It has been my pleasure and honor to serve as your Alumni Council President over the past year, never more so than during the recent 218th meeting of the Council. During the meeting, your Council representatives engaged with each other and Dartmouth leadership, representing your views and feedback on issues important to our community. It is clear to me that I am leaving the Council in good hands.
The agenda for the 218th meeting was packed. Councilors rolled up their sleeves and dug deeply into the work of the weekend. Some highlights:
Councilors supported The Call to Serve through the 5th Annual Day of Service on May 4 and a service project held during our meeting where we wrote letters of encouragement to senior citizens and veterans. Kudos to Rachel Bogardus Drew ’98, chair of the Alumni Service Committee, for organizing both events. As you may know The Call to Serve challenges our community to contribute 250,000 hours of service in honor of Dartmouth’s 250 years and seeks to call attention to the amazing work Dartmouth alumni, faculty, students, and staff do in the world. This initiative has recently crossed the 100,000-hour mark, and we need your help to get to 250,000: If you serve on a nonprofit board, coach a youth sports team, volunteer at your place of worship, or make other contributions, please visit dartgo.org/calltoserve to log your hours. And please save the date for next year’s Alumni Day of Service on May 2, 2020. Thank you for your part in making the world a better place!
Dartmouth is developing a strategic master plan that will chart a course for the next twenty years and beyond. Councilors participated in a walking tour of some of the coming and completed construction initiatives on campus and had the opportunity to offer our input on Dartmouth’s master plan. This plan seeks to preserve what is unique about the Dartmouth campus while providing a framework for sustainable development and preservation.
We engaged with Provost Joe Helble and C3I Director Theodosia Cook in a discussion of Dartmouth’s Campus Climate and Culture Initiative (C3I). We learned how the initiative functions in concert with Moving Dartmouth Forward and Inclusive Excellence and how it takes important steps to address sexual misconduct; foster healthy relationships; and make the campus a safer, more inclusive community for all members. Did you know that Dartmouth has joined more than 40 other colleges and universities and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to create the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education? The collaborative’s formation follows a June 2018 report by the Academies that recommended evidence-based policies and practices for addressing and preventing all forms of sexual harassment. I am proud that Dartmouth is the only school to have committed publicly to implement all of the recommendations, including interventions such as mandatory Title IX training, climate reviews, unified sexual misconduct policies, expanded mental health resources, and an external advisory committee.
Oh, the Place We Have Gone!!! Our own international representative on the Council, Nestor Paz-Galindo ’93 and Senior Vice President for Advancement Bob Lasher ’88 presented an informative session, bringing us all up to speed on our expanding global presence. This year we will have the chance to celebrate the 250th with international alumni in cities around the world. We’ll be bringing Dartmouth to London, Hong Kong, Lima, and Toronto, where alumni, families, and friends will have opportunities to experience interactive sessions with faculty and students, engage in lively debates and open conversations about the most pressing issues of our time—from climate change to international security—and connect with peers as we explore Dartmouth’s critical role in our global future. I was able to see our international engagement firsthand during my tenure as Council president as I made my way to Helsinki, Finland, for an event featuring multi-generations of Dartmouth alums.
As noted above, in plenaries and committee meetings, your Councilors spent much of their time sharing your views on key matters, including admission, student and campus life, and the class action sexual misconduct lawsuit brought in November by nine former students against Dartmouth. Following her Friday remarks, Board Chair Laurel Richie responded to some tough, thoughtful questions from Councilors on the suit and explained Dartmouth’s strong preference to settle the claims out of court. Several days after the meeting, the plaintiffs and Dartmouth agreed on a mediator and will soon begin to meet. Please be assured that the College and Council will keep you updated as this matter proceeds.
Finally, we did pause for a moment to celebrate important milestones, including our 250th anniversary and the $2 billion raised through The Call to Lead campaign. We also took time to acknowledge accomplishments for which we should be proud, including the thousands of hours of service our community has contributed through The Call to Serve, the competitiveness and diversity of the newly enrolled class of 2023, the progress we are making to be greener and more sustainable, and the excellence and impact of our faculty.
We are here to hear you and to share your sentiments with Dartmouth’s leadership. Be in touch anytime. If you’d like a more thorough summary of the Council meeting, please read the minutes and view photos, or reach out to your Council representatives.
As I traveled the globe as your representative, I have to tell you that indeed Dartmouth has the best alumni body in the world. Thank you for the laughs, hard conversations, thought-provoking engagement, and trust that we are a community made better when there is a place for all of us at the table. It has been a true joy to serve as your president. I welcome my successor, Alec Casey ’88, who will begin his tenure on July 1, 2019.
Yours for One Dartmouth,
Adrienne “Tee” Lotson ‘82
Alumni Council President