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>  News Releases >   2003 >   May

David McCullough to give Dartmouth Commencement address, Sunday, June 8

Posted 05/14/03

Dartmouth Commencement 2003

For more information

David McCullough - winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for his biographies of Presidents Harry Truman and John Adams - will deliver the main address at Dartmouth College's 2003 Commencement exercises on Sunday, June 8, on the Dartmouth Green.

The academic procession to the Green begins at 9:30 a.m., and visitors are advised to be in their seats by that time. Commencement ceremonies begin at 10 a.m.

Other speakers for the event will include Dartmouth President James Wright and the Valedictorian of the undergraduate senior class (who is announced the week of Commencement, after final grades are calculated).

The College expects to award approximately 1,000 bachelor's degrees and approximately 500 master's and doctoral degrees in the Arts and Sciences and from the College's three professional schools: Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering and the Tuck School of Business.

At Commencement, Dartmouth will confer honorary degrees on:

  • Dr. Rita R. Colwell, (Doctor of Science), Director of the National Science Foundation. Colwell has spearheaded efforts to promote science and mathematics at all levels of education and increased participation of women and minorities in science and engineering.
  • Dr. Marilyn Hughes Gaston, M.D. (Doctor of Science), former Assistant Surgeon General and Director of the Bureau of Primary Health Care. Gaston is the first African-American woman to direct a Public Health Service Bureau and only the second African-American woman to achieve the rank of Rear Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service.
  • Robert P. Henderson, (Doctor of Laws), member of Dartmouth's Class of 1953 and Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business Class of 1954, and former President/CEO of Itek Corp., Chairman, Greylock Management Corp. Henderson is a former Dartmouth Trustee and a member of the College's 50th reunion alumni class.
  • Billie Jean King, (Doctor of Humane Letters), former women's tennis champion and advocate for women's rights. King won the famous "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match against Bobby Riggs in 1973 and was ranked fifth on Sports Illustrated's list of the 40 most important athletes.
  • David McCullough, (Doctor of Letters), Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author. McCullough's most recent work, John Adams, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list at number one, and the book remained on the list for more than a year.
  • W.S. Merwin, (Doctor of Letters), poet, translator and environmental activist, one of the most widely read and imitated poets in America. In 2002, he released his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and a prose travel book, The Mays of Ventador; in 2001, The Pupil, a collection of poems.
  • Frederick B. Whittemore, (Doctor of Laws), a member of Dartmouth's Class of 1953 and Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business Class of 1954, Advisory Director of Morgan Stanley since 1989. Whittemore is a New Hampshire native and a member of Dartmouth's 50th reunion alumni class.

Saturday, June 7:
Speakers for Dartmouth professional schools'
Class Day and Investiture ceremonies;
and for Baccalaureate Service

A variety of ceremonies take place the day before Commencement, including Class Day and Investiture ceremonies for Dartmouth's three professional schools, and baccalaureate services. Those events and their speakers are:

  • Dartmouth Medical School: Dr. David Satcher, M.D., former U.S. Surgeon General. 9 a.m., Derzon Courtyard (front lawn) at DMS. (Rain location and time: Leede Arena, 11:30 a.m.)
  • Thayer School of Engineering: Peter M. Fahey, Dartmouth Class of 1968 and Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering Classes of 1969 and 1970, Retired Limited Partner, Goldman Sachs & Company. 10 a.m., Cook Auditorium, Murdough Center.
  • Tuck School of Business: Dawn Hudson, President, Pepsi-Cola North America and Dartmouth Class of 1979. 3 p.m., Tuck Circle. (Rain location: Leede Arena).
  • Baccalaureate Service: The Rev. Fleming Rutledge, author, theologian and former rector of St. John's Church in Salisbury, Conn., and one of the first women to be ordained by the Episcopal Church. 3 p.m., Rollins Chapel.

Note to Reporters and Editors

To download high-resolution images of honorary degree recipients, visit the individual pages for each recipient above. To get further biographical background on David McCullough and Dartmouth's other honorary degree recipients by fax or e-mail, call 603-646-3661 or send an e-mail to

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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