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>  News Releases >   2007 >   October

Dartmouth announces $10 million in gifts that fund new professorships

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 10/29/07 • Sue Knapp • (603) 646-3661

Carol Folt
Carol Folt (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

James Haxby
James Haxby (photo courtesy of James Haxby)

Andrew Friedland
Andrew Friedland (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Three families have made gifts totaling $10 million to support Dartmouth's academic enterprise, endowing professorships that will enable the institution to continue to attract and retain top faculty and strengthen teaching and research in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The professors appointed to these new chairs are prominent scholars in the fields of psychological and brain sciences, environmental studies, and the biological sciences.

The Evans Family Distinguished Professorship was endowed with a gift from Barbara and Brad Evans, a Dartmouth trustee and member of the Class of 1964. It will be held by James Haxby, who investigates the human brain systems that control visual perception, attention, and memory. Professor Haxby will join the Dartmouth faculty in January, 2008. He comes to Dartmouth from Princeton University where he was a professor in the department of psychology since 2003. Previously, he was section chief for the Section on Functional Brain Imaging at the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md. His PhD is from the University of Minnesota.

Carol Folt, Dartmouth's dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed to the Dartmouth Professorship of Biological Sciences, created by an anonymous donor. She is also associate director of Dartmouth's Superfund Basic Research Program, entering its second decade as an interdisciplinary science program that brings together faculty and students from Dartmouth Medical School and the Arts and Sciences. An environmental biologist, she studies mercury bioaccumulation in aquatic food webs, salmonid conservation, and gene-environment interactions in lake biota. Professor Folt earned her PhD from the University of California at Davis and has been a member of the Dartmouth faculty since 1983.

A $2.5 million gift from Jane and Richard Pearl, a member of the Class of 1954 and a graduate of Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business in 1955, endows the Richard and Jane Pearl Professorship in Environmental Studies. Andrew Friedland, whose interdisciplinary research explores effects of atmospheric pollutants on high-elevation forests, and impacts of individual choices on energy use and the environment, is the inaugural chair holder.  He is the chair of Dartmouth's Environmental Studies Program, and one of the founders of the multidisciplinary graduate program in Earth, Ecosystem, and Ecological Sciences. Professor Friedland joined the Dartmouth faculty in 1987 after receiving his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.

Since 1998 Dartmouth has added 55 faculty positions, bringing the total number to 411 and reducing the College's student-faculty ratio from 10:1 to 8:1. This has enabled growth in departments where student enrollments have been steadily increasing, and expansion into emerging fields necessary to keep the curriculum at the cutting edge of knowledge and relevant for today's students. The faculty positions have been funded through the reallocation of existing resources and gifts through the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience.

"The quality of an institution is profoundly shaped by its faculty. Substantial growth in the faculty has been one of my highest priorities, and I'm grateful to these families for giving us the resources to recognize outstanding teaching and scholarship," said Dartmouth President James Wright. "It gives me special pleasure to award, with the enthusiastic approval of the faculty Committee Advisory to the President, one of these new professorships to our dean of faculty, Carol Folt. Dean Folt continues a vital research program and advises many students, even as she leads the Faculty of Arts and Sciences."

Other endowed chairs that have been publicly announced include the Sherman Fairchild Professorships in Emerging Fields, the Neukom Professorship in Computational Science, the Clements Professorship in Politics and Democracy, and the Hansen Professorship for teaching and scholarship.

"The quality of a Dartmouth education is defined by the minds and discoveries of our faculty and the innovation and opportunity their scholarship, commitment, and energy bring to our students," said Dean Carol Folt. "With endowed professorships we honor individuals for groundbreaking contributions in their disciplines and distinguished contributions as teachers and mentors. These chairs provide vital support for developing programs in pioneering areas and providing new opportunities for students. We are very grateful for this support from our generous alumni."

Brad Evans is a managing director of Morgan Stanley and a vice chairman of the firm's investment banking department. He has been a member of the Dartmouth Board of Trustees since 2003 and serves as co-chairman of the $1.3 billion Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience. He has served on the executive committee of the Class of 1964, the Class of 1964 25th Reunion Gifts Committee, the Major Gifts Committee of the 1990's Will to Excel capital campaign, and the Dartmouth College Fund Committee. He and his wife, Barbara, a graduate of Tufts University, have been members of the President's Leadership Council. Mr. Evans is a member of the board of overseers of Columbia Business School, from which he earned an MBA in 1970.

Dick Pearl is a senior managing director of First Manhattan Company, a private investment management firm in New York. Serving in the U.S. Air Force after receiving his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, he has been with First Manhattan since its inception in 1964. Jane Pearl, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, is a director of the Pearl Family Foundation and an advisory board member of the Westchester Land Trust. They have two grown daughters, Jennifer and Merrie. Dick Pearl is chairman of the Quiet Highway Council Inc., a director of the Regional Review League, and a former chairman and trustee of the St. Luke's School. He has given his time generously to Dartmouth, serving twenty years as the Class of 1954's representative to the Bequests and Trusts program, ten years as Gift Planning Chair for his class, and volunteering as a class agent for the Dartmouth College Fund.

The commitments of these donors address a major priority in the $1.3 billion Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, the largest fund-raising effort in Dartmouth history. The College is seeking investment in four initiatives: to advance leading-edge teaching and scholarship, enhance residential and campus life, more fully endow its financial aid program, and raise unrestricted dollars to fund the current student experience. 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 advancing strategic goals campus-wide.

Dartmouth is a private, coeducational college and a member of the Ivy League. Founded in 1769, it is committed to outstanding undergraduate and graduate education while fostering cutting-edge scholarship among its faculty. Its small size fosters close student-faculty interaction, and its year-round schedule allows the majority of its 4,300 undergraduates to participate in foreign study and internships.

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