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Kresge Foundation Gives Grant for Kemeny Hall

Funding of Kemeny Hall received a boost last month thanks to a $1 million challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation, an independent, private foundation created by the personal gifts of Sebastian S. Kresge. The new facility will house the mathematics department and honor former Dartmouth president John G. Kemeny.

"We are grateful to the Kresge Foundation for helping Dartmouth recognize the important work of John Kemeny," says president James Wright. "John made the math department one of the finest in the country. The Kresge grant will allow our faculty and students to continue his innovative work."

"John (Kemeny) made the math department one of the finest in the country. The Kresge grant will allow our faculty and students to continue his innovative work."

- President James Wright

Kemeny joined Dartmouth's faculty in 1953, was named chair of the math department two years later, and served as the College's president from 1970 to 1981. In the early 1960s, he and colleague Thomas Kurtz developed the pioneer computer language BASIC and the world's first widely used time-sharing system. As Dartmouth's president, Kemeny oversaw profound changes, including the transition to coeducation, the recruitment of students of color, the renewal of a charter commitment to Native American education, and the guarantee of financial aid to meet the full needs of all admitted students.

Kemeny Hall, a 60,000-square-foot brick and granite structure to be located just north of Baker-Berry Library, will reunite a mathematics department that at present is spread among three buildings.

"Planning Kemeny Hall has helped the math department set a direction for its future course, particularly in the area of applied mathematics," says provost Barry Scherr. "Math is the core language of science. At Dartmouth, its application across disciplines will help our faculty and students advance their knowledge in both the classroom and the laboratory."

The new hall will cost $41 million. To date, Dartmouth has secured $15.4 million through long-term financing and an equal amount from alumni and friends. The Kresge Foundation grant is contingent on the College raising the remaining $11 million by April 2005. The foundation will also award an unrestricted bonus grant of $150,000 if the project receives Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

For more information on the Kemeny Hall project, visit the project website.

- By Jamie Hunt

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Last Updated: 5/30/08