• "A Tradition of Leading": Class Officers Weekend 2011 Draws Many of Dartmouth's Most Dedicated

    Monday, October 3, 2011
    News Type

More than 250 alumni volunteers convened in Hanover on September 23–24 for best-practice brainstorming, discussions with students and administrators, and recognition of their outstanding service on behalf of Dartmouth.

The Class of 1942 was recognized for their history of Dartmouth service in World War II. Left to right, Carolmae Encherman, Joanna Caproni, and Leo Caproni Jr. '42. Photo: Zach Ingbretsen '11. See more photos

It's All about Leadership

Addressing the volunteers at dinner, President Jim Yong Kim discussed the budget and endowment, saying "we're done playing defense and we're going to be on offense." Expressing confidence in the College's future, he said "there is no place like Dartmouth" for developing the leaders of tomorrow. "We educate young people to deal with the major forces that will affect their lives" through a fusion of scholarship, pedagogy, and deep engagement with the world's challenges. He cited the National College Health Improvement Project, the Dartmouth Peak Performance program for student athletes, and many other examples of initiatives that offer innovative leadership development opportunities for students.

Noting Dartmouth's "tradition of leading the way," President Kim commended the Class of 1942 for their new book on Dartmouth's military service in World War II, Dartmouth at War, and the crowd gave a standing ovation.

Martha Beattie '76, vice president for Alumni Relations, spoke with about 65 officers about the future of class dues, a topic much on the minds of class presidents and treasurers. The average class dues participiation has declined over the past five years. Dues are a funding source for not only class programming, but also alumni subscriptions to Dartmouth Alumni Magazine.

Beattie acknowledged that all ideas for strengthening class funding were welcome at the table. She asked officers to think about what distinguishes classes that have high dues participation, saying demonstrated new ideas and new programming often bring a parallel increase in dues participation. "It’s all about leadership," Beattie said.

The officers also met with trustee Bill Helman '80 in a Q&A session that covered the rising cost of a college education, plans to commemorate the 40th anniversary of women at Dartmouth in 2012, and other topics.

Committee Meetings and Crickets

"COW is a unique opportunity to mobilize and refresh class officers for the upcoming work of the year," said class president Stephanie Welsch-Lewin '88, who traveled from Chevy Chase, MD. "I look forward to it every year. Trustee Bill Helman's talk was a great way to start the day. Morning discussions on dues and volunteers were helpful in allowing us to delve into pressing organizational issues we face as class leaders."

"My annual pilgrimmage to Hanover" is how class president Brant Rose '92 described the weekend. "I definitely like to make the most of my time there."

Rose, who traveled from Los Angeles, attended his class meeting, "a crucial working session," and a meeting for mini-reunion chairs, and he moderated the decades discussion for the '90s classes. He also presented at a meeting of class presidents on the successful in-person and virtual mini-reunion the Class of 1992 held last year. 

Class president Brant Rose '92 (center) and fellow class officers Anne Hammer '92 (left) and Elissa Aten '92. Photo: Zach Ingbretsen '11


"We had our city captains hold live mini-reunions on or around the 92nd day of the year in our major metropolitan areas," he said. "At the same time we asked members of the class to write into our Facebook group or email with news and pictures of what they were doing that day – just a day in their life."

"This was our most popular event, with 100+ participating," said Rose. It earned the organizers a special recognition award. 

"I also snuck in some moments to reconnect with the campus and Hanover," Rose said. He had coffee with a favorite professor, Don Pease, and, through the Class Activities Unit of Alumni Relations, met with two students, Anoush Arakelian '14 and Josh Hall '14, whom he took out for breakfast to learn about campus life today from these students' perspectives. He went to the men's soccer game; caught up with a few rowers from the Class of 1992 who were in town for a Friends of Dartmouth Rowing event; and had dinner with his fellow class officers and Jessie Levine '92, the new assistant town manager for Hanover. 

Among other activities of Rose's weekend: walking down to Occom Pond, where he recorded a bit of audio of the crickets, to the delight of some alums back in Los Angeles.

And the Award Goes To

The weekend was a great occasion, too, to take a moment to honor the outstanding contributions that alumni volunteers make to the Dartmouth community. Jeffrey Fine '99 received a 2011-12 Dartmouth Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award from the Alumni Council for over 10 years of steady volunteer work for his class. Beth Krakower '93, chair of the council's Young Alumni Award Committee, presented the award.

The Class Officers Association presented class and officer of the year awards and special recognitions for outstanding service in 2010–11. Detailing wide-ranging alumni engagement programs, the annual reports that the classes submit to the association executive committee each summer attest to the great contributions alumni volunteers make. The awards may go to the volunteers, but Dartmouth clearly wins.

Read the award citations.

  • Classes of the Year: Class of 1981 and Class of 1986
  • Class of the Year Honorable Mentions: 1955, 1961, 1987, 1988
  • Presidents of the Year: Jack Doyle '55 and Stephanie Welsh-Lewin '88
  • Secretary of the Year: Michael Mahoney '92
  • Treasurers of the Year: Ralph Sautter '55 and Melissa Sogard Ferguson '04
  • Newsletter Editors of the Year: Robert Goldbloom '81 and Peter Oudheusden '81; Robert Hoffman, Daniel Moore, and Abbe Sokol '10
  • Gift Planning Chair of the Year: Josiah Stevenson IV '57
  • Mini-Reunion Chair of the Year: Class of 1979
  • Webmaster of the Year: Geoffrey Hyatt '88
  • Outstanding Mini-Reunion Programs: Classes of 1966, 1978, 1979, 1986, 2010
  • Special Recognitions: James Coleman Jr. '46; Classes of 1942, 1946, 1964, 1966, 1979, 1992, 2009, 2010