth
Alumni Council

May 12-14, 2016

By Jacques Steinberg ’88

More than 120 members of the Dartmouth Alumni Council descended on the Hanover Plain in midMay for two days of meetings centered, in large part, on the theme of “Global Dartmouth.”

With representatives from classes that graduated from the College as far back as six decades ago – as well as those who traveled to campus on behalf of regional clubs, affiliated groups, and professional schools – the Council was also brought up-to-date on a range of issues closer to home, including developments in housing and admissions.

At dinner on Friday May 13, we heard from Jake Tapper ’91, a CNN anchor who has reported on arguably the biggest news story of the year: the American Presidential race, an assignment that has provided him a ringside seat for the Clinton and Trump campaigns, among others. The following morning, we were treated to a moving tribute by Helene Rassias-Miles A’08 to her father, John Rassias ’49a, ’76a, the legendary William R. Kenan Professor of French and Italian Emeritus, who died in December at age 90. Helene capped her presentation by putting 10 councilors through an actual drill instruction in Greek – her fingers snapping rapid-fire. At the end of her presentation, the Council’s Academic Affairs Committee, announced the establishment of the “Professor John Rassias Faculty Recognition Award.” This will be presented to a faculty member who has demonstrated strong engagement with Dartmouth alumni in support of lifelong learning. Read the latest on the Rassias Center at Dartmouth.

Watch a brief video with highlights of what we saw and heard during our Council meetings – including remarks from Jake Tapper and President Philip J. Hanlon ’77.

A Question for You

Before I turn to a bullet-point synopsis of some of what we learned on campus in May, the Council would like to pose a question to all alumni, in the spirit of the overarching theme of our weekend – the role of Dartmouth, and its students, in the world at large:

To what extent did you participate in a Dartmouth academic off-campus program, and how did the lessons you learned on that journey shape who you are – and how you see the world – today?

Please send responses directly to your Council representative. They will share them with the Alumni Liaison Committee, which synthesizes alumni views and sentiment on behalf of the President and Trustees, as well as the alumni body as a whole.

And Now, Some News You Can (Hopefully) Use…

“Global Dartmouth”

  • In a panel discussion with the ominous title, “What Keeps You Awake at Night?” the Council heard three Dartmouth international relations faculty members each speak to a particular threat to international security. Jeffrey Friedman, assistant professor of government, discussed the challenges of making policy (especially as it relates to combating terrorism), at moments of high anxiety. Jennifer Lind, an associate professor of government, said she considered speaking to the Council about the threats posed by climate change, infectious disease, and nuclear non-proliferation before settling on what she described as a far greater hazard: the current, unstable relationship between the United States and China. And Daniel Benjamin ‘57a, Director of the Dickey Center for International Understanding, focused on the world refugee crisis– with about 250 million people, he said, currently living outside their home countries, many in the most dire conditions imaginable. He noted that this relates strongly to the current issues within the European Union. Michael Mastanduno, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, moderated the panel.
  • Among the many, impressive new study-abroad opportunities we learned about were these: “Biology 71: Ocular Cell Biology and Disease in the United States and India,” an undergraduate course offered this fall through the department of biological sciences, which will be paired with a visit to the Aravind Eye Clinic in Madurai, India, one of the largest such hospitals in the world. Meanwhile, the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, in partnership with the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Program, is offering an interdisciplinary Foreign Study Program in Hyderabad, India, during the winter term. Among its offerings will be service-learning opportunities with Averil Spencer ’10, who started a camp in India to teach girls English, leadership skills, and information related to health and safety.

News from Closer to Home (or Closer to Hanover, at least)

  • Dartmouth student housing will get a reboot in the fall, as students join six residential house communities led by a house professor. With names like South House and North Park House, the communities will provide lifelong affiliation for the students, according to Dean of the College Rebecca Biron.
  • The Class of 2020, which will matriculate this fall, is impressive by any number of measurements, not least that its members were selected from 20,675 applicants (at an admission rate of 10.5 percent). It includes students from 40 countries, representing 9 percent of the class, and a record percentage of students of color (40.4 percent), according to Paul Sunde, director of admission and interim dean of admission and financial aid. Dartmouth alumni played more of a role in the selection of this class than any other in history, with 5,400 active alumni conducting admissions interviews – a 51 percent increase. Learn more about how to become an admissions interviewer.
  • As commissioned by President Hanlon, three working groups– one each focused on faculty, students, and staff –spent time studying the latest data on diversity and inclusion at Dartmouth, as well as defining goals to measure progress. On May 27, the Inclusive Excellence Executive Committee composed of President Hanlon, Provost Carolyn Dever, Executive Vice President Rick Mills, and Vice President of Institutional Diversity and Equity Evelyn Ellis, released the Action Plan for Inclusive Excellence
  • The Thayer School of Engineering is about to undergo a major expansion – with a goal of increasing its student body by 50 percent. In what will constitute a major change on the western side of campus, at the end of Tuck Drive, the Computer Science department will be relocated adjacent to Thayer, the better to promote synergy. Just after we left campus, Dartmouth announced a $25 million gift to Thayer.

News from the Alumni Body

  • Catherine Craighead Briggs ’88 is the new chair of the Dartmouth College Fund Committee, succeeding Bruce D. Miller ’74.
  • The Alumni Council’s Alumni Awards’ Committees have announced the 2016-2017 recipients of the Alumni Awards. The Dartmouth Alumni Award will be presented to Philp C. Kron ’60 ’61Tu, Charles E. Haldeman Jr. ’70, and Margaret N. Sommerfeld ’90. The Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award will be presented Maia Josebachvili ’05 and Shounak Simlai ’05 ’07Th. They will receive their awards at the Alumni Council dinner in Hanover on Friday, October 21, 2016.
  • Dartmouth is continuously enhancing its online resources for alumni – including its directory. We encourage all alumni to go online and update their contact information.
  • The second annual Dartmouth Alumni Day of Service took place on May 7. Alumni, family, and friends participated in 36 community service projects throughout the country. Next year’s Alumni Day of Service will be held on May Saturday, May 6, 2017.
  • During our meetings, the councilors voted to elect two new members of the Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee – Adrienne (Tee) Lotson ’82 and Alyse Streicher ’95. Alexandra Roberts ’02 was elected by the Council membership to the Alumni Liaison Committee, and Emily Abernathy-Jones ’95 was appointed to the Alumni Liaison Committee from the Association of Alumni body. Russell Wolff ’89 ’94Tu, who was elected President-elect of the Council in May 2015, begins a one-year term as President on July 1, succeeding Jennifer Avellino ’89, who begins a one-year term on July 1 as Chair of the Alumni Liaison Committee.

After two years writing these meeting reports, this one is my last. I will be relinquishing this role on July 1 – handing my pen to a scribe yet to be determined – as I succeed Russell as President-elect of the Council.

Read the full minutes and view photos of the 212th Meeting of the Dartmouth Alumni Council.

Email from Class Representatives

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Dear Friends and Classmates:

The only thing better than an October weekend visit to Hanover is two October weekend visits.  This year our classmates gathered for a great Homecoming mini-reunion (October 17-19) and from October 23-25, I had the privilege of representing our class at the fall session of the Dartmouth Alumni Council. There were many highlights of my Alumni Council weekend, but none more precious than the opportunity to experience an early morning (7:15 AM) walk across campus to attend the closing session – Dartmouth’s cherished “sharp and misty” mornings are alive and well!

The official Alumni Council report is available at the end of this message; however I wanted to share with you some random thoughts that occurred to me as I participated in the Alumni Council sessions.

  • Once again I came away with the strong conviction that Phil Hanlon is the right person to be at the helm as Dartmouth’s President at this time in its history.  He has clearly spelled out his vision in his “Moving Dartmouth Forward – Call to Action” agenda.  He is a rare academic with solid administrative acumen.  He is decisive and focused and appears to have motivated his team for action.
  • The students that we interacted with personally and who participated as panelists at the sessions were of the caliber and character that would make any Dartmouth alum proud and pleased.
  • A faculty presentation on bringing technology into the learning process was quite notable. Times are changing, my friends, and Dartmouth’s students and faculty are well ahead of the rapidly developing technological tools used in the modern classroom today.
  • The much awaited recommendations of the Moving Dartmouth Forward Steering Committee which has been diligently researching and deliberating on the many aspects of risky behaviors on the campus are expected to be promulgated to the President and the Board of Trustees sometime in early 2015.  This does not mean to say that no action has occurred while these deliberations are taking place.  The college has made it clear to the Dartmouth Community (current students as well as entering students) that it is committed to a “no tolerance” position on these risky behaviors. There are in place policies and procedures for the investigation, prosecution, and disciplinary action that protect the rights and privacy of the victims, accusers, and those accused of the reported violations.  The investigative personnel are objective and experienced people. 

The issues and challenges of today’s Dartmouth are indeed complex, and there are no easy solutions.  Consider, if you will, a sampling of a few of those complex challenges:

  • How do you address Dartmouth’s commitment to rid the campus of incidences of sexual assault while protecting the due process rights and privacy of the accused, the alleged victim, and the witnesses? How do you promote reporting of instances of sexual assault while supporting the needs of the survivors? How do you assure all parties that the investigative process is professional and fair under a policy of “single investigator” protocol while advocating a parallel investigative legal process outside the Dartmouth community? How do you establish a “no-tolerance” policy and code along with clearly stated mandatory disciplinary consequences while assuring the accused parties that such a “judicial” process is administered by an unbiased official or panel?
  • How do you promote a climate of inclusivity on campus and encourage interaction between and among all four classes while preserving the benefits of the “D-Plan”, promulgating the concept of “learning-living” communities, encouraging “affinity” housing, and showcasing the positive experience of the freshman clusters?  How do you overlook the Greek system’s contribution to social, academic, and community fellowship and inclusivity by making it the poster child for risky behaviors on campus when sexual assaults, binge drinking, bullying, etc. occur in dormitories and locales outside the Greek system.
  • How do you balance Dartmouth’s commitment to attracting the best students and faculty to Hanover with its commitment to addressing the affordability of college education to talented yet needy students?  With record return on endowment investments, innovative budgeting protocols, and a reduced increase in tuition this year, what further steps might the administration take to control the cost of education for qualified and talented applicants going forward?
  • How do you promote needed change in institutions of higher education, a venue that has been traditionally known for the slow pace and the less than enthusiastic acceptance of change.

As I ponder the complexities of some of the issues described above and as the Council seeks input from alumni which may provide insight to share with the Trustees and Administration of Dartmouth, I am reminded of a certain “malady” which overcomes some graduates from the ‘60’s (at least it does me).  Born from the “alpha-male” personality types of those who gained acceptance to Dartmouth in those days and bolstered by a lifetime and/or careers of relative successes in problem-solving, we develop an arrogance that manifests itself in an attitude that we (and only we) have all the answers. This, along with a need in our seventies to remain “in-touch” and relevant, exacerbates the “malady”.   What we tend to overlook is that we view the Dartmouth of today as though it were the Dartmouth of the ‘60’s.  So much has changed socially, culturally, legally, and technologically, and most of the change has been for the better.  The Dartmouth community and fellowship of the twenty-first century is as magical, as vibrant, as promising, and as intellectually meaningful as the Dartmouth of the twentieth century we all love and fondly remember.

The truth of the matter is that no ONE of the Dartmouth stakeholders (faculty, students, alumnae/alumni, administrators, staff, etc.) has all the answers; however every one of the stakeholders brings to the table their unique perspective.  The whole is greater than each of its parts and diversity of opinion/input provides the greatest opportunity for successful outcomes.  That is what makes the Dartmouth Alumni Council a valuable asset to the college as it represents alumni and alumnae stakeholders past and present.  So, my friends and classmates, your input, suggestions, ideas, and comments are indeed relevant and your perspective is valuable.  As I have indicated in the past, your e-mails to me are always shared with the Alumni Liaison Committee of the Council.  This is the mechanism with which Dartmouth’s administration and Trustees hears our concerns and ideas and considers them in the resolution of issues and problems. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your continued interest in our beloved Alma Mater.

The report from the 209th Meeting of the Dartmouth Alumni Council appears below.

I thank you for your continued support and input, and I send you all my best personal regards.

Gene Gasbarro ‘62
Class Representative to the Alumni Council

Included:Report from the 209th Meeting of the Dartmouth Alumni Council by Jacques Steinberg ’88.

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Dear Classmates,

I was back in Hanover over Green Key weekend in May for my second Alumni Council meeting. The rain threatened but luckily held off during the day so the campus was buzzing with music, students and alumni. We were engaged from the moment we arrived on Thursday evening till we sadly had to leave on Saturday afternoon with discussion groups, presentations and plenary sessions where we heard from President Hanlon and other key administrators. I have tried to focus on the newest and most interesting pieces of the meetings below, but please let me know if you want additional information. You can also read the full minutes from the meeting here

I am delighted to report that the College is still a thriving hub where learning, sports, community service, socializing and the arts all flourish! Here are the highlights:

  • Moving Dartmouth Forward : President Hanlon has convened a steering committee, chaired by Professor Barbara Will, tasked with making recommendations to combat extreme behaviors in the areas of sexual assault and high-risk drinking, and to also examine how to foster more inclusivity and civility on campus. Alumni Councilors were asked to contribute specific suggestions relating to these topics, and I encourage you all to submit your thoughts and ideas to the Committee via an online form by June 30th. We are all aware that these problems are present on most if not every college campus, but I do believe Dartmouth is taking a leadership role in looking for ways to combat these issues.
  • Experiential Learning : There are so many ways for students at Dartmouth to learn in ways other than traditional classroom lectures. I attended a panel discussion led by students who are working at the year-old DALI Lab. Here developers and designers work collaboratively on projects brought to them by outside partners looking for ways to innovate and design ways to communicate information. I encourage you all to go to their website to check out this very cool research and development lab. 
  • Admissions : I am on the Admissions Committee so I learned a lot about this very unusual year for the College. While early decision applications were up 6%, regular decision applications were down 14% which was a dramatic decrease. The good news that came out of this was the College worked tirelessly to improve the yield of accepted students and ended up with a bumper crop! Dartmouth was the only Ivy this year that did not need to go to its wait list, and the class of 2018 is impressive. Going forward, surveys were done to try to figure out what caused the drop in applications, new admissions publications have been conceived, and there are plans in the works for a new Admissions-Alumni Relations Committee to streamline and better Alumni interviewing and outreach. Please get involved in Alumni interviewing if you are not already!!
  • Cluster Hires/Society of Fellows : Michael Mastanduno, Dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, gave a very comprehensive presentation about these two ways the faculty is expanding. Why expand the faculty? Because it is labor intensive to focus on undergrads and research. Since Dartmouth remains committed to undergrad teaching, it makes the most sense to "make bets" on where you can impact curriculum. Through cluster hires, there is faculty collaboration across units to focus on collective problems and ideas. Dartmouth is currently trying to identify 5-10 clusters for these hires (for example neuroscience). The society of post-doc fellows is a way to bring intellectual energy to campus to energize the faculty, present new perspectives, and bring the best in academia to Dartmouth without having to run graduate programs. Post-doc fellows are in the formative stage of their careers in that they've finished their PhDs but can spend some time at Dartmouth before settling in to permanent careers.

As I said above, these were the highlights. I encourage you all to submit thoughts and ideas on the President's initiative to combat extreme behaviors on campus by June 30th.

On a personal note, a very happy 50th to everyone! Thanks again for affording me the privilege of being our class Alumni Councilor, and please do not hesitate to get in touch with questions, concerns or comments.


Nancy Stein Woolf

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Hello Class of 2007,

Below you will find my full report from the recent Alumni Council weekend. It is an important time in Dartmouth's history and I encourage everyone to read through the update below. There are many exciting things happening in Hanover including a commitment from all sides to address issues around binge drinking, sexual assault, and inclusivity, the digitization of classrooms and evolution of higher-ed teaching methods, the launch of residential cluster programs, and the launch of the new DEN Innovation Center.

If you have a question for me or for Dartmouth, the Alumni Liaison Committee will strive to provide a response to your specific question with specific details. Please - engage and ask away and I will help to facilitate the flow of information.

I hope everyone is well and let me know if you have any questions.


Luke Antal
Class of 2007 Alumni Council Rep

Report from the 209th Meeting of the Dartmouth Alumni Council

October 23–25, 2014

By Luke Antal '07

When we return as Alumni Councilors to Dartmouth each fall and spring, our primary responsibilities include serving as the eyes and ears of our classmates and other constituents. During those two days on campus, we are fortunate to have access to senior administrators, faculty, and most importantly, students, all in an effort to take the pulse of the Dartmouth community and to ask questions – sometimes pointed ones.

And so it was in that spirit, and with that mandate, that the Dartmouth Alumni Council convened its 209th Meeting in late October.

To the extent there was a headline for our fall session, it was the activity surrounding President Phil Hanlon ’77’s initiative known as Moving Dartmouth Forward.

For those not familiar with this initiative, it began with a plea by President Hanlon last spring, in which he asked “everyone at Dartmouth to work together to end high-risk and harmful behavior on campus that is hurting students, dividing the community, distracting the College from its core mission, and compromising its vision for the future.”  Specifically, a Presidential Steering Committee was charged with recommending actions “to end high-risk and harmful behavior in the following three critical areas: sexual assault, high-risk drinking, and lack of inclusivity.”

During the dinner that opened our fall convening, we heard from Barbara Will, the A. and R. Newbury Professor of English; and Sue Finegan ’85, president of the Association of Alumni, about the net the committee has been casting – in terms of the feedback it has solicited and the ideas it is considering.  Barbara and Sue explained that the committee has engaged with people across the Dartmouth community, consulted extensively with experts, and carefully examined best practices. 

We were told that comments and suggestions continue to be considered and evaluated – have your voice heard by sharing your ideas here – and that the final recommendations of the Steering Committee will be made to President Hanlon in January.

Following the Alumni Council meeting, the Steering Committee provided an update to the Board of Trustees at its early November meeting. 

No one knows for sure what the Steering Committee will recommend, but based on my conversations with other councilors and my own interpretations and deductions from the Steering Committee's presentation, there is reason to believe that the recommendations put forth this coming January may impact the Greek system. I intentionally use "impact" in a broad sense, because unfortunately, it is impossible for me to know exactly what that impact may look like. Again, to provide suggestions on how the college can address issues of binge drinking, sexual assault, and inclusivity, please share your thoughts here.

Separate from the College's Steering Committee, a group of Greek student and alumni leaders have created their own website which shares their proposal to address the following issues in a way that sustainably supports and builds the Greek system, and that gives what they call "the silent majority" a voice. Their identified issues are:

  1. High-Risk Drinking
  2. Sexual Misconduct
  3. Protecting First-Year Students
  4. Updating Our Physical Plants
  5. Faculty Advisors
  6. Inclusivity

If you click through to the link, you will notice that the group calls itself "Moving Dartmouth Forward," the same name that the College gave to its initiative. Again, you can read more about that here, and if you desire, sign your name in support of their stated goals.

I fully realize that this is a ton of info and may be confusing at first pass. Here are the key links:

  • For an overview of the College's initiative and a video featuring President Hanlon, click here.
  • For a recent update on the work of the Steering Committee, click here.
  • For background on the Greek proposal called "Moving Dartmouth Forward" and to sign your name if desired to their suggestions, click here
  • And to share your own thoughts and ideas with the committee, click here.

What follows are some other highlights from the 209th Alumni Council Weekend:

  • The Admissions Office is encouraging more alumni to sign up to serve as alumni interviewers. Interested alumni should use the following link.
  • In a lengthy Q&A session with Alumni Councilors, President Hanlon showed himself to be first and foremost a teacher. He had come to us directly from teaching Math 11, his voice admittedly raspy from chalk dust (no PowerPoint for him, at least not this day). Among the points he made to us was the importance of Dartmouth students graduating not only with “critical-thinking and analytical skills” but the ability to think “creatively.” He also spoke of his ongoing “Cluster Initiative,” which will pull together interdisciplinary teams of faculty – in part by drawing on roughly half of a record $100 million anonymous donation announced last spring.
  • Those alumni who believe Dartmouth should be in the forefront of graduating budding entrepreneurs would do well to visit the DEN (Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network) Innovation Center, if only virtually. Our opening reception was set at the new, brick-and-mortar headquarters of this exciting effort, and we later heard from Jamie Coughlin, director, New Venture Incubator Programs and director, DEN Innovation Center.
  • On a similarly progressive note, we heard from F. Jon Kull ’88, Rodgers Professor of Chemistry and dean of graduate studies, and Joshua Kim, director of digital learning initiatives, who gave a faculty perspective on digital learning initiatives. You can learn more about professional development for Dartmouth faculty here.
  • As has been conveyed earlier, there are changes afoot at the Tucker Foundation – which is basically splitting into two: the Tucker Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and the Dartmouth Center for Service. Interim Dean of the Tucker Foundation Theresa Ellis ’97 addressed the Council, and you can read more about these plans here.
  • The 60th Anniversary of the Alumni Awards was celebrated Friday night at a dinner presided over by Alumni Council President Lou Spelios ’95. Three alumni were honored with the Dartmouth Alumni Award: Douglas A. Donahue Jr. ’73Danielle A. Dyer ’81, ’89Tu, and Tracey Salmon-Smith ’87. Three alumni received the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award: Janna J. Annest ’00Deborah Atuk ’04Tu, and Greg Chittim ’01, ’02Th, ’03Th. Video profiles of the recipients may be viewed here.
  • On Saturday morning we heard from Bill Helman ’80, the new chair of the Dartmouth Board of Trustees, and Emily Bakemeier ’82, a member of the board who chairs its academic affairs committee. For those who have not had a chance to hear Bill speak, he is bracingly blunt when asked what he believes Dartmouth does well, and where it might improve. And Emily’s background is unique. She serves as deputy provost of Yale and is a former president of the Dartmouth Alumni Council. You can learn more about the current Dartmouth Board of Trustees here.
  • Finally, Mark Davis ’81, ’84Tu, chair of the Alumni Liaison Committee (ALC), which serves as a communications conduit between the alumni body and Trustees, gave the Council an update on the work of the committee and the newly released 2013-2014 ALC Annual Report. You can read that report here.
  • Mark Davis and Lou Spelios have asked that we end this correspondence by posing a common question to every alumnus:

 During our meetings, we learned about the new Living Learning Communities at Dartmouth, which are opportunities for students to live in the dorms with other students with like interests, such as a language or a co-curricular activity.  What do you think of this idea?  Would this have bettered your Dartmouth experience if it was available to you?

Please send your responses via email to your alumni councilor – ideally by December 31. All responses will be forwarded on to the ALC, which will then synthesize them in its report to the Trustees.

The link to the full meeting minutes can be found here

Email from Affiliated Group Representatives

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Hello BADA Family!

Summer greetings from NYC and Nashville! We had a great time at the 208th alumni council session, and we've got the highlights for you. (The official summary is included below.)

During this session, councilors received updates on the board of trustees, the athletic program, new admissions and public relations initiatives, experiential learning and the announcement of some notable departures, including Dean Charlotte Johnson. But, most pressingly President Hanlon’s remarks primarily focused on the Presidential Steering Committee for Moving Dartmouth Forward, to recommend actions to end high-risk and harmful behavior in three critical areas: sexual assault, high-risk drinking, and lack of inclusion. The committee solicited feedback from all members of the Dartmouth community (students, faculty, administrators, alumni and parents).

Finally, we have included the full detailed summary of the events and speakers from the entire weekend prepared by alumni councilor Howard Hodel '75 for the Communications Committee. Feel free to read it over coffee in the morning or on the beach during vacation. And don't forget to send us any comments and questions you may have. We will answer (or find someone who can answer) all questions and will pass your comments on to the College. We look forward to hearing from you as your Alumni Councilors! It's is our job to keep you informed about Dartmouth and act as the liaison between you and the College!

Peace and Solidarity,
Heiyab "Hobbs" Tessema '04 & Crishuana Williams '12

Included: Report from the 208th Dartmouth Alumni Council meeting by Howard Hodel '75

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Hello DGALA Members!

We had a productive few days in Hanover at the May Alumni Council meeting, and we hope to see many of you on campus later this week for our annual Mini-Reunion in Hanover! We have an exciting agenda for the weekend, including breakfast with President Hanlon, a gathering at Triangle House, and a faculty talk with Assistant Professor Eng-Beng Lim about the state of Queer Studies at Dartmouth. And all of the events are free of charge! Learn more about upcoming DGALA summer events and all of our other initiatives at DGALA. We want you to get involved.

Turning to Alumni Council activities, we were so pleased that DGALA participated in the Alumni Council's first Annual Day of Service on May 2nd by assisting at an event at the Callen-Lorde Community Center in Manhattan. The Center provides health care and related services to LGBTQ individuals regardless of ability to pay. 

In other Council news, DGALA board member, former Alumni Councilor and President Emeritus S. Caroline Kerr '05 has been selected to receive the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Read more about Caroline's award on the Alumni Relations website. Breaking news - we just learned this week that Caroline has been elected to serve on Dartmouth's Board of Trustees!  We are so proud of Caroline.

The May Council session included lots of informative presentations on academic and social life at the College, including by President Hanlon and members of the Board of Trustees. As you are probably aware, Dartmouth is focusing on ways to foster a social life on campus that is safer, healthier, and more inclusive – as exemplified by President Hanlon's release in January of his response to the findings and recommendations of the Moving Dartmouth Forward task force. Here is the online link to the full minutes to the May 2015 Alumni Council meeting.

As always, if you have any questions for us or for Dartmouth, we will work with the Council to provide a response to your specific question. We encourage you to participate in this process and share your feedback with us and the College, as your questions and comments are compiled in a report that is sent to the Trustees of the College. And we encourage you to answer the question below!

Thanks so much -

Brendan Connell, Jr. ‘87, DGALA President and Alumni Councilor

Melanie Pastuck ’11, DGALA Vice President and Alumni Councilor

A Question for You from the Alumni Council: 

Before turning to other highlights from the weekend, the leadership of the Alumni Council– along with the Alumni Liaison Committee (ALC), which seeks to solicit and synthesize a range of alumni feedback for the Board of Trustees – has asked that we pose a common question to every alumnus/a:

How would you describe to someone who had never visited Dartmouth – such as a prospective applicant – what differentiates Dartmouth’s sense of community, and its sense of place, and the role they play in the educational experience? Are there reflections from your own time on campus that you would share?

Please send your responses to your alumni councilor – ideally by July 1. All responses will be forwarded on to the ALC, which will incorporate them into its report to the Trustees.  

Email from District Enrollment Director Representative

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Greetings to all DEDs!

I am writing to report on the recent Alumni Council meeting. The meeting took place over a sunny Green Key weekend. The program schedule was jam-packed and included the following highlights:

  • Tours of the new and stunning Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, the new Class of 1953 Commons (dining hall), the Rauner Special Collections Library, and the underground steam tunnels.
  • Friday dinner discussion groups with students on the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows Pram, the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network, student sustainability initiatives, and the Office of Pluralism and Leadership Student Support Programs. I attended the Rocky Fellows presentation and was extremely impressed by the caliber of the students participating in this wonderful program focused on developing leadership skills. I urge you to learn about the program if you do not know much about it.
  • Committee Meetings. I attended the Enrollment and Admissions Committee meeting, in which we learned about the Class of 2016 and discussed results of a pilot program geared towards improving yield from academic Likely Letter recipients.
  • "Back to the Classroom" for councilors. I attended a French 2 class which was a lot of fun as I attempted to dust off the cobwebs from drill sessions 30+ years ago.
  • A report by council President Danielle Dyer '81, '89Tu, on the recent work and activities of the council and its committees.
  • A report by Pete Frederick '65, chair of the Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee, on the recent work of the NomCom
  • President Kim's farewell address to the council. As usual, he spoke eloquently and in an engaging manner, primarily about his new role as head of the World Bank.
  • A performance by the world-renowned Dartmouth Aires. The Aires performed several of their hits from the Sing-Off, including the Queen medley, and traditional songs.
  • A report by Mike Mastanduno, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences
  • Dedication of the Geisel School of Medicine
  • A Saturday dinner address by Michael Arad '91, designer of the World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial. This was particularly interesting as Michael gave a personal and moving account of how he came to design the memorial in a way that was responsive to the sensibilities of the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks.
  • Presentation of the Dartmouth Alumni Award to John Mathias '69 and the Dartmouth Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award to Amy Henry '97.
  • Film and presentation about the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center.
  • A report by Dartmouth Trustees Steve Mandel '78, Bill Helman '80, and Morton Kondracke '60 on recent board activities, including outreach to alumni and students, strategic planning, the presidential search process, and recent media coverage concerning hazing at Dartmouth.
  • A student panel presentation about the work of Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering
  • An admissions update and profile of the Class of 2016 by Maria Laskaris '84, dean of admissions and financial aid. I include a more detailed description of Dean Laskaris' talk:
    • Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Maria Laskaris '84 reported that applications to Dartmouth have grown by more than 95 percent in the last decade. The College received 11,855 applications to the Class of 2007 and 23,110 applications to the Class of 2016. Of the 23,110 applicants this year, 2,213 were offered admission, representing an admit rate of 9.5 percent, the lowest in the College's history. Of those admitted, 1,100 students have committed to attend Dartmouth next fall, representing a yield of approximately 50 percent. The Class of 2016 is evenly divided between men and women. More than 90 percent were in the top 10 percent of their class. The average SAT score is 2172; 14 percent are legacies; 10 percent are first-in-family to attend college; 35 percent are students of color; 10 percent are international; and 45 percent will receive financial aid. Dartmouth is one of six institutions in the United States that is fully "need blind". The Class of 2016 also includes eight veterans. An alum has recently made a special gift to draw applicants from developing countries. Laskaris reported that the application evaluation process remains focused on both tangible academic achievement and intangible characteristics that convey authenticity and a capacity to contribute to the Dartmouth community. Laskaris stressed that the role of the Dartmouth interview remains key to the assessment of the intangibles. Finally, as part of the strategic planning effort, Laskaris co-chairs the "Students of the Future" working group.
  • A report by Martha Beattie '76, vice president for alumni relations, on plans to foster more meaningful and lifelong engagement between the College and its alumni.

The entire minutes to the Alumni Council meeting can be found at

This will be the last communication you receive from me in my role as the DED Representative to the Alumni Council; I have completed my three year term. My successor is Howard Morse '81, who is the DED in Suburban Maryland. Howard and I are two of the three Washington, DC area DEDs and as such, we have worked together for years. I welcome Howard to the role of DED Representative to the Alumni Council, and I am sure we will all be served well by him.

If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please let me know. Have a wonderful summer!

Best regards,
Trina Olin Santry '81, '87Tu

Email from Regional Representative
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Dear Fellow Alumni in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi,

Hello! I hope that everyone is enjoying their summer! I want to thank you for allowing me to participate as your Alumni Council representative in a very substantive 208th meeting of the Dartmouth Alumni Council last month. It was a great meeting and was very open and informative.

Although there were addresses by many administrators at Dartmouth, it was especially wonderful to hear from president, Philip Hanlon. President Hanlon’s remarks focused on the Presidential Steering Committee for Moving Dartmouth Forward. He is requesting all members of the Dartmouth community (students, faculty, administrators, alumni and parents) to send in their feedback by June 30th on line. Below is a detailed summary of the events and speakers from the entire weekend prepared by alumni councilor Howard Hodel '75 for the Communications Committee. I have included the summary in its entirety so that you may get a true feel for the Dartmouth of today and many of its leaders.

Furthermore, I just attended the Class of 2014 Commencement and it was a spectacular event. The kids are bright, engaged and committed to making both Dartmouth and the world a better place. If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to watch Shonda Rhimes’ graduation speech. Rhimes is only the 3rd alum to ever deliver a commencement address in the history of the College. She was funny and inspirational, which is quite a feat. I know that it is available on You Tube. Enjoy!

As your Alumni Councilor, it is my job to keep you informed about Dartmouth and what is happening on campus. I also act as the liaison between you and the College. If you have any questions or comments, I welcome them. I will attempt to answer (or find someone who can answer) your questions and will pass your comments on to the College. 
Laura Hicks Roberts '85 
Note that the Presidential Steering Committee for Moving Dartmouth Forward requests alumni feedback by June 30th. The template below includes this time sensitive information so please email your meeting summary as soon as possible and encourage your alumni constituents to share their feedback with the committee.

Included: Report from the 208th Dartmouth Alumni Council meeting by Howard Hodel '75

Email from Professional School Representative
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Dear Fellow Tuckies,

Greetings and happy spring – at last! Russell and I are writing to report back on the Dartmouth Alumni Council spring meeting, which took place last month in Hanover. As you know, Russell and I are the Tuck representatives to the Dartmouth Alumni Council (DAC), an alumni body comprised of representatives from a variety of Dartmouth circles (clubs, classes, regions, affiliated groups, etc.). We are your liaison between the alumni body and the Board of Trustees of the College. We meet twice a year to discuss matters of importance to the School.

Below, please find a summary of the spring meeting of the DAC:

During the current academic year, Dartmouth has focused on ways to foster a social life on campus that is safer, healthier, and more inclusive – as exemplified by President Philip J. Hanlon ’77’s release in January of his response to the findings and recommendations of the Moving Dartmouth Forward task force.

As energetic work continues on that front– you can find an update on where things stand here – the President has also sought to help the College “to turn a page,’’ as he put it in an email to the Dartmouth community on March 30. As the 126-member Alumni Council, representing dozens of classes as well as other key constituencies, gathered on campus in mid-May for its spring meeting, President Hanlon spoke to us about the efforts he was leading to draft the next chapter in Dartmouth’s nearly 250-year-old story.

Enhancing the Academic Experience

The President made clear that a prominent theme of his tenure would be enhancing the academic experience for Dartmouth undergraduates in particular – an experience forged in a community that he described as unusually tight-knit, and grounded in a location that is almost “spiritual” in its rugged beauty.

In building upon Dartmouth’s history as a haven for “deep intellectual engagement” with “the liberal arts at its core,’’ Hanlon said he has sought to expand opportunities for undergraduates to pursue “experiential learning” – where hands-on work in a student’s subject of interest enhances what he or she might absorb in a more traditional classroom setting.

He spoke to us, for example, about academic enrichment grants that are awarded annually, including through the Stamps Scholars Program. One Dartmouth undergraduate used a Stamps Grant to map archeological sites in Mexico by employing advanced radar technology. Another Stamps Grant recipient paired artists with nonprofit organizations; the nonprofit helps advertise the artist’s work, and then shares in the proceeds of any works that are sold.

Hanlon also described the coordinated hiring of “clusters” of faculty from various disciplines, all with a common set of interests. These and other academic initiatives are intended, he said, to buttress Dartmouth’s mission of preparing its undergraduates to rise to leadership positions in their field of expertise, as they seek to tackle the world’s most pressing problems armed not only with knowledge but with a penchant for “risk-taking and adventure.”

A Question for You

Before turning to other highlights from the weekend, the leadership of the Alumni Council– along with the Alumni Liaison Committee (ALC), which seeks to solicit and synthesize a range of alumni feedback for the Board of Trustees – has asked that we pose a common question to every alumnus/a:

How would you describe to someone who had never visited Dartmouth – such as a prospective applicant – what differentiates Dartmouth’s sense of community, and its sense of place, and the role they play in the educational experience? Are there reflections from your own time on campus that you would share?

Please send your responses to your alumni councilor – ideally by July 1. All responses will be forwarded on to the ALC, which will incorporate them into its report to the Trustees.

(Earlier this year, the Council and ALC began posing questions in a similar vein on the Dartmouth Alumni Facebook and Twitter channels, under the heading “Alumni Council Asks.”) I would encourage you to "like" Dartmouth Alumni on Facebook, or follow on Twitter, so that you can receive information about our Alumni Council questions and other postings that may be of interest.

Other Highlights from the Council Session

What follows are some other things we heard during the Council sessions:

  • In a joint presentation entitled “A Promising Partnership: Admissions and Alumni Relations,’’ Maria Laskaris ’84, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, and Martha Beattie ’76, Vice President for Alumni Relations, spoke of various ways that the admissions office is seeking to draw on the time and talent of alumni. These include efforts to increase the numbers of alumni interviews of applicants (note: admissions officers do pay close attention to how alumni interviewers size up applicants, Laskaris emphasized), as well as the training of interviewers and communication with them. The story of one applicant for the Dartmouth Class of ’19 from the Bronx was featured prominently this year on the “Today” Show, and you can view that segment here.
  • The affordability of a Dartmouth education remains a front-burner concern of the administration. Bill Helman ’80, Chair of the Board of Trustees, told us that Dartmouth’s undergraduate tuition increased 2.9 percent this year, the same as last year, which was the lowest increase since 1977. That said, Helman said the Trustees continue to discuss potential cost-saving measures with the administration, including those related to facilities and efficiency.
  • The Interim Dean of the College, Inge-Lise Ameer, said that Dartmouth continued to move toward a reorganization of residential life in which some dormitories would be grouped as communities of houses. There will be six house communities in all – each composed of about 700 students, about half in residence at any one time – with an emphasis on continuity (sophomores, juniors, and seniors can choose to live in the same house community for all three years), faculty engagement, and academic and other programming. Learn more about this initiative.
  • The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding has become a hub for bringing together students, faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students to address the world’s hot-button problems – with as many as one in ten first-year students participating in its Great Issues Scholars program. You can learn more about the broad offerings of the Dickey Center here.
  • The three graduate schools at Dartmouth – the Geisel School of Medicine; the Tuck School of Business; the Thayer School of Engineering – continue to not only bolster their offerings to graduate students, but to create opportunities for undergraduates. In a panel with each of those schools’ deans moderated by Bob Lasher ’88, Senior Vice President for Advancement, we learned that engineering is now the third most popular major at Dartmouth – and that 48 percent of juniors who have declared engineering as a major are women. Thayer is about to undergo a major expansion, aimed in part at an undergraduate audience.
  • F. Jon Kull ’88, Rodgers Professor of Chemistry and Dean of Graduate Studies, discussed plans that are underway to form a School of Graduate Studies at Dartmouth. It would serve to coordinate the 17 Ph.D. programs and 12 Masters’ programs at Dartmouth – in ways that, he said, could better support faculty recruiting, retention, and research, as well as the exposure of undergraduates to graduate programming outside Geisel, Tuck, and Thayer.
  • Bob Lasher also shared the progress made to date on fundraising intended to support the mission laid out by President Hanlon, and stressed that donations from alumni help create the margin of excellence that defines Dartmouth. Through the generosity of Dartmouth alumni, he said, funding has been received for four of the ten potential academic clusters. The College has also received sufficient donations to support the initial year of the new residential model of house communities. Alumni who took a freshman trip or spent time paddling the Connecticut will be pleased to learn that the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge and the Ledyard Canoe Club are being rebuilt. The Hood Museum is also being renovated and expanded.

Alumni Council News

  • The first-ever, nation-wide Alumni Day of Service, held on May 2, was deemed a success – with hundreds of alumni, family members and friends volunteering for 24 projects in 20 communities. You can view an article and photos from the day, which was led by Aly Jeddy ’93.
  • The Council leadership announced the recipients of the 2015–16 Dartmouth Alumni Award. They are Patricia E. Berry ’81, Ellie Mahoney Loughlin ’89 and Ellis B. Rowe ’74. The recipients of the 2015–16 Dartmouth Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award are S. Caroline Kerr ’05 and Michael J. Vidmar ’03. They will all be honored at the Fall Alumni Council meeting in October. Read more about the recipients.
  • As it does every May, the Council elected new leadership. Russell Wolff ’89, '94Tu was elected the next President of the Alumni Council. He will succeed Jennifer Avellino ’89, whose one-year term as President (following the term of outgoing President Lou Spelios ’95) begins on July 1.

Please take a moment to respond to our “pop-up” question above.

Read the full minutes of the 210th Council Session. And, please take a moment to respond to our “pop-up” question above.

Beyond these highlights, Russell and I had the opportunity to meet with outgoing dean, Paul Danos, as well as incoming dean, Matthew Slaughter. The passing of the baton has been very smooth, and we anticipate that the ties between the schools on the Dartmouth Campus will become even stronger in the years to come.

To that end, if you have comments to share, please do not hesitate to be in touch with us via email. Thanks very much.

Wishing you a restful and enjoyable summer!

Monica C. Higgins ’86, ’90Tu
Russell E. Wolff ’89, ’94Tu