Nancy Kepes Jeton '76 (right) receives the Dartmouth Alumni Award from council president JB Daukas '84 (left) at a council dinner in Alumni Hall, May 15, 2009.
The green die was cast on October 11, 1954, upon your birth at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital while your father, Joe Kepes ’46, was completing his medical residency there.Raised in a house with Dartmouth wallpaper, you knew exactly where you wanted to go to college.There was only one problem — Dartmouth was all male!Accepting these circumstances, you applied and were accepted early decision to Middlebury College.But wait, it was announced that Dartmouth would admit women into the Class of 1976.A quick call to Middlebury, and some begging, provided a release from your early acceptance there and you were packing for Hanover.With two brothers before you and your sister following in your footsteps, there were actually two years where there were three Kepes siblings on campus.
As has been the case throughout your life, you hit the ground running at Dartmouth and never stopped.Immersing yourself in activities, you were dorm chair and Interdormitory Council vice president; participated on the Committee on Freshman Year and the College Committee on Standing and Conduct; served as an intern in the Dean of the Freshmen’s Office; joined Phi Tau; and represented undergraduates on the Dartmouth Alumni Council.In addition, you recruited others to help you form the largest glockenspiel section of an Ivy League marching band (creatively fulfilling your physical education requirement).Off-campus terms included the Dartmouth/MIT program in urban studies and a Tucker Fellowship working for the San Francisco Legal Aid Society.Selected as a senior fellow, you graduated magna cum laude, with distinction in your major of geography and urban studies.Dean Ralph Manuel ’58 was like a proud father when he presented you, the first female recipient, with the Dean’s Prize.What a perfect finale to your undergraduate years!
A whirlwind career, additional education, and travel followed.Obtaining a master’s in regional planning from the University of North Carolina, you have worked on city planning in Salem and Andover, MA. Marrying your classmate, Peter Jeton, in 1980 opened a whole new chapter for you.Taking advantage of his work relocation to Lagos, Nigeria, you consulted for Louis Berger International on a national transportation plan.Additional global transfers brought you both to Australia, Japan, and France.Avid explorers, the two of you have traveled by foot, ferry, bus, train, car, horseback, and camel through most of the world (including the Sahara desert)!
As busy as your life has been, Dartmouth has never strayed far from your thoughts.An extensive list of volunteer roles includes supporting your class as newsletter editor, class agent, and member of your reunion giving committee and executive committee; participating on the Dartmouth Alumni Council, where you chaired both the Young Alumni Committee and the Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee; enrollment interviewing; and serving on the Public Affairs Advisory Committee and the Tucker Foundation Board of Overseers.Your timing has always been perfect, and just as Dartmouth was preparing to launch extensive renovations and additions to its master physical plan, you were elected to the Board of Trustees. Your knowledgeable background in urban planning, combined with your appreciation of Dartmouth’s sense of place, has proven invaluable to the board during this process.
Of course, we all know that although you appreciate Dartmouth, it does not even come close to the most important components of your life: son Eric, daughter Hannah ’12, and your best friend throughout this journey, Peter.Many of your additional volunteer roles have involved them, including extensive participation as a leader in both the Boy and Girl Scouts (even in Paris, France). As the founder of the USA Girl Scouts, Juliette Low, once said, “Ours is a circle of friendships united by ideals.”Nancy, it seems that this quote would appropriately sum up your sense of community, Dartmouth, and family!
In recognition of your contributions to your career, family, society, and alma mater, we proudly present you with the Dartmouth Alumni Award.
Dartmouth Alumni Council
May 15, 2009