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Upcoming Commencement Dates

  • June 10, 2018
  • June 9, 2019
  • June 14, 2020
  • June 13, 2021
  • June 12, 2022

Commencement 2010 Speeches & Citations

Honorary Degree Citation to James Nachtwey ’70 (Doctor Of Arts)

June 13, 2010

James Nachtwey, your drive to Hanover from Massachusetts to attend Dartmouth College would prove to be your shortest trip over the next forty years. Majoring in art history and government, you were influenced by photos of the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. Following graduation, you borrowed a camera from your brother, taught yourself photography, and launched an extraordinary career as a photojournalist.

Since then, you have travelled the world capturing images that reveal the pain and suffering caused by war, disease, starvation and other unbearable events. “I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony,” you wrote in explaining your objective. “The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.”

Your photographs share with the world civil strife in Northern Ireland; orphaned and neglected children in Romania; victims of cholera in South Africa and Zaire; conflict in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq; and many other unsettling events. The morning after returning to New York City from an assignment overseas, you photographed the collapse of the Twin Towers less than a mile from your studio. When granted one “wish” as a recipient of the Ted Prize, yours was to bring tuberculosis and drug resistant TB into people’s conscience across the world through the power of digital news photography. In addition to your photo features in Life, National Geographic, Time and many international publications, you have produced two books and compiled many photo essays.

Your Dartmouth College application stated, “I feel that by trying to leave the small segment of the world with which I have come into contact a better place than it was, I have achieved all that a man can truly ask out of life.” In gratitude for the extraordinary humanity your powerful images have brought to society, Dartmouth proudly presents you with the honorary degree, Doctor of Arts.

Last Updated: 3/17/16