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>  News Releases >   2006 >   June

Dartmouth valedictorian hails from Michigan

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 06/10/06 • (603) 646-3661

Following calculation of final four-year grade point averages for the Dartmouth Class of 2006, which will graduate Sunday, June 11, Robert D. Butts, from Midland, Mich., has been named valedictorian. Over the course of his career as a Dartmouth undergraduate, he achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average (GPA) on the Dartmouth grading scale.

Dean Drizin, from Plymouth Meeting, Penn., is the salutatorian. Drizin earned a GPA of 3.99.

Butts will deliver the valedictory address during the College's commencement ceremonies, which will be held on the Dartmouth Green beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

Biographical Backgrounds

Robert Butts, Valedictorian
Robert Butts
Robert Butts (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Butts has majored in government with a minor in psychology. His academic interests lie in international security, military analysis, and decision theory and strategy. He served as the vice president and the academic chair of Alpha Theta Coeducational Fraternity, and he is a former president of Dartmouth's Coeducational Greek Council. He is a staff columnist with The Dartmouth, the student newspaper, and he worked at Dartmouth's Rockefeller Center for Public Policy as the student programs moderator.

During his Dartmouth career, Butts has earned numerous academic citations for outstanding scholarly work. He was a Rufus Choate Scholar, meaning his G.P.A. ranked in the top five percent of undergraduates, for all four academic years. He was the co-recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Sophomore Prize for the highest G.P.A. in 2004, and was an early inductee into this organization, which is the nation's oldest and largest academic honor society. He is also a member of the Order of Omega, the national Greek honor society. He won the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding's 2006 Chase Peace Prize, and he is a three-time recipient of the government department's Edson Prize. Butts was also selected as the Class of 2006 Scholar by the Coed, Fraternity, and Sorority Community. He is the author of two scholarly articles for undergraduate journals, one called "Incremental Politics Lost in Space" that appeared in The Undergraduate Quarterly, and the other, titled "Playing with Violence," was published in The Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science.

Butts enjoys video games, writing, reading, golf, poker, and watching ESPN. He plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue an advanced degree in political science.

Dean Drizin, Salutatorian
Dean Drizin
Dean Drizin (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Drizin has majored in government, achieving high honors, with a minor in chemistry. In addition to his six academic citations for his scholarly work, he is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He was a Rufus Choate Scholar, meaning his G.P.A. ranked in the top five percent of undergraduates, for all four academic years. He received Dartmouth's Edson Prize in government and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He also received Dartmouth's Jeffrey L. Pressman Prize, and he was the co-recipient of the Colby Government Prize. With funding from Dartmouth's Office of Residential Life and a Class of 1989 Senior Scholars research grant, Drizin pursued an honors thesis examining the Medicare hospice benefit and its impact on care of people who are dying. His aim is to inform political scientists and policymakers about this issue.

Drizin spent the spring of his sophomore year in England as part of the Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange Program at Keble College, and he has participated in Civic Skills Training in Washington, D.C., coordinated by Dartmouth's Rockefeller Center. He interned with Banc of America Securities and the World Health Organization. Drizin was a member of the Dartmouth heavyweight crew team, and he was part of the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows Program and the Diversity Peer Program, both at Dartmouth.

Drizin enjoys traveling, and he has been a member of the American Roller Coaster Enthusiasts club since 1996. He wishes to thank his family for their support and the William Penn Charter School for preparing him well for college.

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