• The Dartmouth Class of 1962 held a special 80th birthday party.

    Dartmouth Bonds as Strong as Ever

    Tuesday, May 19, 2020
    News Type

During this time of unprecedented challenge due to the global pandemic, the Dartmouth alumni community has made an extraordinary effort to come together in innovative ways.

Alumni have organized more than 100 volunteer virtual events to keep close ties to Dartmouth and with each other, from discussions on COVID-19 to welcome events for the new '24s.

Health and COVID-19

Classes, clubs, and alumni groups have held webinars and panel discussions on health, wellness, and the coronavirus.

For example, Women of Dartmouth presented "Coping Together With Corona," featuring a panel of Dartmouth alumnae who discussed balancing work and family during the challenging times of the pandemic. Panelists included Laurie Rosenfield '79, former chief people officer for CBS, Amanda Brown Lierman '07, managing director for Supermajority, a new women's political organization, and Dylan Leavitt '11, founder of Studio Dylan and former chair of the Women of Dartmouth Boston community.

"This was a great opportunity to experiment with different types of virtual programming," says Meg Sommerfeld '90, "and a catalyst to continue offering more programming in the future to Dartmouth women around the globe."

The Dartmouth Club of Washington, D.C., organized a webinar with three alumni experts on origins of COVID-19 and its treatment strategy in China, and a frontline perspective on its development in the DC area. Participants were Peter Kilmarx '83 MED '90, deputy director of the Fogarty International Center at the NIH; infectious disease expert Daniel Lucey '77 MED'81; and Tenagne Haile-Mariam '83 MED '88, an emergency medicine physician in Washington, DC.

Athletics and Fitness

Numerous alumni groups held virtual exercise workouts, yoga sessions, and group Peloton rides. Dartmouth athletes joined in, too. Six Dartmouth Olympians shared their experience of not being able to compete in the 1980 Olympics, which the U.S. boycotted, and offered support to our current student-athletes.

Social Events

Alumni have organized dozens of social events: large pre-reunions, virtual concerts, hangout sessions, and book clubs with noted authors. The Class of 1969 hosted a Zoom reading of Shakespeare's As You Like It.

Another example is the Class of 1962 who gathered on Zoom to celebrate their 80th birthdays. "Many of my '62 mates wrote to me after how much they appreciated it," says Peter Knight. "A real success!"

Welcome to the Class of 2024

Regional alumni committees created created their own welcome events for newly admitted students, based in places such as Dallas; San Diego; Monterrey, Mexico; and Singapore.

For instance, Dartmouth Admissions, with prominent alumni contributing, created a special video for the new Class of 2024, introduced by Laurel Richie '81, chair of the Board of Trustees.

"Our alumni are true leaders," says President Philip J. Hanlon '77. "They are coming together from around the world to maintain a strong sense of community. Their spirit, during these uncertain times, is incredible and unwavering."