Alumni Council News December 2011

DECEMBER 1–3, 2011
By Steve Geanacopoulos '74

In recent years, the Alumni Council Communications Committee has provided an account of each Alumni Council meeting that councilors can use to convey to their constituents a sense of what we saw and heard. You are welcome to pass along all or any portion of this report to your constituents — adapting, cutting, pasting, or adding as appropriate to your needs.

This was the 203rd meeting of the Dartmouth Alumni Council. In 1913, Dartmouth President Ernest Martin Hopkins formed the Alumni Council to guide and support Dartmouth alumni relations. The council meets twice yearly in Hanover. The mission of the Alumni Council is to sustain a fully informed, representative, and engaged exchange of information and sentiment between the alumni and the College, and to enhance and inspire alumni involvement that furthers the mission of the College.

This report is meant to complement the wealth of information — about this council meeting and alumni affairs in general — available on the Office of Alumni Relations website If you haven't already, it's a good idea to bookmark this address.


The meeting program schedule was jam-packed and included the following highlights (see below for details on each item):

  • Provost Carol Folt '78a presented a status report on the ongoing Dartmouth Strategic Planning Initiative.
  • Gabrielle Lucke, director of diversity training and educational programs; Rodrigo Ramirez '06, assistant dean of pluralism and leadership; Elise Smith '13; and Christian Brandt '12 led a panel discussion on "Diversity at Dartmouth."
  • The council unanimously nominated Nate Fick '99, Richard H. Kimball '78, and Ben Wilson '73 to fill three alumni-nominated seats on the Dartmouth Board of Trustees.
  • Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson explained how she hopes to help students succeed at Dartmouth and beyond and outlined her goals for the 2011-12 academic year.
  • Councilors were treated to faculty lectures by Dorothy Wallace, professor of mathematics, and Barbara Will, professor of English.
  • President Jim Yong Kim '82a, explaining that Dartmouth was at a rare "inflection point" in its history, called upon the entire Dartmouth community to innovate, adapt, and invest in the College in order to maintain its position of excellence in the increasingly competitive global higher education market.
  • The council presented Dartmouth Alumni Awards to David Eichman '82, Susan Finegan '85, and Curtis Welling '71, '77Tu.
  • Dartmouth trustees Annette Gordon-Reed '81 and Brad Evans '64 presented the council with an update on the board's recent activities, including its outreach to Dartmouth clubs, its ongoing supervision of the Strategic Budget Reduction and Investment Initiative and its participation in the ongoing Strategic Planning Initiative.
  • Albert G. Mulley '70, M.D., director of the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science, reported on the progress of the center's first class of degree candidates. He also presented an inspirational account of the ground-breaking work that the center is doing around the world in support of its mission to improve the quality of healthcare, lower costs, and expand access.
  • Director of athletics Harry Sheehy and senior associate athletics director Drew Galbraith showcased the Athletics Department's Peak Performance Initiative, which integrates sports medicine, strength and conditioning, and nutrition to maximize the performance and well-being of Dartmouth athletes.
  • Martha Beattie '76, Dartmouth's new vice president for alumni relations, presented her agenda for building lifelong and ever-more-meaningful relationships between Dartmouth and her alumni.
  • The Hood Museum has mounted "Native American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art," the largest exhibition of Native-American art that has ever been on view at the Hood. This coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Native American Program at Dartmouth.


The council's Thursday afternoon plenary session opened with welcome remarks from Council President Danielle Dyer '81, '89Tu. Dyer introduced Provost Folt, who gave councilors an update on the current Dartmouth Strategic Planning Initiative. Provost Folt reported that the global higher education landscape is undergoing rapid change. Dartmouth and other leading colleges and universities in America face ever-increasing competition for the best students and faculty from rising U.S. public and international universities. Schools around the world are in an "arms race" to build the best research facilities and to attract the strongest faculty and students from across the globe; all aspire to be great, to build their reputations, and to rise in the various rankings that shape perceptions about the quality of colleges and universities. At the moment, Dartmouth is unique among its U.S. peers in having a very large gap between its ranked position among U.S. universities and its ranked position among world universities. Today's students have an international focus and wish to be internationally employable. They aspire to be taught by leading faculty in both the arts and sciences and to have the opportunity, as undergraduates, to participate in scientific research. Students around the world are much more likely today to undertake their studies abroad. The last 25 years have seen an explosion of knowledge and interdisciplinary work in the academy. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics/medicine are driving the global economy. No college can have all knowledge within its own library. Colleges and universities are partnering with other institutions, and they wish to work with those institutions that are perceived to be the best. It is anticipated that theU.S. News & World Report rankings will become more dependent upon global reputation and influence, and there is concern that Dartmouth could slip unless it increases its visibility on the global stage. 

President Kim has challenged the Dartmouth community to chart a bold path toward the College's 250th anniversary. If Dartmouth aspires to maintain its reputation as the institution of choice for the best faculty and the strongest students, then it must adapt, innovate, and invest in its core strengths of teaching, research, and student engagement and strive to become more global in its reach and impact. The strategic planning initiative now under way is designed to find a path toward this goal. A variety of committees and working groups are now engaged in the review and planning process under the leadership of President Kim and Provost Folt and subject to the ultimate supervision of the Dartmouth Board of Trustees. The process aims to identify goals by the end of 2012 and to proceed with implementation during the years 2013 to 2020. The working groups will publish their recommendations within the next two to four months for consideration by the entire Dartmouth community. The various committees and working groups are composed of members drawn from the arts and sciences faculty and the faculties of Dartmouth's professional schools. The process is designed to stimulate bold and imaginative thinking. Input will be sought from all constituencies, including alumni. The College has established a strategic planning website that contains a wealth of information and which invites input from faculty, students, staff, and alumni (

Following Provost Folt's presentation, councilors broke out into three different dinner/discussion groups with faculty and administrators who are participating in the working groups to discuss the following questions:

  1. What do you think is most different about the society we live in today compared to 20 years ago?
  2. What do you think will be the most significant changes in society 20 years from now?
  3. Which of these changes will have the greatest impact upon higher education?
  4. What do you hope/think will remain the same in higher education?
  5. Looking forward, what is Dartmouth's single greatest advantage? Disadvantage?

A spirited discussion followed about where the strategic planning process should take Dartmouth, how Dartmouth needs to grow, what we should aspire to remain or become, and how it can meet the challenges of the future while at the same time preserving the traditions that her alumni love. 



Friday's plenary session opened with a panel presentation, and Q&A session, about "Diversity at Dartmouth." Gabrielle Lucke, director of diversity training and educational programs, told councilors that diversity among faculty, staff, and students is a critical and shared goal of the Dartmouth community. In its employment practices, the College seeks to create an environment that recruits and fosters the inclusion and well-being of diverse employees, consistent with Dartmouth's mission and its obligations under federal laws. Lucke previewed the College's plans for its upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, which will highlight the work of Dartmouth students around the world and include an address from the coach of the Titans, the first integrated high school football team in Virginia. 

Rodrigo Ramirez '06, assistant dean of pluralism and leadership, explained how he and his colleagues work to create a feeling of inclusion and well-being among all students and how they help diversity students successfully deal with issues of identity, inclusion, and power dynamics. Christian Brandt '12 expressed the view that diversity dynamics at Dartmouth are always undergoing change. While much progress has been made, and while the College is committed to diversity, there is still work to be done. He cited a recent incident of vandalism and use of homophobic words that created significant discomfort. From his point of view, the College does a good job of admitting a diverse student body, but the post-admission experience needs improvement. He asked councilors to be advocates for diversity and expressed the hope that alumni could become mentors to diversity students and help them better meet the challenges they face. Elise Smith '13 explained how it can be uncomfortable for students of color to be thrust into the Dartmouth community. Alluding to the oft-made observation that students within a particular diversity group tend to stick together, she said that the onus is on every member of the Dartmouth community to foster a heightened sense of inclusion and more shared experiences. 

In the Q&A that followed, one councilor expressed concern about the recent departures of persons of color from the faculty and administration and how this could foster an impression that Dartmouth is not committed to diversity. Another observed that while the Dartmouth faculty has a comparatively high percentage of minority faculty, minorities are under-represented in the tenured ranks of the faculty. Lucke acknowledged this concern and expressed her view that it would take time to redress. Finally, a councilor questioned whether affinity houses tended to work against the goal of diversity. Brandt explained that they serve as "safe havens" for students who are often under immense pressure at the College. He also explained that the affinity houses are regularly engaged in outreach efforts to other members of the Dartmouth community. 


Pete Frederick '65, chair of the council's Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee, presented his committee's report to the alumni councilors and recommended that the council nominate three individuals to fill the three alumni-nominated seats on the College's Board of Trustees that come up for election next spring. Before announcing the names of the committee's three selections, Pete explained that the committee's mission is to identify, recruit, and nominate the best candidates for the trustee elections and to conduct a search process that is broad-based, open and inclusive, thorough and rigorous, respectful, discreet and confidential, and independent. Qualifications for nomination include accomplishment and success in chosen field; rigorous, critical thinking skills; effective communication skills; understanding of board dynamics and ability to work in a collaborative environment; ability to bring new perspectives to the existing board; broad appeal, credibility, and willingness to run; demonstrated energy and passion for Dartmouth; and governance/board experience. Frederick explained that the current search process involved aggressive solicitations of nominees from alumni across multiple venues during a five-month period. In the course of this search, the committee met 13 times (four in-person meetings in New York, Boston, and Hanover and nine conference calls) and more than 300 alumni were considered. Of those considered, nine were invited to interview in New York City and submitted written answers to essay questions prepared by the committee. After much anticipation, and with great enthusiasm, Frederick recommended to the council the following three trustee candidates:

Nathaniel Fick '99
Nate Fick '99 is chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security and an operating partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. After Dartmouth, he served as a Marine Corps infantry officer in Afghanistan and Iraq, and wrote the bestselling book One Bullet Away about that experience. He is a director of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, which provides access to higher education for the children of service members killed in action. Nate serves Dartmouth on the Board of Visitors of the Rockefeller Center and is a frequent speaker on campus. While at Dartmouth, he won a U.S. National Championship title in cycling. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. Nate lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and daughter.

Richard H. Kimball '78
Rick Kimball '78 is a founding general partner of Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), one of the largest growth equity/venture capital funds in the world focused exclusively on information technology. Over the course of a 16-year history, TCV-backed companies have held 50 initial public offerings. He is a member of the Dartmouth President's Leadership Council, Trustees' Investment Committee, and College Fund Committee and also serves as class agent. Rick played a major role in supporting the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center project. At Dartmouth, he was a member of SigEp and majored in history. He also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago. Rick is the son of John Kimball '43. He is married with a daughter and son and lives in San Francisco. 

Ben Wilson '73
Ben Wilson '73 is managing principal of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., the nation's largest environmental law firm. Ben litigates extensively in federal and state courts, and advises clients in complex business negotiations. He is lead counsel for major corporations and government agencies. Ben serves on the boards of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and the Environmental Law Institute. He is an adjunct professor at Howard University Law School and a graduate of Harvard Law School. At Dartmouth, Ben was vice president of his class and a member of the varsity football and track teams. After graduation, he founded a mentoring program to foster academic success by minority college students and has been active in fundraising activities. Ben's three brothers (Harrison '77, John '80, and Richard '84) also attended Dartmouth.

Following Frederick's announcement, the three nominees joined the Council meeting (Nate Fick and Ben Wilson in person, and Rick Kimball via Skype). Each of the nominees made a statement to the council, fielded a handful of questions, and then left the meeting to permit the council to take action on the committee's recommendation. After brief discussion, and with palpable enthusiasm, the council unanimously approved the nominations of Fick, Kimball, and Wilson. 

The filing deadline for petition candidates is February 9, 2012. Trustee balloting will take place online and by mail from March 14 through April 11, 2012. Additional information is posted on the election website at


Fewer than six months into her new job, Dean Johnson shared her aspirations with the council. The core mission of her division is to help students succeed at Dartmouth and beyond. The dean's office seeks to build "ethical, accountable leaders who understand their responsibility to their communities." Key divisional strategies include (i) anchoring students in the intellectual life of the campus, (ii) helping students build a responsible and inclusive community, (iii) removing barriers to success, (iv) leveraging our diversity and inclusivity in pursuit of academic excellence, and (v) preparing students for rewarding and successful careers. Dean Johnson has set the following specific goals for the 2011-12 academic year:

  • Continued support for the Dartmouth-led binge drinking collaborative;
  • Implementation of the bystander intervention program for sexual assault;
  • Redressing deficiencies in student counseling services and expanding access in order to meet growing demand;
  • Restructuring and upgrading pre-major advising; and
  • Creation of a long-term plan to improve Career Services.

Assistant Dean Cecilia Gaposchkin pointed to improvements the College hopes to make to pre-major advising. Currently, because faculty are rewarded for specialization, many of those who serve as pre-major advisers do not have a global view of the College's curriculum and are therefore challenged when advising students who face a dizzying menu of academic choices. In addition, although the undergraduate deans are also a source of pre-major advising, they are understaffed and only able to deal effectively with the 20 percent of students who are "in crisis." In the fall of 2012, the College will implement a new pilot program for 100 students who will be advised by specially trained faculty. Although these steps will help address the problem, much work remains to be done. 

Dean Johnson explained that the Career Services office is in need of improvement if it is to fulfill its mission of connecting students with careers that match their talents and dreams. Long-term plans envision the commitment of additional financial resources, the hiring of a new director of Career Services, and more effective and systematic career networking opportunities with alumni. 

During the Q&A session, one councilor asked the dean about her views on Greek life. She appreciates that Greek life offers students a meaningful way to engage with the Dartmouth community outside of the classroom, but at the same time she stressed that the College must offer social life alternatives. 


Councilors had the opportunity to attend one of two faculty lectures:

  • Dorothy Wallace, professor of mathematics, gave a presentation about the Dartmouth Financial Literacy Project;
  • Barbara Will, professor of English, gave a lecture about her just published book, Unlikely Collaboration: Gertrude Stein, Barnard Faÿ and the Vichy Dilemma (Columbia University Press, 2011).

Councilors were thrilled to be back in class again, if only for an hour!


At the council's Friday night dinner in Alumni Hall, Council President Danielle Dyer had the honor of introducing President Kim. President Kim told the councilors that Dartmouth must adapt, innovate, and invest in its core strengths and become more global in its reach and impact if it hopes to maintain its preeminent position in the global higher education market. Today students seek, and Dartmouth must offer, not only first-quality teaching but also opportunities to participate in cutting-edge scholarship and scientific research. Teaching will remain a priority. However, if Dartmouth is to remain the institution of choice for the best faculty and students, it must offer its students the chance to participate in scientific research and scholarship in both the humanities and the sciences. He pointed to the just-completed Class of 1978 Life Sciences Building as a perfect example of the investment that Dartmouth must make to remain competitive and to retain its reputation as one of the best academic institutions in the world. He told councilors that we are today at one of those rare and critical "inflection points" in the history of the College where choices made will determine success or failure. President Tucker took the bold step of introducing math and science to a curriculum centered on the study of Greek and Latin; President Dickey took the bold step of hiring PhDs as faculty; and President Kemeny took the bold step of offering a Dartmouth education to women. Each of these decisions met significant resistance and created unease, but each transformed the College and enabled it to embrace the future with success. So today, the Dartmouth community must have the courage to adapt, innovate, and invest in order to remain competitive and retain its peerless reputation, while at the same time maintaining the core strengths and traditions that give Dartmouth its unique identity. President Kim expressed the hope that the ongoing Strategic Planning Initiative, informed by input from all Dartmouth constituencies, would yield a road map to ever-increasing success in the ever more competitive world of higher education.

Dyer also proudly presented the Dartmouth Alumni Award to David Eichman '82, Susan Finegan '85, and Curtis Welling '71, '77 Tu. Their award citations are posted on the Alumni Awards website at



Trustees Annette Gordon-Reed '81 and Brad Evans '64 updated the council on the recent activities of the Board of Trustees. This past year the board participated in 78 different outreach events at Dartmouth clubs around the country and 32 advancement events. On October 11, 2011, it hosted one of the Republican presidential debates in Hanover. The board is actively involved in the Dartmouth Strategic Planning Initiative, in the course of which it intends to seek the widest possible input from Dartmouth's various constituencies, including faculty, students, and alumni. Gordon-Reed told the councilors that she would be a strong advocate for the liberal arts. She and Evans pointed with great pride to the just-completed Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center and to the new $50 million Visual Arts Center, which is now under construction. In the course of a Q&A session, Evans reported that many Greek houses now have alumni advisory boards but that most still are in dire need of upgrades to their physical plant. On the subject of finances, he reported that the College endowment, now at $3.3 billion, returned 10 percent in fiscal 2010, 18 percent in fiscal 2011, and is flat in the current fiscal year. Endowment performance "has been good but not great." The College has a new chief investment officer who is "doing a terrific job." The endowment is over-invested in private equity, and it will take some time to reallocate. He indicated that the College learned some valuable lessons about liquidity in the course of the economic downturn. We may expect to see a new capital campaign, once the Strategic Planning Initiative yields a road map to targeted investments in Dartmouth's future. Brad also reported that he and Trustee Steve Mandel '78 have engaged in a dialogue with the council's Alumni Liaison Committee concerning the content of its 2010-11 Annual Report, which is available online (


Albert G. Mulley Jr., MD, MPP '70, director of the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science, gave councilors an inspirational account of the center's mission and the progress of its first class of degree candidates. The center is doing ground-breaking work around the world in support of its mission to improve the quality of healthcare, lower costs, and expand access. It offers a master's degree in healthcare delivery science using an interdisciplinary curriculum taught by professors drawn from the College, the Medical School, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Tuck, and Thayer. This degree program is one of the first of its kind and is already being emulated by other major universities. Although still in its infancy, the center's impact is already being felt on the global stage. The center is collaborating with the Ministry of Health in China to create a Dartmouth Healthcare Atlas for China. It is forging partnerships with major European universities. This year, the center played a leading role in the Salzburg Global Seminar. Councilors came away from Mulley's presentation convinced that the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science is destined to perform an important role in healthcare reform. 


Director of athletics Harry Sheehy and senior associate director for athletics Drew Galbraith unveiled the new Peak Performance Initiative that is being made available to Dartmouth athletes. The program is designed to integrate sports medicine, strength and conditioning training, and nutrition to help Dartmouth athletes become not only the best athletes but also the best students and the best members of the community that they can possibly be. Sheehy and Galbraith described the program as a real "difference maker," teaching lifelong patterns of behavior and contributing to lifelong wellness. They stressed that "this will be an excellent athletic department because we have a great college … but education is most important. … Our students are students first." As part of the program, 55 members of the faculty have volunteered to act as pre-major advisors to Dartmouth athletes. Under the program's new "rest-wise" feature, student-athletes must spend just one minute per day measuring their vital signs, which are communicated electronically to their coaches, who can measure their athletes' recovery and appropriately tailor practice regimens. The program also includes a leadership training model, drawing on components of Navy Seal training, which subjects athletes to adverse circumstances and conditions them how to react effectively. The Peak Performance Initiative also emphasizes community service, and Sheehy and Galbraith proudly explained the many ways in which Dartmouth athletes are giving back to the College and Upper Valley community. With President Kim's enthusiastic support, Sheehy intends ultimately to make the peak performance program available to all members of the College community. Initiatives such as this cost money, and Sheehy explained that the Athletics Department has hired four new fundraisers. They are looking to increase annual giving from alumni and seeking to raise $20 million for endowed coaching positions.


Dartmouth's new vice president for alumni relations, Martha Beattie '76 shared with councilors her ambitious agenda for building lifelong and ever-more-meaningful relationships between Dartmouth and her alumni. She identified two over-arching goals: making alumni proud of Dartmouth and creating goodwill and engaging alumni to give their time, treasure, and talent to the College. She noted that "meaningful engagement" goes two ways. She wants all alumni to be genuinely happy that Dartmouth is still a part of their lives, but she recognizes that the College must offer and give lifelong, meaningful engagement to its alumni. As part of a new "Dartmouth for Life" initiative, the College plans to offer alumni career planning services, alumni career panels and speakers, life-stage planning, life skills, online shared interest groups, Alumni College or other educational offerings, and health insurance cooperatives. Martha and her team are also re-imagining reunions. They are determined to enhance the reunion experience and increase attendance. From now on, all pre-50th reunions will be on weekends. The reunion experience will be enhanced to include an afternoon extravaganza on the Green; "Midnight Hour Magic"; tours of the steam tunnels, Bartlett Tower, and Baker Tower; and "intellectual tune-ups" at Alumni College. A mobile app for reunion weekend programming is also in the works. Beattie paid tribute to her colleagues and asked the councilors for their ideas to help her and her team forge an even stronger bond between Dartmouth and her alumni.


The chairs of all committees presented verbal summaries of their respective committee meetings. Full reports on the meetings will be posted on the Alumni Council website at


During the Alumni Council weekend, councilors were able to attend "Native American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art," the largest exhibition of Native-American art that has ever been on view at the Hood. This exhibition, which runs through March 11, 2012, surveys the breadth and depth of the permanent collection of indigenous art from North America, from the historic to the contemporary. Guest Curators George Horse Capture, Joe Horse Capture, and Joseph Sanchez each contribute unique experiences and perspectives as well as a discerning eye in the presentation of the Hood's varied holdings of Native art. The exhibition includes the work of former Dartmouth Artists-in-Residence Allan Houser, Fritz Scholder, T.C. Cannon and Bob Haozous. The exhibition's fully illustrated catalog features contributions by the guest curators as well as Dartmouth Professor Colin G. Calloway, Hood Assistant Curator Karen S. Miller, and a number of specialists in the Native-American art and culture of the respective regions of the country. This exhibit coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Native American Program at Dartmouth.

Relevant Links

The ALC's 2010-11 annual report to the Dartmouth Board of Trustees

Minutes of 203rd Alumni Council Meeting

Photos from 203rd Alumni Council Meeting

Alumni Council Website

Alumni Relations Website

Alumni Awards Website

Vox the Vote election Website

Strategic Planning Website