Alumni Council News October 2015 Clarke

Report from the 211th Meeting of

The Dartmouth Alumni Council, October 22-24, 2015


The Dartmouth College Alumni Council convened on the Hanover Plain for two days in late October for its annual fall meetings.


All councilors are being asked to share with their constituents in their Council reports the following question.


As alumni councilors, we talked a great deal throughout our meetings on campus this fall about the value of a liberal arts education, as well as the critical importance of the intellectual experience at Dartmouth extending far beyond the classroom. We also discussed how the learning experience at Dartmouth can be lifelong.


To what extent did an intellectual experience or experiences you had while an undergraduate at Dartmouth continue to resonate after you graduated  -- whether in the work you do, or have done, or in your life overall? 


The Executive Committee of the Council asks that you share your responses directly with your Class Alumni Council representative, via email. He will forward them to the Alumni Liaison Committee, which is charged with conveying alumni sentiment and reflections to the Board of Trustees.


And now, some news about the meetings:


The College’s Finances 

  • Dartmouth’s endowment earned an investment return of 8.3 percent for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015 – with a value of $4.7 billion, according to Chief Investment Officer Pamela L. Peedin ’89, ’98Tu. Learn more about the endowment.
  • The total annual cost per student of a Dartmouth education is just shy of $118,000 – though the price charged for full tuition, room and board, and mandatory fees is $62,000, according to Mike Wagner, chief financial officer. The difference is funded by sources other than tuition, including the Dartmouth College Fund, the distribution of unrestricted resources from the endowment and research grants. Dartmouth Alumni Magazine published an article in May titled “Why is Dartmouth so expensive?”
  • We learned from Ann Root Keith, Chief Operating Officer of Advancement, that in terms of the percentage of its alumni who made a donation to the college last year, Dartmouth was ranked second nationally – behind only Princeton – with 43.4 percent. (Yale followed a distant third, with 28 percent alumni participation.)

Campus Life


  • President Philip J. Hanlon ’77 told the Council that the Moving Dartmouth Forward Initiativeannounced earlier this year as a way to curb an array of harmful behaviors has had an initial impact. “I think it’s early days,’’ President Hanlon said. “We need to be patient.”
  • Beginning in the fall of 2016, every Dartmouth undergraduate will be assigned to a house community, a cluster of dorms to which they will maintain affiliation throughout their undergraduate experience. The initiative is intended to build communities within the Dartmouth community that provide students with a sense of continuity, identity and a deeper residential experience. A faculty member will also reside near each house community.

This is encouraging, and returns the residential model back to the system which was in place when we were in Hanover. In addition, there is discussion about whether alumni will be asked to become associated with a cluster of their choosing. My choice would be the cluster which includes South and North Mass where I lived.


The Academic Experience

  • In a lunchtime address to the Council, Cecilia Gaposchkin, associate professor of history and assistant dean of faculty for pre-major advising, made a forceful argument for a liberal art education as “a good return on investment” for students, their families and the college itself.Professor Gaposchkin has written extensively about all this, including this Op-Ed in The Washington Post.

    Hood Museum Expansion

  • The Hood Museum of Art, originally completed in 1985, will undergo a major renovation and expansion beginning with its temporary closing in March 2016. It will reopen in January 2019.

Alumni Awards

  • At a gala dinner the Council presented this year’s Dartmouth Alumni Awards to Patricia E. Berry ’81, Ellie Mahoney Loughlin ’89, and Ellis B. Rowe ’74. The Young Alumni Distinguished Service Awards were given to S. Caroline Kerr ’05 and Michael J. Vidmar ’03View a series of short, emotionally moving, video tributes to each honoree.

    Second Annual Alumni Day of Service: May 7, 2016

  • Save the date! The Second Annual Alumni Day of Service will be held on May 7, 2016, and the Council encourages all alumni to participate. Please register to help lead these mobilization efforts as a service project coordinator or to simply volunteer on that day.

Dartmouth on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert 

  • Fans of Stephen Colbert and Dartmouth football got a double treat earlier this fall, when Head Football Coach Buddy Teevens appeared on Colbert’s new CBS show to demonstrate a robotic tackling dummy – designed to eliminate concussions during football practices – that originated as a project at the Thayer School of Engineering. Watch the video.