A New Display for Alumni Award Recipients, Past, Present, and Future

Blunt Alumni Center

Jun 21, 2023

2 minute read

Staff

Alumni Leadership News

Visitors to Blunt Alumni Center are invited to explore an eye-catching, interactive tribute to Dartmouth’s most dedicated alumni—now prominently on view in the main entryway lobby.

The new recognition wall honors winners of the Dartmouth Alumni Award and the Dartmouth Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award, presented annually by the Alumni Council to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary service to Dartmouth.

“The Dartmouth Alumni Award is the most important and highest recognition of our alumni,” said Vice President for Alumni Relations Cheryl Bascomb ’82 at a June 16 unveiling. “We have had just over 400 award winners, and given that there are 85,000 living alumni, that’s pretty rare air.”

The Alumni Award recognizes alumni who graduated at least 25 years ago, are accomplished in their careers, and who have a track record of service with civic organizations as well as to Dartmouth. The Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award goes to alumni who have graduated within the past 15 years.

Central to the new showcase is a large touchscreen, giving visitors easy access to searchable information—including names, photos, and award citations—about past winners of the Alumni Award going back to 1954, as well as the 50 recipients of the young alumni award, which began in 1990. On either side of the screen, wood panels are etched with a description of each award and a list of the most recent recipients. Wallpaper behind the panels features a print of Dartmouth Row, enlarged from a 19th-century engraving.

The wall “was a collaborative effort between tons of stakeholders,” said Tracey Salmon-Smith ’87, a 2014-2015 Alumni Award winner and chair of the Alumni Council Awards Committee that led the effort to create the installation in Blunt. “We had to come up with a more modern, accessible display, and I think that the committee did that.”

Previously, plaques honoring the awardees were housed in Alumni Hall in the Hopkins Center for the Arts. But with the Hop’s expansion and renovation, which is transforming Alumni Hall into a state-of-the-art black box rehearsal, teaching, and creation space, the recognition wall needed to be relocated—and reimagined.

“We’re excited to bring it into the 21st century,” Bascomb said.

At the reception, Carolyn Gray Kimberlin, senior director of volunteer engagement, demonstrated the touchscreen and called on Rachel Bogardus Drew ’98—daughter of 2021-2022 Alumni Award winner Bill Bogardus ’67, who passed away this month—to test it out. As fellow awardees and friends looked on—many with tears—Drew located her father’s full profile.

Afterward, 2021-2022 Alumni Award winner Adrienne “Tee” Lotson ’82, was visibly moved.

Lotson described herself as “originally resistant” to the idea of moving the recognition wall to Blunt. “But the job they’ve done is so powerful,” she said. “You can still come and scroll the wall—you’re just doing it digitally. They took what was in Alumni Hall and elevated it. I’m really pleased.”

And while no tribute can do justice to awardees “who have served this college with all of their heart,” Lotson said, “If people come here and see the pictures and read the words and—just for a moment—imagine the hearts of these people, they’ll understand how incredible this institution is, and how incredible those who love her are.”

The 2023 Alumni Award and Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award winners will be announced in the fall.