November 2010 Councilor News

Gentlemen of the Class of '60:

I just spent Homecoming weekend in Hanover with 70-odd of you (which included better halves and a sprinkling of sons and daughters and grandkids) and a fun time its was . . . except for the Harvard football game, particularly the first half. Thatwasn’t very pretty.

At the Class Meeting on Saturday I briefly reported on Alumni Council matters. I requested comments, suggestions, plaudits and gripes that I should bring before the next AC meeting in early December. I repeat that request to all of you herewith. Please let me hear from you. 

One of the topics that will concern the AC this year (as it does the College as a whole - see one of the items below) isexcessive underage drinking with the emphasis on “excessive.” 

This is also the first call for nominations to replace me on the AC since this is my last year there. Please let me know who you think would do a good job of keeping you informed and bringing your concerns before the AC and the various other constituencies of the College. We’ll run an election in early spring 2011. 

The following are items of interest that some of you are likely aware of but, I believe, deserve perhaps repetition and certainly greater distribution:

In August U.S. News and World Report announced that Dartmouth had moved up to No. 9 among national universities. Dartmouth was No. 1 for “Strong Commitment to Teaching” for the second consecutive year, i.e. it is the place in the U.S. “where the faculty has an unusual commitment to undergraduate teaching.”

96% (1,097 students) of the incoming Class of 1914 went on what we used to call the “Freshman Trip” (now “First-Year Trips”), a new record for the 75-year old event. More than 400 upperclassmen were involved in the student-run program, including 55 members of five crews who informally and ingeniously greet students as they arrive on campus. 294 trip leaders—two for every trip—led the 147 groups of six to twelve students as they explored, in many different ways the landscape of northern New England. The DOC pioneered the trips in 1935. Today similar trips are in place at 164 colleges nationwide, according to recent research by the University of New Hampshire.

The 1,139 (50.7% men and 49.3% women) members of the Class of 2014 officially became Dartmouth students at the Matriculation ceremony on September 15, 2010. Representing a variety of cultures, economic backgrounds, and geographic regions, the ’14s came from a pool of 18,788 applicants—the largest in the College’s history.

Of those ranked by their high schools, 90 percent were ranked in the top 10 percent of their class, and of those, 32 percent were valedictorians; 9 percent salutatorians. The class’s mean SAT scores were 718 critical reading, 729 math, and 727 writing.

Ten percent of the ’14s are the first in their families to attend college. 44 percent received scholarships, with the average award climbing to over $36,500. In total, the class is receiving over $18.5 million in scholarship assistance from Dartmouth.

Eight percent are from outside the United States, representing 43 countries. They speak 34 different languages, from Haitian-Creole to Navajo. Nearly 37 percent of the students identify themselves as either African American, Asian American, Latino, Native American, or multiracial.

Members of the class come from 48 states across the country, from public (55 percent), independent (39 percent), and parochial (6 percent) high schools; 14 percent are sons or daughters of Dartmouth alumni. 

The Dartmouth reported on September 27 of this year that the value of the College’s endowment increased by 6% in the fiscal year ending June 30, to reach a value of just under $3 billion. The unanticipated increase was in stark contrast to fiscal year 2009’s $835 million endowment loss.

The Alumni Liaison Committee of the Alumni Council recently issued its third annual report which summarizes the council's activities for the year 2009-2010, including interactions with the trustees and the College, and alumni communications with council representatives and the ALC. The report is available online and then link to “committee report” on bottom of page) and is divided into two parts (the report and its appendices) for easier viewing.

At this same site you can also find the highly worthwhile although disturbing 2010 report about the state of Dartmouth’s Greek Letter organizations, which I mentioned in previous communications. 

The liberal arts — which face cutbacks elsewhere in the country because of increasing emphasis on research over teaching — are essential to Dartmouth’s identity and will be continued to be strongly supported, Jim Yong Kim said in a speech in early October. (For details see The Dartmouth of October 11, 2010.)

The Office of Alumni Relations is hosting a pre-game event in Princeton, NJ on November 20th before the Princeton football game. A complimentary continental brunch will be served and President Kim and Director of Athletics Harry Sheehy will speak.

Jim Yong Kim discussed sexual assaults and alcohol abuse on campus at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences general meeting in late October — an unusual topic in a forum that more frequently addresses the College’s budget and academics. But Kim said he is “shocked” by what he has learned about the prevalence of alcohol abuse and sexual assaults at Dartmouth, and implored faculty members to use their connection with students to help curb these practices. (For details see The Dartmouth of October 26, 2010.)

Enjoy the fall . . . the colors in New Hampshire, although fading fast, were marvelous last weekend.