Message from Alumni Council President
I’m happy to report we recently had a very successful and enlightening meeting of the Dartmouth Alumni Council in Hanover. The theme of the meeting was “Adventuresome Spirit.” It refers to the sensibility that embraces the unknown; invites fearlessness and teamwork; and radiates tenacity, curiosity, and life- changing ideas. The presentations we heard in Hanover and the Dartmouth adventures that many of you shared with the Council in the weeks leading up to the meeting reinforced that these traits remain a key part of the Dartmouth DNA—and help our small college make an outsized mark on the world, while having some fun along the way.
Sharing Your Feedback
Alumni Councilors serve as a link between Dartmouth and alumni. We’re here to gather your questions and ideas and to communicate them to the College all year round and as things come up. We’ll also be communicating with you when there is news to share. As we headed into the Council’s 219th meeting, topics on your minds included Dartmouth’s strategic direction, the College’s commitment to climate issues and sustainability, and the nature of the student experience. While in Hanover, Councilors shared your views and questions with President Hanlon, Chair of the Board of Trustees Laurel Richie ’81, and other Dartmouth leaders. If you’re curious about who represents you on the Council, please visit the Councilor Directory.
The Council fulfilled one of its most important responsibilities by nominating three alumni to serve on the Board of Trustees. They are Susan M. Finegan ’85, Odette A. Harris ’91, and Gregg R. Lemkau ’91. Read more about the candidate and the process at voxthevote.com.
President Hanlon addressed the Council and shared two “north stars” for Dartmouth: academic excellence and a safe, inclusive campus. He described progress made towards these goals, and I was pleased and proud to learn that some key indicators of success—including a more competitive admissions yield, increased research activity, and decreased self-reported alcohol use by students— are all on positive trajectories. Both President Hanlon and Laurel Richie affirmed Dartmouth’s commitment to be, at its core, the best liberal arts college.
Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid, discussed very positive trends in Dartmouth admissions: rising applications, higher selectivity, and greater yield. Lee shared some of the challenges facing admissions practices in higher education in the wake of the recent Harvard lawsuit and “varsity blues” scandal, and reaffirmed to the Council his commitment to the integrity of Dartmouth’s process.
The Stretch—Dartmouth’s earth sciences off-campus program—takes 22 undergraduates, six professors, and six graduate students into the field on a geological tour of the American West and has been doing so for more than 50 years. The Council met with students who participated in this program and with professors Carl Renshaw, Ed Meyer, and Marisa Palucis to learn more about why this kind of experience matters for Dartmouth and how it takes learning to the next level for all of its participants. It made me wish I could go back in time and hop in the van with them to tour glaciers and national parks.
We learned that exciting changes are in store for Dartmouth’s libraries. Baker and Berry libraries will be renovated to ensure that student and faculty learning and research are connected with the breadth and depth of Dartmouth’s collections in meaningful ways. The changes will preserve what we know and love about these spaces while making them more open, collaborative, and conducive to interdisciplinarity and new ways of working.
Vice President for Institutional Initiatives Josh Keniston and Director of Sustainability Rosi Kerr ’97 shared with us their vision for a greener future for Dartmouth. They discussed recent efforts to evolve the methods Dartmouth uses for energy generation as well as the goal of converting from steam to hot water heating. Just before the Council arrived, Dartmouth announced that it is widening its analysis of options to power the campus as part of progress on the Dartmouth Green Energy Project, which is aimed at improving energy resiliency, sustainability, and efficiency. In 2017, Dartmouth adopted goals of 50% renewable fuel by 2025 and 100% by 2050. Although we are only a few years in, Dartmouth is on track to achieve these goals.
Give a Rouse
The Council honored James W. Wooster III ’59 Th’60, Veree Hawkins Brown ’93, and Russell E. Wolff ’89 Tu’94 with the Dartmouth Alumni Award and Kyle J. Polite ’05 and Nathan L. Bruschi ’10 with the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Read more about their extraordinary service to Dartmouth and watch videos about the winners.
During our meeting, Vice President for Alumni Relations Cheryl Bascomb ’82 shared the great news that we are 97% of the way towards the 250,000-hour goal for The Call to Serve. This initiative challenges our community to contribute 250,000 hours of service in honor of Dartmouth’s 250 years and seeks to call attention to the impact Dartmouth alumni, faculty, students, and staff have on the world. Please help us reach our goal by logging your volunteer service hours on The Call to Serve site.
Thanks for reading this summary. We are here to hear you and to share your sentiments with Dartmouth’s leadership, so please be in touch anytime. If you’d like a more thorough summary of the Council meeting, please read the minutes and view photos, or reach out to your Councilors.
C. Alec Casey ‘88
Alumni Council President