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>  News Releases >   2005 >   April

Biographical background on 2005 Dartmouth honorary degree recipientsGORDON W. RUSSELL(Doctor of Humane Letters)

Posted 04/28/05 • Contact Roland Adams (603) 646-3661

Gordon W. Russell
Gordon W. Russell

A 1955 graduate of Dartmouth, Russell has had a long and distinguished business career in a variety of senior management positions in the biomedical and healthcare industries and for more than 20 years was General Partner at Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm.  He also developed a parallel career as a member and supporter of non-profit service institutions, which is his focus now.

A native of Arlington, Massachusetts, he majored in history at Dartmouth and participated in a wide variety of student activities, as a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, Casque and Gauntlet senior society, the Judiciary Committee of the Undergraduate Council, the Dartmouth College Athletic Council and the varsity ice hockey team.

Upon graduation Russell accepted a position with General Motors as an industrial engineer. He later served three years in the U.S. Air Force as an officer in the Strategic Air Command, then returned to the private sector and held positions in a number of utility and technology firms, relocating to the west coast.  In 1979 he became a general partner in Sequoia Capital, a high-technology and healthcare venture capital firm, holding this position until he retired in 2000.

Today, Russell's major focus is on philanthropy in the non-profit sector.  He is a founder of the Sun Valley Writers Conference; serves as a director (trustee) of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Woods Hole Research Center, and the Ravenswood Family Health Center in East Palo Alto, California. He also served as a trustee and Chairman of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Community Impact.

Russell has also been a very active alumnus of Dartmouth since his graduation.  He has served as class agent, member of the reunion giving committee and the major gift committee, chairman of the Board of Overseers of Dartmouth Medical School and the Koop Institute, and as a member of the Board of Overseers of the Catholic Student Center, the Native American Visiting Committee, and the President's Leadership Council. His philanthropy to Dartmouth includes endowments to the Native American Program and the Dartmouth Center for Advancement of Learning (DCAL), a medical school professorship, and a fund for excellence in athletics.

Return to 2005 Commencement press release

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