Recipient of the 2018-19 Alumni Award

Kelton receiving award

Growing up in San Francisco, you felt the call to explore. When you visited Dartmouth’s campus, you fell in love with the College immediately. The students were warm, welcoming, and open to all your questions. You yearned for a change from the West Coast big city vibe you’d grown up with, and found it in the Upper Valley with its rural, natural setting. You were drawn to the Dartmouth plan and the opportunity to study abroad. Dartmouth just felt like the right fit.

A Spanish major, you minored in geography and enjoyed an LSA in Mexico and FSP in Argentina. These experiences taught you more about language and your own Mexican heritage. You gained global knowledge and cultural sensitivity, which has informed and inspired your work experience after Dartmouth. In true liberal arts fashion, many of your favorite classes fell outside your major, including Professor Marlene Hecht’s “Architectural History of the United States,” and a class focused on LGBT history taught by Professor Michael Bronksi.

You were active on campus, where you served as an undergraduate advisor. As a member of the Green Corp$, Dartmouth College Fund’s student calling program, you managed the student call center and conversed with many alumni about their academic and career passions. As a senior, you joined your class’ Senior Executive Committee and helped shape your class’ initial transition to the world of Dartmouth alumni. You heard that Dartmouth bonds run deep, and in fact, your first job was working for a Dartmouth alum!

Following graduation, you headed to New York City, where roles in communications and technology with YouNoodle and DoubleDutch evolved into your current role as marketing operations manager at NanoTemper Technologies.  Your professional career brought you back to your hometown of San Francisco, where you reside today.

As a recent alumnus, you immersed yourself in your volunteer work for your alma mater in concert with a demanding work life. During your first five years out, you served as class secretary and collected classmates’ stories for the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. Once elected president of the Class of 2007, you were proud of the fact that your class’ efforts in fundraising helped the ’07s reach a leading Dartmouth College Fund participation rate. Other volunteer roles included class agent, alumni councilor, and admissions ambassador. As an alumni councilor, you served on the Student Affairs Committee, as well as the Young Alumni Committee, and helped implement the very popular Class to Class mentorship program, linking the ’07s and ’17s in five different cities. Organized in partnership with Alumni Relations’ Hill Winds Society, this program brought connection and joy to these young alumni and current students.

As co-chair of your class’ 10th Reunion you organized a program called “Dartmouth Journeys,” which gave a voice to speakers from the Classes of 2006, 2007, and 2008. Their wide-ranging personal stories reflected the amazing spectrum of paths chosen by fellow alumni and was well-received.

Of course, that study abroad program in Argentina also introduced you to your beloved husband, Chris Abrecht ’08. Luckily, you started dating Chris as a student, so you’ve been able to share all things Dartmouth, from kayaking on the Connecticut River to travel to event planning.

John, we are truly grateful for your upbeat manner and welcoming and inclusive nature. It is with deep appreciation that the College honors your enthusiasm, accomplishments, and dedication to Dartmouth with the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award.