Alumni Council News May 2016 Clarke

Dear 1960 Classmates:

Here is my Report from the 212th Meeting of the Dartmouth Alumni Council which I attended last month.

Representatives from classes that graduated as far back as six decades ago –the Council-were brought up-to-date on a range of issues, including developments in housing, admissions, diversity and inclusion.

On Friday, after my 7:30AM Student Affairs meeting, which focused on leadership, diversity and inclusion I audited a fascinating ANTH 48 class focused on Zen philosophy. At dinner we heard from Jake Tapper ’91, the CNN anchor, who provided us with a ringside seat for the Clinton and Trump campaigns.

The following morning, we were treated to a moving tribute by Helene Rassias-Miles A’08 to her father, John Rassias ’49a, ’76a, who died in December at age 90. Read the latest on the Rassias Center at Dartmouth.

Watch a brief video with highlights of what we saw and heard during our Council meetings – including remarks from Jake Tapper and President Philip J. Hanlon ’77. President Hanlon answered several questions about the Baker Library confrontations between students and pointed out that his and others actions were consistent with Dartmouth’s aspirational free speech policies.

A Question for You

The Alumni Council would like to pose a question to you, in the spirit of the overarching theme of our weekend – the role of Dartmouth, and its students, in the world at large:

To what extent did you participate in a Dartmouth academic off-campus program, and how did the lessons you learned on that journey shape who you are – and how you see the world – today?

Please send your responses directly to me by return email. I will share them with the Alumni Liaison Committee, which synthesizes alumni views and sentiment for the President and Trustees. Thank you in advance.

And Now, Some News You Can (Hopefully) Use…

“Global Dartmouth”
In a panel discussion with the ominous title, “What Keeps You Awake at Night?” the Council heard three Dartmouth international relations faculty members each speak to a particular threat to international security. Jeffrey Friedman, assistant professor of government, discussed the challenges of making policy (especially as it relates to combating terrorism), at moments of high anxiety. Jennifer Lind, an associate professor of government, said she considered speaking to the Council about the threats posed by climate change, infectious disease, and nuclear non-proliferation before settling on what she described as a far greater hazard: the current, unstable relationship between the United States and China. And Daniel Benjamin ‘57a, Director of the Dickey Center for International Understanding, focused on the world refugee crisis– with about 250 million people, he said, currently living outside their home countries, many in the most dire conditions imaginable. He noted that this relates strongly to the current issues within the European Union.
Among the many impressive new study-abroad opportunities we learned about were these: “Biology 71: Ocular Cell Biology and Disease in the United States and India,” an undergraduate course offered this fall through the department of biological sciences, which will be paired with a visit to the Aravind Eye Clinic in Madurai, India, one of the largest such hospitals in the world. Meanwhile, the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, in partnership with the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Program, is offering an interdisciplinary Foreign Study Program in Hyderabad, India, during the winter term. Among its offerings will be service-learning opportunities with Averil Spencer ’10, who started a camp in India to teach girls English, leadership skills, and information related to health and safety.

News from Closer to Hanover
Dartmouth student housing assignments will change this fall, as students arrive at one of six residential house communities led by a house professor. The communities are intended to provide a lifelong affiliation for the students.
Director of Admissions Paul Sunde told us that The Class of 2020, which will matriculate this fall, were selected from 20,675 applicants and includes students from 40 countries, representing 9 percent of the class, and a record percentage of students of color (40.4 percent). Dartmouth alumni played more of a role in the selection of this class than any other in history, with 5,400 active alumni conducting admissions interviews – a 51 percent increase. Learn more about how to become an admissions interviewer.
As commissioned by President Hanlon, three working groups– one each focused on faculty, students, and staff –spent time studying the latest data on diversity and inclusion at Dartmouth, as well as defining goals to measure progress. They released an Action Plan.
Thayer School of Engineering is about to undergo a major expansion – with a goal of increasing its student body by 50 percent. In what will constitute a major change on the western side of campus, at the end of Tuck Drive, the Computer Science department will be relocated adjacent to Thayer, the better to promote synergy. Just after we left campus, Dartmouth announced a $25 million gift to Thayer.

News from the Alumni Body
The Alumni Council’s Alumni Awards’ Committees have announced the 2016-2017 recipients of the Alumni Awards. The Dartmouth Alumni Award will be presented to Philp C. Kron ’60 ’61Tu, Charles E. Haldeman Jr. ’70, and Margaret N. Sommerfeld ’90.
Dartmouth is continuously enhancing its online resources for alumni – including its directory. We encourage all alumni to go online and update their contact information.

Read the full minutes and view photos of the 212th Meeting of the Dartmouth Alumni Council.


Bruce M. Clark, Class Alumni Council Representative