Recipient of the 2018-19 Alumni Award

Kelton receiving award

You grew up in a small suburban town in New Jersey and came to Dartmouth for a visit on a beautiful summer’s day. Touring Dartmouth with an enthusiastic guide provided an amazing introduction to the campus. The setting was so beautiful, and the students seemed so genuinely happy – you felt you would be welcome here on the Hanover Plain, and luckily for us, decided Dartmouth was the place for you.

Once you arrived on campus, you joined the women’s rugby team, on which you played all four years. This became a pivotal experience for you at the College — you treasured the support of your coach and teammates and are still actively involved with the sport.  You also joined Sigma Delta and enjoyed two years living in the sorority house.

As a biology major, one of your favorite academic experiences was a bioethics class with Ronald Green, professor emeritus of religion, where you discussed life’s challenges and dilemmas in an intimate setting. This fascinating experience led you to minor in philosophy. Though you considered graduate school, you decided not pursue an additional degree in the sciences as a researcher. After attending the Tuck Business Bridge Program, you launched the initial years of your career in advertising, focusing on analysis and strategy. This aptitude for data-driven results later brought you to Google as an account manager, where you have worked since 2015.

Despite a demanding work schedule, your volunteer career with Dartmouth started shortly after graduation and continues to pick up steam. Grateful for the support you had received as a student from DGALA, Dartmouth’s LGBTQIA+ Alumni/ae Association, you accepted the invitation to join the board of directors. As an intern for the Office of Pluralism and Leadership, you had drafted an initial constitution for an affinity house that would become the Triangle House four years later. You were a member of that gift committee. As chair of the DGALA all-class reunion in 2014, you found the event an incredibly unifying experience.  

Your commitment to the inclusion of all Dartmouth alumni and students is truly extraordinary. As an alumni councilor, you served on the Professional Development Committee, where you oversaw the committee’s resume review program for students. You also served on the Orientation Committee and chaired the Young Alumni Committee, and today you are a member of the Alumni Liaison Committee. You’ve continued to connect with students in a variety of ways, including serving as an “Off the Green” host during a program in New York; conducting alumni interviews; and traveling to campus to speak to Tuck Business Bridge students about finding a job that leans into one’s strengths. You’ve noted how your network of friends keeps expanding through your myriad alumni activities.

As a member of the board of the Friends of Dartmouth Women’s Rugby, you planned its very successful — and exuberant — 40th reunion this fall, and you’ve taken on the role of board president. This vital network of alumnae and parent support has enabled the team to field a development side and increase its coaching staff. Rugby continues to play a central role in your life, as you are also president of the New York Rugby Club, which boasts 200 players across four teams.  Your energy is amazing to us all!

Melanie, we are truly grateful you chose to shine your light onto the Dartmouth community. Your dedication to the College, your perseverance, and your kindness have been instrumental in bringing joy to students and alumni alike. We are thrilled to recognize you with the much-deserved Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award.