Kelley Fead '78: Dartmouth Alumni Award Recipient, 2006-07


Kelley Fead '78, recipient of the Dartmouth Alumni Award, and Martha Beattie '76, Alumni Council president

Ask anyone who knows you, Kelley, to describe your personality, and the same response is given time and again: "Grace under pressure." Whether leading the Dartmouth Alumni Council or Association of Alumni, creating a strategic plan with a business client, interacting with your two sons, or debating alumni governance issues, you epitomize this well-deserved portrayal.

Growing up in Westfield, New Jersey, you expressed interest only in women's colleges. You ultimately saw the folly in that thinking, and decided to follow in the footsteps of your father, William Fead '44, and your brother, Sandy Fead '70, moving to the Hanover plain in 1974. Excelling academically, you majored in English and minored in journalism and writing, graduating cum laude and magna in your major. From the start, you enjoyed writing and the opportunity to work creatively with colleagues. This was evident by the many roles you held at The Dartmouth including reporter, news editor, executive editor and member of the Board of Proprietors.In 1976 you completed a six-part history of coeducation at Dartmouth published in The D, culminating in an article in the Alumni Magazine entitled "Just Like the Rest of Us." A fascination for politics led you to spend the summer of 1977 traversing the state of New Hampshire, visiting every radio station and newspaper office as the press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party.Wanting to experience all political sides (or as you put it showing your true schizophrenic personality), you also served on the Student Advisory Committee to the National Review.

Following graduation, you worked briefly for Inquiry Magazine in San Francisco before accepting a position with Capital Publications, Inc. in Washington, D.C. You rose from reporter to executive editor of the education division and director of special projects.During this period, you also wrote a book entitled "Child Abuse Crisis:Impact on the Schools," which was published in 1985. That same year you relocated to Chicago and worked as a marketing communications consultant while raising your two sons. You have commented on how fortunate you are to be in a profession that provides this type of flexibility between your roles as a professional and a parent.Your clients at this time included the President of Chicago State University, who you guided through an autobiography and the creation of the school's first alumni magazine. In 1998, you joined your husband, Gary Slack '76, at Slack Barshinger, the advertising and public relations firm that he founded, and you currently work with a diverse group of clients as creative director, vice president and partner.

Your alma mater has remained near and dear to your heart as evidenced by your long list of volunteer roles. Your father was the continuing education officer for his local Dartmouth club in New Jersey, organizing the very successful annual seminar in Princeton, and you were appropriately drawn to the club circuit.In Washington, DC you served on the club's executive committee, co-chaired the Glee Club concert, interviewed prospective students and chaired the continuing education program.After moving to Chicago you served as vice president, continuing education officer, secretary, public information chair and president of the active Dartmouth club there. Your interest in governance led you to the Alumni Council, where you became chair of the communications committee member of the Nominating and Trustee Search Committee, president, and chair of the College Relations Group. You helped rewrite the charter for the Alumni Magazine, served on the editor's search committee and were a member of the editorial board.You later served as president of the Association of Alumni.Most recently, you chaired the Joint Committee on Alumni Governance and Trustee Nominations and served on the Alumni Governance Task Force, where you have spent countless hours on the complexities of constitutional reform.

Education is a top priority for you, well reflected in your community activities. Over the years you have volunteered as Winnetka Board of Education secretary, Winnetka Alliance for Early Childhood president, Winnetka Before & After School Program founder and president, Hubbard Woods School PTA president, Winnetka Public Schools Foundation marketing chairman and Winnetka Central PTA president.

All of this could not have been possible without the support of your husband, Gary, who was the editor of The Dartmouth your freshman year and edited your first article. All those evenings debating politics around a cozy fire kindled a wonderful relationship, and you are the very proud parents of sons Alex and Quinn.

In appreciation of the extraordinary contributions you have made to your community, your family, and your alma mater, Kelley, we are immensely proud to present you with the Dartmouth Alumni Award.

Martha Beattie '76
Dartmouth Alumni Council