Dartmouth Alumnae: National Leaders in Philanthropy

A group of people seated in the newly renovated Dartmouth Hall to celebrate the alumnae philanthropy that made the renovation possible.

Apr 26, 2023

5 minute read

Centennial Circle Giving News

Dartmouth women have redefined and elevated the voice of alumnae in U.S. higher education fundraising. Three historic achievements underscore the leadership of Dartmouth alumnae in The Call to Lead campaign: establishing the Centennial Circle of Dartmouth Alumnae to provide financial aid, leading the $42 million renovation of Dartmouth Hall, and more than 100 women making a gift of $1 million or more. Here, several alumnae share their thoughts on these successes and how they’ve changed fundraising at Dartmouth.

Centennial Circle members sitting and raising a glass to the camera
The power of one alumna asking another alumna to give was fundamental to the success of our work. Many Dartmouth women had never been asked previously to participate meaningfully in a campaign. For some who were asked, it was because a gift officer saw it as a path to meet our husbands. That was my experience, and it was infuriating. I vowed that I would only get involved with a fundraising campaign if women were full partners.
- Elizabeth Cogan Fascitelli ’80
    Member of the Centennial Circle
I knew Dartmouth women would step up to fund the renovation of Dartmouth Hall. We set ambitious goals and partnered to make them happen. When we combine women of all backgrounds and ages it makes real change easier. And it’s the right time to have a woman lead Dartmouth. It says a lot about the College and its confidence in its future—and women as leaders.
- Catherine Craighead Briggs ’88
    Member of the Centennial Circle
Cultivating alumnae in a direct manner with a peer-to-peer solicitation effort was, in my opinion, a pivotal step in launching a broader appeal for these other, specific women-led philanthropic initiatives. The Centennial Circle engendered a community concept in support of financial aid while also connecting women to one another, igniting the power that each holds individually, and that has continued to resonate very positively with many alumnae.
- Leslie Davis Dahl ’85
    Member of the Centennial Circle
What inspired my gift to Dartmouth was pretty simple: other women. I was fortunate to be serving on the Board of Trustees when the idea for the Centennial Circle came about. It started as a small group—but that circle widened quickly, and ultimately the momentum produced something of a glory spiral. When the Dartmouth Hall project came into focus, it was the right time to think expansively. And that’s exactly what happened. All the right ingredients were here: vision, teamwork, thinking outside the box, wanting to make a difference.
- Denise Dupré ’80
    Member of the Centennial Circle
For decades, many development experts espoused that ‘the ask’ for women was different than for men. It was believed that women would not respond to peer pressure. Women needed a personalized, tailored ask that would, hopefully, resonate. In The Call to Lead campaign, we proved both to be true. The appeal of being part of the Dartmouth Hall initiative, the Centennial Circle, and 100 women giving at $1+ million was powerful. Dartmouth women understood that together they could have impact and leave a lasting legacy.
- Peggy Epstein Tanner ’79
    Member of the Centennial Circle
My dad (Richard Fairley ’55) died in 2006. He had said more Black people need to go to Dartmouth, so we established an endowed scholarship in his name for Black students, and we send a student to Dartmouth every year. Every fall I get these amazing letters from brilliant, wonderful students telling me why they came to Dartmouth and what they are going to do with their careers. It’s so gratifying, and I want to continue our family legacy—Amanda Brown ’07, Hayley Brown ’14—for my grandchildren.
- Ricki Fairley ’78
    Member of the Centennial Circle
The women-led campaign initiatives had an extraordinary impact on campus, but more notably, they sparked an intergenerational community to grow closer together. I had the opportunity to reconnect with fellow alumnae I hadn’t talked to in a decade, as well as meet a host of younger graduates. The shared stories of sisterhood bridged all generational divides. This connectivity magnified across the diverse volunteer base truly strengthened the fabric of the global alumnae community.
- Whitney Flynn ’07 TU’16
    Member of the Centennial Circle
Dartmouth is always evolving and always improving. But one thing that I’ve always felt, as a student and now as an alum, is how much Dartmouth students and alums support and look out for each other. When I think about that, I picture an invisible squad of Dartmouth alums cheering me on from every corner of the world. When I give to Dartmouth, it’s my way of amplifying my support for the parts of Dartmouth that are most meaningful to me, and of letting today’s students and the students to come know that I support them.
- Caroline Hribar ’00
    Member of the Centennial Circle
I wasn’t there for the beginning of coeducation at Dartmouth, but it was still early days when I arrived. So, the idea that we could be proud sponsors and owners of the Dartmouth legacy really struck me as an important marker that we have ‘taken our place’ here—and it must have struck others, too, because it took hold so quickly. And in the process of that, a large group of women across classes have become close, which is of great benefit to each of us as well as to the College. It’s empowering to give and be involved.”
- Susie Huang ’84
    Member of the Centennial Circle
Women are changing the conversation of philanthropy, and it’s important for our students and our entire community to see that. In my experience, women tend to consider giving from the viewpoint of what’s the impact on individuals as well as on the community as a whole. There’s no expectation of anything in return. We trust Dartmouth. It’s a more soulful form of giving with less ego.
- Anne Kubik ’87
    Member of the Centennial Circle
The Call to Lead is the first Dartmouth campaign with alumnae as co-chairs. We, in turn, enlisted women worldwide who together charted the campaign’s course. This collaboration made the campaign stronger than we ever could have imagined. I didn’t serve as a co-chair because I wanted to be among the first. I took on this role because I believe in what the campaign stands for: the inclusiveness of its vision, its goals, and its people. I love how the campaign includes individuals and groups who sat out prior campaigns.
- Ellie Loughlin ’89
    Member of the Centennial Circle
It feels incredible to be part of this group of Dartmouth women setting a new standard for alumnae philanthropy. We, as Dartmouth women, believe in the transformative power of giving as a way to create brighter futures for all students. With this vision, Dartmouth women will continue to unlock opportunities to work together and to chart a new path that uplifts all within our community. I’m hoping we build new dreams and continue to challenge ourselves in ways that we can look back in 50 years and be proud of what we all accomplished together.
- Kaline Newmark ’11
    Member of the Centennial Circle
Dartmouth was—and still is—an important part of my life, and I want to support the institution and our current students so they can have the same transformative experience that I did. The Centennial Circle was the first of the women’s initiatives that I supported, and it was an exciting way to support the Dartmouth College Fund (as well as my 25th reunion fundraising) while also connecting with other alumnae who care as deeply about Dartmouth and the current students.
- Robin Bryson Reynolds ’91
    Member of the Centennial Circle
From the campaign’s earliest days—before it had a name, before committees were formed, before priorities were established—we planned to cast a wide net and welcome alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends to participate. It’s amazing how so many members of our community found meaningful ways to answer the call to lead: women, entrepreneurs, artists, young alumni, Native American, Black, Hispanic, and Asian alumni. We built a big tent, and it has been exciting to see our community come together.
- Laurel J. Richie ’81
    Member of the Centennial Circle
From the day I first arrived in Hanover, Dartmouth women have been a source of inspiration for me. We are bold, ambitious, creative, curious, and connected. The community of Dartmouth women has always inspired me to dream bigger, act bolder. It’s an honor to be able do that through philanthropy and give back to Dartmouth in a meaningful way.
- Erica Ruliffson Schultz ’95
    Member of the Centennial Circle
As eloquently stated during the 50th anniversary of coeducation celebration, ‘We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.’ Joining Dartmouth alumnae in The Call to Lead campaign is a meaningful way to both honor the remarkable and pioneering women of Dartmouth and to inspire the next generation to keep pushing boundaries.
- Ashley Donnenfeld Shackelton ’05
    Member of the Centennial Circle
As a Dartmouth alumna and current faculty member, I have witnessed a transformation in how students view the role and standing of alumnae at the College. These historic fundraising accomplishments demonstrate our alumnae’s generosity and commitment to Dartmouth. It also shows our female students that these women have been successful, and these alumnae use that success to support positive change in higher education, and so can they.
- Zane Thayer ’08
    Member of the Centennial Circle
I love that we’re guaranteeing 100 percent of financial need and dropping the requirement for loans, but there’s more to supporting students than that. Students need to feel empowered to pursue their passions, even if they can’t envision a career path, and they need to have access to insights about potential applications. I am passionate about supporting students who are passionate about STEM in a liberal arts context.
- Femi Wasserman ’99
    Member of the Centennial Circle