What’s the Difference between the Dartmouth Alumni Council, the Association of Alumni, and the Association of Alumni Executive Committee?

The Association of Alumni
The Association of Alumni is Dartmouth’s alumni body. Each of Dartmouth’s 78,400 alumni is a member of the association.

The Alumni Council 
The Alumni Council represents Dartmouth’s alumni. It is the principal spokesperson for alumni and the primary forum for the exchange of alumni sentiment. It consists of 125 members representing classes, geographic clubs, graduate schools, affiliated groups, students, and others. The constituencies select their representatives through various methods, including election at reunions and club meetings, and online voting. The Alumni Council’s mission is “to sustain a fully informed, representative, and engaged exchange of information and sentiment between alumni and their College, and to enhance and inspire alumni involvement that furthers the mission of the College.”

The Alumni Council also nominates candidates to run for alumni-nominated trustee seats.

The Executive Committee of the Association of Alumni
The Executive Committee of the Association of Alumni runs balloting for trustee elections and for the election of its own leadership. It consists of 11 members elected from and by the alumni body in alumni-wide balloting.

History of the Organizations
The Association of Alumni was founded in 1854 and historically met once a year in Hanover for an annual meeting that was open to all alumni. Only alumni physically present in Hanover could vote in association affairs.

By 1913 Ernest Martin Hopkins, Class of 1901, recognized that the Association of Alumni was too cumbersome to represent alumni interests effectively. Acting through the association, Hopkins created the Alumni Council “to act as the official spokesman of alumni sentiment,” to be the “clearinghouse for alumni sentiment and interchange of alumni ideas,” to “approve or disapprove of projects put forth in the alumni name, and . . . [to be] the seat of authority in all such matters.”

The formation of the Alumni Council left the Association Executive Committee with few responsibilities. Since 1913, the Executive Committee’s sole responsibilities have been to run trustee elections (during those years when such elections have occurred) and to host an annual meeting in Hanover at which the Executive Committee is elected. With the introduction of all-media voting, alumni are no longer required to attend the annual meeting in order to cast votes in Executive Committee elections.