October 22–24, 2015
In their first meeting as chair and vice chair, Russell Wolff and Martha Gerhan welcomed everyone and thanked the attendees for coming.
Harry Sheehy and Bob Ceplikas talked about such points as the success for many teams, huge Homecoming attendance at the football game; DP2; number of sports at Dartmouth (35 compared to the national average of 19); and capital campaign progress.
About DP2, Harry said, “There’s a better chance of reaching your potential at Dartmouth than any other place in the country—we lead the nation in graduation success rate and academic progress rate.”
In response to a question, Harry also said that at Dartmouth there’s plenty of room for the non-athlete. “We want to sell health and wellness; what it means to set up a healthy life.”
Russell and Martha spoke about the following three areas:
Dartmouth on the Road: There may be more opportunity to engage alumni and parents during away athletic events. Russell asks, “How are we helping get the word out?”
DP2: Alumni—even alumni who never played a sport—may be able to play an even bigger role in networking with our students and young alumni. Russell says, “One of the greatest gifts we can give to the College is to mentor a young person.”
Philanthropy: The work of the athletics committee should make people more connected to the College and more likely to provide philanthropic support.
Working Session on DP2: Potential Alumni Involvement—Drew Galbraith ‘64a, Donnie Brooks
Drew Galbraith Galbraith and Donnie Brooks gave a presentation about alumni involvement in DP2. Drew said the goal is to find areas where alumni can help a program and still allow the staff to serve the students. One potential area is for alumni to provide expertise or speak on leadership. Regarding a potential topic, Drew asked, “What were the things that shaped the type of leader you are, in your family, community, and line of work?”
Drew also spoke about the increasingly important DP2 area of mental wellbeing. “Students need to know that asking for help is OK—it’s not a sign of weakness,” he said.
Donnie spoke about how students make connections with alumni. He said there are great electronic tools there—the Dartmouth career network, the new Dartmouth Circles—but the person-to-person is still crucial. “Wherever you are, class or group, it’s great to let student athletes know what you do for a profession,” he said. “When alumni speak, that’s gospel to these students.”
Martha stressed that the committee doesn’t want to “parachute in” and suggest initiatives that aren’t sustainable.
Three students participated on a panel presentation and spoke about their experiences at Dartmouth, thanking alumni for their support. Topics included how DP2 has benefitted them, Dartmouth’s facilities, and the friendships they made. They also talked about their next steps after Dartmouth—Jack Connolly ’16 will be working at a growth equity firm in Waltham; Kathy Dzienkowski ‘16 is applying to work for Teach for America; and David Berg ’16, a Dartmouth ROTC participant, will commission as a second lieutenant.
The meeting adjourned and the committee took a tour of Memorial Field’s new West Stands.