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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
The Rauner and Thomas families have made gifts to Dartmouth College to support facilities projects that are high priorities in the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience. In honor of their commitments, the College will name two residence halls within the new McLaughlin Residential Cluster. The halls being built at Maynard and College Streets on the site of the former Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital will be ready for occupancy in fall 2006.
The six residence halls framing an open quadrangle will house 342 students. The cluster will include lounges, kitchen areas, and a large commons for lectures, dinners, and other social and educational activities. With brick exterior, white trim, and copper roofs, the buildings are designed to fit with Dartmouth's traditional Georgian architecture while being contemporary in look and function.
"For many years now, the Rauner and Thomas families have been actively involved in sustaining the Dartmouth experience, even as they contribute in so many ways in their own communities," said President James Wright. "We're grateful that their generous gifts to residences will directly affect student life at the College." Halls within the cluster were named for the Berry, Bildner, and Byrne families in May 2005.
Bruce Rauner, Class of 1978, is chairman of GTCR Golder Rauner LLC, in Chicago. Diana Rauner is a senior researcher at the University of Chicago's Chapin Hall Center for Children. Both are active in Chicago's civic life. Mr. Rauner serves on the boards of the Chicago Public Education Fund, Golden Apple Foundation, Ravinia Festival, Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science, and YMCA Metropolitan Chicago. Ms. Rauner is chair of the Board of Trustees of National-Louis University and serves on the boards of Ounce of Prevention Fund, Kohl Children's Museum, Winnetka Alliance for Early Childhood, and Chicago Communities in Schools. She is the author of They Still Pick Me Up When I Fall: The Role of Caring in Youth Development and Community Life, published in 2000. In 1996 the Rauners made a major gift for the renovation of Webster Hall at Dartmouth, to house the Rauner Special Collections Library. The striking new facility, which opened in 1998, has been featured in numerous publications and was a 2002 recipient of The American Institute of Architects Honor Award in Architecture. The Rauners have also endowed a professorship in the Economics Department and provided major support through the Dartmouth College Fund. Actively involved in the volunteer leadership of Dartmouth, Mr. Rauner is a member of the Executive Committee of the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, and both Mr. and Ms. Rauner serve as members of the President's Leadership Council.
Debbie and Jack Thomas, Class of 1974, and their daughters, Elizabeth, Class of 2003, and Lauren, live in St. Louis. Mr. Thomas is chairman and chief executive officer of Coin Acceptors, Inc., the world's leading manufacturer of coin accepting equipment, and of Money Controls, Ltd. He is also founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Royal Vendors, the largest manufacturer of beverage vending machines in North America. He is a trustee of Washington University and serves on the boards of numerous charities and organizations in St. Louis, including the Boy Scouts of America, Fair Saint Louis, the Regional Business Council, Civic Progress, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Together, the Thomases have served as chairs of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society for the United Way of Greater St. Louis Campaign. Ms. Thomas also serves on the board of the St. Louis Art Museum, the Service Bureau, and is past chairman of the St. Louis Antique Show for the Repertory Theatre. In 1996 they endowed the Jack E. Thomas 1974 Family Fellowship at Dartmouth to support faculty salaries and provide stipends for research. Mr. Thomas was assistant dean of Dartmouth College from 1975 to 1976. He is a past president of the Dartmouth Club of St. Louis and was co-chair of class giving for his 25th and 30th reunions. In 2004 he received the prestigious Dartmouth Alumni Award.
David McLaughlin, for whom the complex is named, was Dartmouth's 14th president, from 1981 to 1987, and former head of Toro, the Red Cross, and the Aspen Institute. The new residential complex is being built to help Dartmouth address long-standing housing needs, not to accommodate any increase in the size of the student body. When Dartmouth expanded its student body in the 1970s for coeducation, the College did not make a corresponding increase to the physical plant. While undergraduate enrollment has remained fairly constant since the early 1980s, pressures on existing housing have increased due to fluctuations in off-campus program enrollments, higher demand for leave-term residence, and renovations of existing residence halls to address building code issues. It is estimated that of the 600 students who currently live off-campus some 200-250 do so because of a lack of on-campus beds.
The commitments of these donors address a major priority in the $1.3 billion Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, the largest fundraising effort in Dartmouth history. The College is seeking investment in four initiatives: to advance leading-edge teaching and scholarship, to enhance residential and campus life, to more fully endow its financial aid program, and to raise unrestricted dollars. The campaign is institution-wide, embracing its undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences and its three professional schools, Tuck School of Business, Thayer School of Engineering, and Dartmouth Medical School and also advancing strategic goals as part of this capital campaign.
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