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

Wendy Kopp (Doctor of Humane Letters)

Wendy KoppJune 10, 2012

WENDY KOPP, yours is a story of unbridled optimism, of a passion born of the conviction that educational opportunity is a right for all. You have pursued your undergraduate dream with a single-minded tenacity to make knowledge a reality for millions of young minds, first in under-resourced communities across America, and now around the world.

In your final year thesis at Princeton, you proposed recruiting top college seniors to teach in low income school districts for two-year terms of service. In the two decades since, through Teach For America, you have inspired tens of thousands of our nation's most talented graduates, including many from Dartmouth, to begin their professional lives in our nation's most challenged classrooms. That was only the beginning. Under your leadership, those classroom leaders, Teach For America alumni, have become leaders throughout K-12 public education, serving as master teachers, principals, superintendents, heads of advocacy organizations, and educational entrepreneurs.

You have given hope to parents consigned to poverty and to children aching to learn. You have forged a culture where transformation in the classroom is the expectation rather than the exception, and you have inspired educators in more than 20 countries to follow your lead through Teach For All.

Wendy, yours is not an unlikely triumph. It is an object lesson in perseverance in the face of skepticism. It is a demonstration of the difference each of us can make when we invest in people, and proof in action that the cycle of poverty can be broken when we make the world's troubles our troubles.

For your extraordinary achievements in bringing us closer to the day when every child has the chance to succeed through education, Dartmouth is proud to present you with the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters.

President Jim Yong Kim

Last Updated: 8/17/12