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>  News Releases >   2006 >   November

Dartmouth Trustees focus on new facilities, review mission statement during their November meeting

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 11/05/06 • William Walker • (603) 646-3661

The Dartmouth College Board of Trustees, meeting on campus Nov. 2-4, dedicated two new academic buildings, discussed a review of the College's mission statement, and considered plans for several new facilities, including the life sciences building, dining hall projects in two locations, and the intercollegiate soccer field. 

The trustees officially dedicated Kemeny Hall, the new home of the mathematics department, named for the late John G. Kemeny, a former mathematics professor and President of Dartmouth from 1970 through 1981. Ceremonies also were held to dedicate the Haldeman Center, which houses the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, the Fannie and Alan Leslie Center for the Humanities, and the Institute for the Study of Applied and Professional Ethics, enhancing opportunities among the three centers for interdisciplinary initiatives. The Haldeman Center was named through a gift from Barbara and Charles E. "Ed" Haldeman, a 1970 Dartmouth graduate and current trustee, in honor of Mr. Haldeman's parents.

The dedications of Kemeny Hall and the Haldeman Center culminate a current series of construction projects totaling about $154 million, part of a historic building program that will total in excess of $1 billion in construction and renovation between 1998 and 2010.

The board held meetings in another new academic building dedicated earlier this fall, the MacLean Engineering Sciences Center.  The MacLean building, dedicated in September, increased Thayer School of Engineering facilities by more than 60 percent.

The trustees also toured new residential buildings that opened this fall, meeting with student residents of the McLaughlin Residential Cluster and Tuck Mall Residences. More than 500 undergraduate students moved into the new buildings at the beginning of the fall term.

The board's discussion of the mission statement follows an initiative by President James Wright, who last summer began discussions with faculty, students and staff to revisit the statement.

"Dartmouth's mission is to provide our students the best education possible and to create an academic environment that enables our faculty and students to reach their full scholarly potential," Wright said. "Our mission has not changed substantially since our founding, and our current mission statement is a strong description of our values. But it is useful and necessary to revisit periodically the way that mission is articulated." He said he plans to share with the community a new draft statement this winter, "one that will be more concise and will express more clearly our aspirations."

The life sciences facility, which will be located near the Dartmouth Medical School at the north end of the Hanover campus, will provide teaching, laboratory and office space for the biological sciences and the medical school. Plans are also under way to replace Thayer Dining Hall with a new building that will improve space use on the same site, and to construct the "Class of '53 Commons," a 250-seat dining hall adjacent to the McLaughlin Residential Cluster. The board also reviewed briefly the planning process for the visual arts center on Lebanon Street that will provide space for the departments of Studio Art and Film and Television Studies. The soccer facility, named in honor of Alden "Whitey" Burnham, a coach and administrator at the College from 1960 to 1989, will be located near Scully-Fahey Field on the eastern edge of campus.

In other business, the board's finance committee received an update on the current year budget, and the trustees received a report from Carolyn Pelzel, vice president for development, on the progress of the $1.3-billion Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, which recently passed its midpoint and currently stands at $765 million. The board also met for lunch with the faculty of the Thayer School.

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