The 202nd session of the Dartmouth Alumni Council opened with a meeting of the Alumni Liaison Committee (ALC).
Later in the afternoon, councilors attended one of five campus tours: the Rauner Special Collections Library, underground steam tunnels, athletics facilities, the Hood Museum of Art, and the New Class of 1953 Commons. Immediately following, there were student-councilor dinner groups to discuss the following topics: the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network, off-campus programs, high-risk drinking, diversity on campus, and the Dartmouth Outing Club.
The morning started with meetings of the Academic Affairs, Athletics, Communications, Enrollment and Admissions, and Student Affairs committees.
Councilors then headed to lectures around campus for the “Back to the Classroom”experience, followed by luncheon meetings for the Young Alumni and Honorary Degrees committees.
The afternoon plenary session, held in 105 Dartmouth Hall, opened with welcome remarks from council president Tom Peisch ’70. Carrie Pelzel ’54a, senior vice president for advancement, introduced the new vice president of Alumni Relations, Martha Beattie '76. Martha thanked all the councilors for their hard work and stated her commitment to sustaining the excellence of alumni relations while at the same time seeking new challenges.
Councilors then received an update on the Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee from its chair, Tom Daniels ’82. In his presentation, Tom reviewed the alumni trustee nomination process the committee undertook to select the slate for the most recent election for the two alumni-nominated trustee vacancies, including its working agenda and timeline. Tom also listed the incoming councilors, who will join the Alumni Council on July 1, 2011, to represent classes, regions, affiliated groups, professional schools/programs, and other constituencies. As required by the council constitution, Tom asked the Alumni Council members to approve the selection of the two at-large representatives, the undergraduate representatives, and the Alumni Liaison Committee appointment. The motion was moved, seconded, and passed unanimously.
Next on the agenda, President Jim Yong Kim ’82a made a presentation based on feedback that was solicited from the Alumni Council ahead of time. In his address, he discussed three topics: innovation at the College, student health, and student life. After each topic, President Kim posed to the Alumni Council questions for discussion.
He stressed that Dartmouth innovates through critical thinking, teamwork, and community. Some examples he cited included the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science, where the Tuck School of Business and the Dartmouth Institute are working together to inform best practices in healthcare; sustainability; the digital humanities; and the Peak Performance initiative. On the topic of student health, President Kim said he recognizes that students face a variety of health issues, such as high-risk drinking, depression, sexual assault, tobacco use, and eating disorders. He then explained measures the College is taking to address these issues, in particular high-risk drinking, and ways to keep students safe. He also talked about the recently announced Learning Collaborative on High-Risk Drinking that Dartmouth College is leading. In terms of student life, there is a focus on advising using a student-centered approach, and more social spaces are being created, such as the remodeled Baker Library corridor. President Kim closed by outlining the College’s aspirations:
Global leadership in teaching;
Unparalleled, cutting-edge interdisciplinary research;
Enhanced leadership in higher education;
Truly be “the Big Green”;
An alumni network unlike any other in sustaining lifelong connections to each other and the College; and
Institution of choice for the best faculty, students, and staff
After a short coffee break, Michael Mastunduno, dean of faculty of arts and sciences, gave a presentation titled “Reflections on the Arts and Sciences.” He focused on the College’s core role, which is supporting exceptional students with faculty who are both world-class scholars and dedicated undergraduate teachers. He also explained that the College is in the process of a full curriculum review. Additionally, he talked about the current advising system and the benefits of the College’s proximity to its graduate and professional schools, which allows undergraduate students to take advantage of opportunities such as conducting premed research in labs at the Dartmouth Medical School or taking business courses by professors of the Tuck School of Business.
Carrie then gave a presentation titled “Reimagining Reunions,” in which she discussed how the content of reunions currently satisfies alumni as well as how it could be improved. She reviewed attendance statistics such as class yield and how it compares to other Ivy League institutions; the challenges of mid-week reunions; the Alumni College program; and potential areas for improvement with new, fun ways to engage alumni at reunions. After her presentation, alumni councilors broke out into focus groups to further discuss the topic.
Following the breakout sessions, there was a reception at the Top of the Hop, where councilors were entertained by a student a cappella group, the Brovertones.
The evening dinner program in Alumni Hall commenced with comments by Tom Peisch, followed by an address by trustee Jeff Immelt ’78, who discussed leadership through his roles as CEO of General Electric, as chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College.
The Alumni Liaison Committee held a breakfast meeting with President Kim and trustees Peggy Tanner ’79 and Bill Helman ’80.
President-elect Danielle Dyer ’81 opened the morning plenary session in 105 Dartmouth Hall. She introduced Peggy and Bill, who provided a trustee update. Peggy began by thanking the Alumni Council for all its hard work. Bill, as chair of the Investment Committee to the Board of Trustees, provided a financial update. In his presentation, Bill talked about the costs of the College ($127k per student $876 million operating cost) and how Dartmouth was able to close the budget gap. He also talked about the priority to lower the endowment spending to a more sustainable rate of 5.5 percent. The endowment is currently $3.4 billion, and is performing in the top quartile. Peggy noted that, thanks to input from the Alumni Council's Ad Hoc Committee to Support Greek Letter Organizations, the Student Affairs Committee of the board is taking a top-down/bottom-up approach to strategic planning with Greek letter organizations, which includes the recruitment of alumni advisory boards for every house. The trustees also mentioned that recruiting and retaining faculty is the board’s most difficult human resources challenge.
Maria Laskaris ’84, dean of admissions and financial aid, then presented “Meet the Class of 2015: An Admissions Update.” Maria explained the growth in the number of applicants, the rate of admission, yield information, and a breakdown of the demographics of the Class of 2015. There were 22,384 applications received this year, which represented an increase of approximately 19 percent. Of these, 2,179 applicants were admitted, which is a 9.7 percent rate of admission.
After a coffee break, the plenary commenced with a student panel called “’Round the Girdled Earth,” in which the following panelists spoke about their community service involvement:
Wills Begor ’12 volunteers as a member of the Dartmouth Ski Patrol, is an active member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and is a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar in the Economics Department. About 18 months ago, Wills co-founded a nonprofit, Project RightChoice, that promotes leadership development through the framework of social action. In its first year of operation, Project RightChoice raised $104,000 for the Fisher House Foundation and its work on behalf of our nation’s wounded veterans and their families. To date in 2011, Project RightChoice has raised more than $20,000 for Water.org in order to provide clean water and sanitation facilities to communities in Haiti and Ethiopia.
Emily Broas ’11 is currently the student director of education programs at the Tucker Foundation, where she advises school outreach projects that address literacy, college awareness, in-school mentoring, and English language tutoring. She has also volunteered with the Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth program as an academic coach and has chaired the STAR Mentoring program for teenagers dealing with chronic health issues and disabilities.
Ahra Cho ’11 has worked closely with the Tucker Foundation, leading an alternative spring break trip to New Orleans, working as a Dartmouth Partners in Community Service intern at the Children's Advocacy Center, and volunteering as a Tucker Fellow in rural Ghana. Currently, she is the chair of Students Fighting Hunger and works at the Tucker Foundation as the student director of the Alternative Spring Break Program.
Mayuka Kowaguchi ’11 has been involved in service at Dartmouth through ASPIRE as a trained mentor to children on the autism spectrum and as philanthropy chair for her sorority. Most recently, she coordinated the Dartmouth for Japan initiative, the student effort to raise money and awareness for the Tohoku earthquake in Japan.
Ahmad Nazeri ’11 is an undergraduate advisor, a member of Beta Alpha Omega fraternity, and has served as the chair of America Reads and as the president of Al-Nur, the Muslim Student Association. He currently serves as the student director of Tucker Foundation. Additionally, he has participated in various activities at Tucker, including leading an alternative spring break trip to San Francisco this past spring. Following the spring break trip, he completed an off-term, Tucker-funded internship at the Refugee and Immigration Services in Richmond, where he helped refugee students with homework and developing reading skills. Next year, he will be teaching high school social studies in Baltimore through Teach for America and he hopes to pursue a career in education.
Danielle then announced the open forum, which began with the Alumni Council election results. Tom Daniels announced that Regina Glocker ’88 and Jennifer Avellino ’89 will join the Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee, Alan Barstow ’75 will join the ALC, and Marty Lempres ’84 will be the new president-elect of the Alumni Council.
This was followed by committee reports of the Student Affairs, Athletics, Communications, Enrollment and Admissions, Young Alumni, Student Affairs, and Honorary Degrees committees.
Danielle announced the “open microphone” session. Debbie Atuk ’04Tu put forward a suggestion from one of her constituents and passed along the concern of diversity and faculty retention on campus. The Executive Committee will review and discuss how to address this concern.
There was no new/old business.
Director of alumni leadership Lynne Gaudet ’81 read the following resolution thanking Tom Peisch for his service as president of the Alumni Council.
That the Dartmouth Alumni Council extends its immense gratitude to Tom Peisch ’70 for his outstanding service to Dartmouth College as president of the Alumni Council. Through the years, you have served many roles at Dartmouth, including reunion chair, enrollment interviewer, class and council president, parent, uncle, and No. 1 fan for both lacrosse and field hockey. As Alumni Council president, you have encouraged an open, tolerant, and respectful atmosphere where alumni know that all viewpoints will be heard. Your engaging personality and good humor have been appreciated by your fellow councilors as they worked throughout the year to address topics of interest to both the College and alumni. You have continued to support the mission of the Alumni Council “to sustain a fully informed, representative, and engaged exchange of information and sentiment between alumni and their College” as you emphasize the important role of peer-to-peer communications between councilors and their constituencies. The Boston-Hanover round-trip commute has become second-nature to you, and during the last year your work between council meetings has included monthly teleconferences of the Executive Committee, meetings with the Nominating Committee, sessions with the Alumni Liaison Committee and the Board of Trustees, presentations of the Alumni Award, and a key role at Homecoming Weekend. As you hand over the gavel, your wise counsel and leadership example will continue to inspire councilors and alumni for years to come.”
The resolution was unanimously approved by the Alumni Council.
Lynne then read the following resolution thanking Tom Daniels ’82, outgoing chair of the Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee.
That the Dartmouth Alumni Council extends its deep appreciation to Tom Daniels ’82, for his extraordinary leadership during the last two years as chair of the Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee. During your first year as chair, the College held its first alumni-nominated trustee election in three years. The election resulted in the highest alumni voting participation turnout in a trustee election to date and the nomination of Morton Kondracke ’60 and John Replogle ’88 to the Board of Trustees. Re-elected chair in 2010-11, you continued to work tirelessly and passionately with the Nominating Committee on the extensive vetting process,s which produced two extraordinary candidates, Gail Koziara Boudreaux ’82 and Bill Burgess ’81, for the two alumni-nominated vacancies on the board. You have encouraged nominations from all alumni, and during your three years on the Nominating Committee, members have discussed more than 400 individuals. The ultimate taskmaster, under your leadership during the last two years, the Nominating Committee has held 10 meetings (including two candidate interview weekends) in Boston, New York City, and Hanover as well as participated in 18 conference calls. We understand the great sacrifice of time and energy that your job as chair required, and we greatly appreciate the enthusiasm, willingness, and constant good humor with which you approached this monumental endeavor.”
The resolution was unanimously approved by the Alumni Council.
The meeting was adjourned.
An Executive Committee debriefing took place on Monday, May 23, 2011, via teleconference.