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Honoring the Past, Building for the Future

Capping a season of festive dedications, Kemeny Hall, the new home of the mathematics department and the Haldeman Center-a building that brings together the Dickey Center, Ethics Institute, and Leslie Humanities Center-formally opened in November. Behind the scenes, faculty members arranged bookshelves in their new offices and students came to discuss individual research projects while carpenters and painters attended to the final details.

Kemeny Hall
The fascia for Kemeny Hall is hoisted into place on Aug. 23. (photo  by Thomas Shemanske)

With the opening of Kemeny and Haldeman, Dartmouth completed a round of new construction projects totaling $154 million, part of a historic building program that, between 1998 and 2010, will total nearly $1.2 billion. Peter Fahey '68, Thayer '69 (B.E.), Thayer '70 (M.E.), a Trustee from 1994 to 2004, has played a major role in guiding and supporting that program. He and his family have committed more than $13 million to the College, funding bricks and mortar, and a range of strategic priorities within the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, now at its midpoint.

"The Board of Trustees established strategic priorities before the campaign began," Fahey explains, "and these new buildings are key components of what we see as Dartmouth's needs now and into the future. It's a marvelous testimony to the way President Wright led that process that such a large portion of the program has been conceived, financed, and built with the campaign just half completed. The new facilities enhance the student experience, both in and outside of the classroom, and facilitate the work of our exceptional faculty." Fahey is a cochair of the campaign, which has raised $774.1 million towards the $1.3 billion goal as of Nov. 29.

"At no other time in Dartmouth's history have so many major construction projects been completed over so concentrated a time period," says President James Wright. "But our concern is quality, not quantity, and about meeting student and faculty needs. The new buildings relate aesthetically to the rest of the campus; in fact, it is easy to believe they have always been here."

Earlier in the fall, the McLaughlin Residential Cluster and Tuck Mall Residences welcomed their first occupants. Bearing the names of the donors who made them possible: Berry, Bildner, Byrne, Fahey, Goldstein, McLane, Rauner, Thomas, and an anonymous donor's gift to name the McLaughlin Cluster Commons for Samson Occom, who was instrumental in founding Dartmouth, the new residences house some 500 students.

Elsewhere, Thayer School of Engineering dedicated the MacLean Engineering Sciences Center, athletes got their first crack at the newly renovated track and football field, a new Fitness Center opened as part of a major renovation of Alumni Gymnasium, and the new Floren Varsity House is taking shape near Memorial Field.

Plans are under way for a number of other athletics facilities: a dining commons named by the Class of 1953; a living and learning center at the Tuck School; a complex on the Lebanon campus named in honor of former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop '37 that will include buildings to house a translational research facility and the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences; a life sciences building on the Hanover campus; a new dining hall to replace Thayer Dining Hall; and a visual arts center.

Fahey points to the Board's work with Campus Master Planner Lo-Yi-Chan '54, explaining that Trustees and administrators had the benefit of his wise counsel and his love of the historic Dartmouth campus. "We've incorporated that wisdom into our planning," says Fahey. "The result is that we have new assets that ensure Dartmouth faculty and students have a living and learning environment that meets their 21st-century needs. And we've done this without changing the character of the campus."

"These are projects that are critical to the academic, residential, and student life aspects of the Dartmouth experience," adds Wright. "They have added and will add significantly to the quality of the education we provide, and they will help to keep us at the forefront of higher education."

By LAUREL STAVIS

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Last Updated: 5/30/08