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Inauguration of Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 22

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 09/14/09 • Media Contact: Susan Knapp (603) 646-3661

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Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim will be inaugurated as Dartmouth's 17th President at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009 (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

To view our short video, learn more about the event or about lodging options, please visit

Jim Yong Kim is the first Asian American to lead an Ivy League institution

Physician, educator and global health pioneer Jim Yong Kim will be inaugurated as Dartmouth’s 17th President at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009 in a formal ceremony open to the entire community on the Dartmouth Green. President Kim is the first physician to lead the College in its 240-year history and the first Asian American to lead an Ivy League institution.

The academic procession begins promptly at 11 a.m., and all visitors are encouraged to be seated by 10:45 a.m. (The rain location is Leverone Field House.) The ceremony will be broadcast live via webcast at This event also serves as the welcoming convocation for the Class of 2013 and the beginning of Dartmouth’s academic year.

Inauguration speakers will include President Kim, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch, Dr. Paul Farmer and Student Assembly President Frances Vernon ’10. Farmer, a longtime friend of President Kim, is a leader in global health and chairs the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Farmer co-founded, with President Kim and others, the nonprofit organization Partners In Health (PIH). Vernon, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is pursuing a self-designed major in globalization, health, and development with a focus on Latin America. Greetings will also be delivered by Barry Scherr, College provost, who also is the Inauguration chief marshal; Michael Porter, the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School, and Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University.

President Kim has said that serving as the leader of Dartmouth is “the greatest honor of my life.” He began his presidency on July 1, 2009, with a clear mandate. “There's always a sense in young people that they want to do something great. A lot of young people don't think they can make a difference,” President Kim has said. “That's what I am at Dartmouth to do, to tell the young people, as Margaret Mead once said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of committed souls can change the world. In fact, it's the only thing that ever has.’ I am trying to think hard about what would it take to train a group of young people, who would leave the College energized, inspired and really thinking that there's no problem that they couldn't tackle. ‘What do you need to do to prepare yourself for a meaningful life?’ That's the question I'm going to ask students every day, as president of Dartmouth.”

A Community Celebration will follow the Inauguration ceremony, featuring outstanding student performers. The emcee, Ijeabalum “Lou Lou” P. Igbokwe ’10, will introduce various acts including the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir; Michael Odokara-Okigbo ’12 and Courtney Davis ’09, the first- and second-place winners of the 2009 Dartmouth Idol competition; the Dartmouth Dance Theater Ensemble; the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble; the Christian a cappella group X.ado; the South Asian dance group Vandana; Fusion Dance Ensemble; two women’s a cappella groups, the Rockapellas and the Decibelles; the Chinese Dance Troupe, and the men’s a cappella group the Cords. International recipes, produced with many local ingredients, will be served by local restaurants including Yama, Gusanoz, and Taste of Africa, as well as Dartmouth Dining Services and the Hanover Inn.

Pre-Inauguration Panel on Monday, Sept. 21: “Reflections on Leadership for Social Change” is the title of a panel discussion which will be introduced by President Kim. This event also is open to the public, and will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium in the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth and broadcast live on the Dartmouth website.

The moderator is Sydney Finkelstein, the Steven Roth Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business, and the author, with J. Whitehead and A. Campbell, of Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep It From Happening to You (Harvard Business School Press, 2009). Panelists include Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health (PIH) and the Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Ed Haldeman ’70, chair of the Dartmouth Board of Trustees and chief executive officer of Freddie Mac; Jeffrey Immelt ’78, Dartmouth trustee and chairman of the board and chief executive officer of GE; Michael Porter, the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School, and Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University.

Biographical information about President Kim: Jim Yong Kim, M.D., Ph.D., took office as the 17th president of Dartmouth College on July 1, 2009. President Kim is a co-founder of Partners In Health (PIH) and a former director of the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization (WHO). He has dedicated himself to health and social justice work for more than two decades, helping to provide medical treatment to underserved populations worldwide.

Before assuming the Dartmouth presidency, President Kim held professorships at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He also served as chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and director of the François Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health. President Kim graduated with an A.B. magna cum laude from Brown University in 1982. He earned an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1991 and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University in 1993.

Born in 1959 in Seoul, South Korea, President Kim moved with his family to the United States at the age of five and grew up in Muscatine, Iowa. His father, a dentist, taught at the University of Iowa, where his mother received her PhD in philosophy. He graduated from Muscatine High School, where he was valedictorian and president of his class and played quarterback for the football team. He is married to Dr. Younsook Lim, a pediatrician. The couple has two young sons.


Note for reporters: Media should register in advance by calling the Dartmouth Office of Public Affairs at 603-646-3661 for access to the reserved section for journalists.

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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