David Mason Eichman '82: Dartmouth Alumni Award Recipient, 2011-12


David Mason Eichman '82 (right) was presented a 2011-12 Dartmouth Alumni Award by Danielle Dyer '81, '89Tu.

During your time at Hamilton West High School in New Jersey, guidance counselors would give students interested in attending college two applications for nearby state universities. In typical fashion, you strived for something more, and had your mind set on attending an "Ivy League school." Not knowing exactly what they were, you inquired with your guidance counselor about these schools, to which she replied, "I think Dartmouth is one of them." How fortunate for us that was her answer! You applied, were accepted, and after some convincing of your parents, you arrived in Hanover for the first time when they dropped you off freshman fall.

At Dartmouth, you learned the fundamentals of what it takes to succeed in the classroom, and also appreciated the benefits of a co-curricular experience beyond the Hanover Plain. You are thankful you were placed in German 1, because it resulted in your passion for the language, the opportunity to be taught by Professor Duncan, and the participation in both the Language Study Abroad and Foreign Study Programs in Germany. These programs not only strengthened your language skills, but even more, they spurred your love for culture and travel. You were also a member of the German Club, a drill instructor for the language, and unsurprisingly, graduated magna cum laude with distinction in German. To round things out, you dabbled in equestrian your freshman year, participated in the Young Democrats, and were a newscaster for WDCR all four years.

After Dartmouth, you returned to Germany where you taught as a Fulbright Fellow in Cologne, and also had the unique opportunity to intern for the German Bundestag. You made many dear friends during this memorable time, and still make
regular visits to the region. After your return from the Fatherland, a new chapter in your life began when you attended law school at Northwestern University. After obtaining your J.D., you soon moved to Los Angeles which marked the start of a successful career in transactional law. Since 1993, you've had your own practice in West Hollywood, specializing in real estate and business law.
Although you didn't anticipate volunteering with Dartmouth as an alumnus, your interest peaked upon hearing about a group of alumni in the process of forming the Dartmouth Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae Association (DGALA). This group presented an opportunity for you to meaningfully connect with your alma mater in a way you never had. You became motivated to support and improve the lives of LGBT students, and held several leadership positions for DGALA including president for six years, and Alumni Council representative, during which time you were chair of both the Alumni Organizations and Student Affairs Committees. Realizing the importance of diversity across all alumni leadership roles, you became involved with your class for which you served as class agent, and as co-secretary for four years and counting - a role in which you have done an extraordinary job to include as many alumni as possible in your
newsletters, and even send an individual email to your classmates on their birthdays.
Appropriately enough, you have also served as vice president and are currently the president of the Class Secretaries Association. For the Dartmouth Club of Los Angeles, you have been the DGALA Liaison and currently serve as vice-president. You can also be found in Hanover most summers teaching German for the Rassias Centersponsored Accelerated Language Programs.
No less important to your community, you've helped lead the Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association of Los Angeles as co-president and board member; you've chaired the West Hollywood Transportation Commission for four terms; and you've led the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce as chair of its board of directors and member of its board of governors.
Your busy schedule as a lawyer and volunteer extraordinaire is matched by your husband, Richard Mehlman, and his demanding career as a doctor - however, you both make time to enjoy life, travel, and hang out with your four-year old dog, Bruno.
One of the College's core values is to embrace diversity with the knowledge that it significantly enhances the quality of a Dartmouth education. David, for all that you do to uphold that value, and in recognition of your dedication to your career, community, family, and alma mater, it is our great honor to present you with the Dartmouth Alumni Award.