Samson Occom, a Mohegan Indian and one of Wheelock’s first students, was instrumental in raising substantial funds for the school. Dartmouth is named for William Legge, the Second Earl of Dartmouth, who encouraged English nobility to support Reverend Wheelock's efforts.
The U. S. Supreme Court decision in the famous “Dartmouth College Case” of 1819, argued by Daniel Webster (Class of 1801), is considered to be one of the most important and formative documents in United States constitutional history, strengthening the contract clause of the Constitution and thereby paving the way for all American private institutions to conduct their affairs in accordance with their charters and without interference from the state.
For more than two centuries, Dartmouth has never stopped changing and adapting. It has developed from its roots on the colonial frontier into an institution with a special character and unique place in private higher education: a superb undergraduate residential college with the intellectual character and resources of a university, featuring thriving research and leading graduate programs. A member of the Ivy League, Dartmouth was named in 2004 by the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton as one of the world’s “most enduring institutions.”
Today, Dartmouth enrolls approximately 4,200 undergraduates in the liberal arts and 1,900 graduate students. In addition to 21 Dartmouth Graduate Studies programs, it is home to the nation's fourth-oldest medical school, the Geisel School of Medicine (1797); one of the nation’s first professional schools of engineering, Thayer School of Engineering (1867); and the world’s first graduate school of management, the Tuck School of Business (1900).