• Raymond Builter '36: 2008-09 Dartmouth Alumni Award Recipient

    Thursday, April 9, 2009
    News Type

I was at Dartmouth during the Depression, and there were quite a lot of us who were not fraternity affiliates because that was just an added expense. I was not in a fraternity, but I didn't feel that I missed anything; we all participated in all the festivities that we could.

Now, skiing was a fairly new experience for a lot of us, and it meant outfitting ourselves with the right equipment. I had to save until my sophomore year, and then – and this has always amazed me – I bought all the equipment, hickory skis with boots and poles, for $25.

I worked all through college. First I delivered papers for the New York Times. They were so heavy, especially the Sunday deliveries. I have to say, I don't think I carried on with that for too long! Then I worked for three years at the library, on the main desk. I worked about 40 hours a month, and being on the main desk, I had a little extra time to do some studying on the side.

There was a group of students who had achieved a certain grade percentage, and as seniors we were allowed to work directly for professors without doing any classroom work in our majors.  I was offered the position of correcting the 10-minute quizzes for some of the lower-level classes. I also had to keep the book as to all the students' marks, and, well, that year I had a lot of “friends” who were trying to find out where they stood with their marks and so forth.

I was very friendly with a group of fellows who were on the newspaper, The Dartmouth. They were a great bunch of fellows, very literary, and two of them in their senior year thought of dropping poems all over campus that were signed by “Eleazar.” The poems were quite good – funny and entertaining. They became quite popular; they were published. And the identity of the poets didn't become known until the week of graduation.

Working as secretary of my class club, I managed to keep in touch with an awful lot of people after graduation, and that made reunions interesting. Through the years, I never missed a reunion – well, I guess I missed one during the war. But I always maintained an interest. I've really enjoyed working for the class; you get to know everybody, practically, and you get to keep the spirit of the class alive.

One thing I particularly wanted to do in the later years was to set up a scholarship in the name of the class. I stuck to that, and now the scholarship, which is designated for Native American students, is up to $100,000. Our first designated 1936 scholar is going to graduate this June, and I'm very proud of that.

I think that the College has to always progress. It cannot be static at anything, and I think that the world is moving a lot faster today than it was when I was a student. Globally speaking, Dartmouth students now have a much better opportunity to study across the curriculum, to study things all sorts of things that take them far afield, and that has opened up a lot of different opportunities.

As a student, I found that the College had a marvelous feeling: I always had a very good feeling of fellowship, a very good feeling for the faculty. I just feel that I got a great education.