Class Agents at the Mandel Society Awards

President Hanlon, Gail Gentes, and Joe Riley ’85

Several ’85 Class Agents and DCF volunteers met up at the recent gala for the Stephen F. Mandel ’52 Society awards. The Society recognizes alumni volunteers who provide visionary leadership in raising gifts to Dartmouth through the Dartmouth College Fund. This year’s honorees were Peter Pratt ’71 and Brett Perryman ’92. ’85s in attendance included Aaron Hill, Risë Norman, and Joe Riley.

Catching Up With the Class Scholar

Kate and Jon Grussing reconnected with our class scholarship recipient Nacho in Hanover this winter. The Grussing’s hosted Nacho and his club, Dartmouth’s Dog Day Players improvisational group, at an alumni event in London this past December.  Gail Gentes, Assistant Director, Dartmouth for Life, joined them and loved hearing about the London trip!

Michelle Duster Speaks at White House Bill Signing

Classmate Michelle Duster was an honored guest and speaker at the recent White House ceremony for the signing of the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act. Michelle, as you hopefully know from blog posts here, is the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, a groundbreaking journalist and chronicler of the lynchings that were all too prevalent in her time. At the signing, Michelle spoke about Wells and the long history of the legislation.

Michelle Duster ’85 speaking at the White House

“She carefully chronicled names, dates, locations, and excuses used to justify lynchings. She wrote articles and pamphlets and gave speeches about the atrocities. Despite losing everything, she continued to speak out across this country and Britain about the violence and terror of lynching.”

Ms. Duster recounted how Ms. Wells had visited President William S. McKinley in the White House in 1898 to urge him to make lynching a federal crime — to no avail.

“We finally stand here today, generations later, to witness this historic moment of President Biden signing the Emmett Till anti-lynching bill into law,” she said.

You can watch Michelle speak here

Sue Finegan ’85 Named to Presidential Search Committee

The Board of Trustees is launching a search for a successor to President Philip J. Hanlon ’77, who has announced his intention to step down in June 2023. Dartmouth has had only 18 presidents since its founding in 1769, underscoring the importance of this process.

The College has designed its search to ensure that key stakeholders—faculty, students, staff, and alumni—have the opportunity to engage. Our classmate Sue Finegan has been named to the search committee.

The committee has been holding listening sessions, and members of the community are invited to provide input by responding by March 18, 2022 to a survey on the presidential search. Information from these sessions and the survey will be used to inform the search process.

Class of 1985 Scholar

Beth Hobbs with 1985 Class Scholar Nacho Gutierrez

Thanks to the generosity of a classmate and so many of you stepping up and meeting our participation goal for the Dartmouth College Fund, we now have a permanent Class of 1985 scholarship to award to a deserving Dartmouth student. We’d like to introduce you to our first Class of 1985 Scholar, Ignacio (Nacho) Gutierrez, a first year student from Mexico! Here’s a little interview from Homecoming with class president Beth Hobbs. Click here to watch another chat with some ’85s getting known a little about Nacho and his favorite places to study. Nacho grew up learning about Orozco and the famous Mexican muralists, and actually being able to stand in front of Dartmouth’s famous mural was an amazing experience for him. Listen in, and we’ll be keeping tabs on Nacho and getting to know him better over the next four years!

Homecoming 2021

Class Co-President Beth Hobbs reports: “I just got back from a wonderful fall homecoming weekend in Hanover. I gathered with classmates and friends on Friday night to celebrate our Dartmouth traditions—Dartoberfest, the Homecoming parade, Dartmouth Night and the legendary bonfire. The ’24’s and ’25’s circled the spectacular fire together as it crackled and warmed everyone on the Green. We tailgated with old friends and new before catching the Big Green taking on the Yale Bulldogs at Memorial Field. It was great to witness a very exciting win during overtime!

Another highlight was meeting up with our 1985 Endowed Class Scholar—Ignacio (“Nacho”) Gutierrez who hails from Mexico. Since he is already feeling the “cold” weather, we presented him with a Dartmouth hat and scarf. We will keep in touch with him throughout the year and share stories and videos with you.

Valerie Hartman and our Class Officer team have a great year planned–hope to see you at upcoming virtual and in-person events.”

In Memoriam: Brian Goldner


Our classmate Brian Goldner has died. Brian just recently took a leave of absence from his role as CEO of Hasbro, and Rich Stoddart ’85, who is a Hasbro board member, had stepped in as interim CEO. Brian transformed Hasbro, an old-school toy and game company, by retooling many of its brands into films, television series and online games. He died at his home in Barrington, R.I. He is survived by his wife, Barbara (Genick) Goldner and their daughter, Brooke Goldner. His son Brandon predeceased him. More on Brian and his remarkable career can be found in this New York Times obituary.

Homecoming Events Cheat Sheet

Beth Hobbs put together this handy cheat sheet for Homecoming events.

Friday5-7 Alumni Tent in front of Alumni Gym for Dartoberfest beers. At 7:00, line up with class for Alumni Parade around Green, Dartmouth Night and Bonfire.  No Top of the Hop. Alumni Tent beers start up again at 9pm.

Saturday11-1 Parent and Family Tent by tennis courts. 1:00 Yale Game.  4:00-6:00 Alumni Reunion Event for classes that held virtual reunions.  Classes included close to ours are ’79, ’80, ’81, ’86, ’87s.

Finally, free swag at Blunt 2-5 Friday/9-11 Saturday and for 1769 DCF folk 10-12 Saturday in front of Parkhurst/or at game under goal posts.  

’85s Step Up for DCF in 2020-21!

Thanks to everyone who supported the Dartmouth College Fund. Your gifts helped 1985 raise over $3.9 million—funds that will immediately help students needing financial aid. Special thanks to our DCF Head Agents Joe Niehaus, Joe McGee, and Andy Ford for successfully leading the DCF fundraising efforts in one of the most challenging years ever! The Great Class of 1985 continues to make huge philanthropic strides with annual gifts to the Dartmouth College Fund, Thayer, Tuck and Geisel Schools along with impactful gifts to other important initiatives in the Call to Lead Campaign.

Class of 1985 Philanthropy Fiscal Year 2020-2021

We set a goal of raising $3.5 million and 35% participation—and we exceeded it!

$3,912,935 Raised

38.2% Participation

— 1985 Beats Goals for dollars and participation!

View the FY’21 DCF Honor Roll

Better Together–Our Collective Impact

Each donation helped you meet a reunion challenge issued by a generous classmate—by attaining 38.2% participation—you now will have a 1985 Scholar each year in perpetuity!

  • 61 classmates joined the 1769 Society with a gift of $2,500 or more
  • 51 classmates continue as members of the Hal Ripley society giving a gift to the Fund every year since graduation
  • You were the Reunion Class with the greatest number of donors whose previous gift was 5+ years ago
  • Since 2014, 14 1985 alumnae joined the Centennial Circle with a gift of $100,000 or more funding two undergraduates for a year
  • Cumulative gifts from classmates to The Call to Lead Campaign is $23,626,102 (anonymous gifts not included)—60% of the Class have participated in the Campaign
  • Gifts/Bequests to the Call to Lead Campaign focused on Financial Aid: $5,829,984
  • 29 classmates are members of the Bartlett Tower Society

Your support makes a life-changing experience possible for Dartmouth Students now and in the future.

With appreciation,

Janet Kingsbury Warren ’87a
Managing Director, DCF

In Memoriam: Doug Tillman

From Doug’s obituary: “It is with shock and terrible sadness that we share the unexpected death of Douglas “Doug” Eric Tillman, 57, on Monday, July 5, 2021 due to a cardiac event. The only son of Carol and Raymond Tillman, Doug was born on October 29, 1963 in Englewood, NJ. A graduate of Ardsley High School ‘81 and Dartmouth College ‘85, Doug was a Petty Officer Second Class in the US Navy from 1991-1996. It was during his stint in the Navy that he discovered a love of programming which led him to his successful career in computer programming at Grainger, Textura, and lastly as Director of DevOps and PMO for the Construction and Engineering Global Business Unit at Oracle, based in Deerfield, IL. 

Doug and his charismatic energy will be deeply missed. He had an insatiable curiosity, deep intellect and a love of life. He was passionate about his dogs Sassy and Shiloh, books, travel, piano, cooking, great wine and spirits, and languages including Hebrew, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. He was always up for an adventure.”