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ERNEST FOX NICHOLS, 1909-1916
The appointment of Ernest Fox Nichols as the 10th president in the Wheelock Succession could be seen as both a reflection of the times and a tribute to the quality of Dartmouth's faculty. A member of the physics department and its chair at the time of his appointment, Nichols' pioneering work in the measurement of radiation expanded the frontiers of knowledge at the turn of the last century. He was the first Dartmouth president since John Wheelock who was not a member of the clergy, yet his deep appreciation of the importance of broad-based scholarship to the moral and spiritual growth of students was internationally recognized. Many of the College's most cherished institutions and traditions took shape during the Nichols administration, including the Dartmouth Outing Club and Winter Carnival. In addition, to improve communications between Dartmouth and its growing body of graduates, President Nichols established the Council of Alumni.
Ernest Fox Nichols stepped down in 1916 to become a professor of physics at Yale and subsequently became president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.