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Upcoming Commencement Dates

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

Louis Vincent Gerstner Jr. ’63 (Doctor of Humane Letters)

Louis V. Gerstner Jr.June 9, 2013

LOUIS VINCENT GERSTNER JR., on your Dartmouth application you wrote, "Intellectual curiosity seeks knowledge ... the complex world of today crisscrosses a thousand and one different aspects of learning and a specialist is at home only in his own field." You have spent a life and career seeking knowledge and making yourself at home in every field you enter. In the process, you have become one of the wisest and most influential stars in the business firmament.

You graduated from Dartmouth in 1963 with a passion for engineering and a gift for leadership. You went on to earn a Harvard MBA, and in 1965, launched a career that has taken you to the highest echelons of American industry. You became the youngest director in the history of McKinsey & Company and dramatically demonstrated why "membership has its privileges" at the American Express Company. At the helm of RJR Nabisco, you helped define what it means to be an effective chief executive. And in engineering one of the most breathtaking corporate turnarounds in history, you will forever be hailed as "the man who saved Big Blue."

Your enduring belief in the value of knowledge fuels your passion for education. Author, activist, and advocate, you have worked to improve American public schools through entrepreneurship and strategic partnerships, believing that there is nothing more important to our nation's long-term health than a skilled and educated workforce.

You have devoted yourself to supporting cancer research and fostering scientific innovation. You have served on the boards of the largest companies in the world, advised presidents, and even received an honorary British knighthood.

Lou, you have shown throughout your life that thirst for knowledge and exemplary leadership go hand in hand; that there is no substitute for hard work lovingly done and bold ideas strategically unleashed. Dartmouth delights in recognizing your extraordinary achievements by proudly awarding you the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters.

President Carol L. Folt

Last Updated: 6/9/13