Last month I returned to Hanover for the 216th meeting of the Dartmouth Alumni Council. The program focused on the vision and priorities of The Call To Lead campaign. The plan is designed to be far-reaching and seeks to drive distinction and differentiation for Dartmouth through three overarching priorities. I encourage you to read more about what the campaign seeks to accomplish and follow the conversation on social media using #DartmouthLeads. Senior Vice President for Advancement Bob Lasher ’88 shared with us that the campaign has already raised $1.6 billion of its $3 billion goal.
Thanks to all who shared their thoughts about the campaign prior to the Council meeting. I’ve conveyed them to College leadership and I’ll be in touch separately with those of you who made comments.
Other highlights of the meeting included:
- We had dinner at one of the two House Centers, popularly known as “The Onion” and “The Cube” to learn about the House Communities which opened in 2016. The goal of the communities is to provide more residential continuity for undergraduates as well as additional social opportunities beyond the classroom. Apparently theses houses are more popular with the freshman and sophomores than upper classmen but that should change as the houses themselves become established. What I liked best about these houses is that they bring people from all parts of the campus together, not just students and professors. There are grad students and campus employees involved to give a bigger range of thoughts and opinions.
- Support for students is central to The Call to Lead campaign. Dartmouth is focusing on a major expansion of financial aid by eliminating loans from financial aid packages, extending need-blind admissions to international students, and providing full financial aid for foreign study. This will particularly benefit undergraduates from middle-income families.
- We heard that the College remains committed to bring the best and brightest talent to Hanover from Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Elizabeth Smith and a panel of faculty. The Call to Lead seeks to advance our distinctive educational model which gives Dartmouth students an incomparable experience with outstanding teacher-scholars working with them inside and outside the classroom.
- Dartmouth plans to address a focused set of the great global challenges. We discussed several “big bets” that students and faculty are working on to improve the human condition. We heard from faculty working in the fields of computer science, cancer research and the Arctic. These discoveries help students become creative, curious, and compassionate citizens of the world.
Finally, I want to note that this year, the Alumni Council will nominate candidates for the Dartmouth Board of Trustees to replace Gail Koziara Boudreaux ’82 and R. William Burgess, Jr. ’81. We invite and encourage your recommendations.