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Closing the generation gap

Alumni Relations initiatives link students, graduates

Across the campus and around the globe, new programs are helping Dartmouth strengthen ties between alumni and students. Three new programs: the Alumni Book Club at Dartmouth (ABCD), Take a Student to Eat (TASTE) and Class Connections are all designed to foster relationships between current students and the men and women who came before them.

"These programs provide meaningful connections for alumni and students," said David Spalding '76, Vice President for Alumni Relations. "It reenergizes alumni to see that life on campus is as engaging and exciting as it was when they were students, and it gives the students a chance to meet alumni and receive advice on any number of topics, including professional, social, educational and volunteer opportunities."

Jenn Krimm '06 and Stew Wood '56 meet over lunch
Jenn Krimm '06 (left) and Stew Wood '56 meet over lunch to discuss the Class Connections programs they are planning.

ABCD, formally launched at Homecoming this fall, allows alumni, students, faculty and staff to participate in campus, online and regional discussions that examine the theme of a particular book. This year's choice, Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder, was also the Class of 2009's first-year summer reading assignment. The club provides an opportunity for alumni to interact with current students, continue their education and enhance their enjoyment of literature.

Martha Beattie '76, a recent participant, agreed. "It was such a privilege to enjoy the same incredible presentation that the professors made to the entering class, share that same knowledge and insight and hear how amazing the professors at Dartmouth are today. That's something you forget after 30 years out."

Alumni who would like to share the Dartmouth experience and get to know current students can participate in the new TASTE program the next time they're in Hanover. Students and alumni register for the program, which gives them an informal opportunity to meet for breakfast, lunch or dinner and talk about careers, traditions, current events and other topics of interest.

The Class Connections program aims to formalize the links between undergraduate classes and their corresponding 10th, 25th and 50th reunion classes. Initiatives include a program during matriculation between the '59s and '09s, a '56-'06 Homecoming reception and a career panel for the '07s hosted by the '57s. Upcoming programs include a '99-'09 community service project and a series of dinners during Sophomore Summer for the '58s and '08s focused on etiquette.

"You choose to come to Dartmouth not only to be part of the College for four years, but to be part of a family for the rest of your life," said Sebastian Restrepo '07. "Connecting students to alumni throughout the years is one of the most important things that Dartmouth can do."

For more information about these programs or to register, visit YADA! website or e-mail yada@dartmouth.edu.

By DIANA LAWRENCE

Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 5/30/08