Dear Members and Friends of the Dartmouth Community,
Welcome to the new academic year. This promises to be an engaging time for our community and each of you plays a vital role in creating an environment of innovation, creativity, and collaboration. I see this in the faces of our students, faculty, staff and alumni at every event I attend -- from Matriculation in the President's office to Convocation, in classes and lectures, and at games and performances across campus.
I also would like to give a special welcome to the new members of our community. We look forward to working and learning with you.
As many of you know, we have been pursuing a comprehensive strategic planning effort to ensure our students have the best educational experience possible and that Dartmouth is a world-leading center of discovery for decades to come. At their fall meeting, our Trustees reviewed the status of this faculty-driven process and began considering how to build upon its ideas. They expressed confidence that Dartmouth will advance and execute a clear and ambitious strategy for the future.
We have much to look forward to this year, including a Year of the Arts with many great events that I hope you will join. This celebration affirms the power of the arts and Dartmouth's role as a leading academic arts community. It opened formally on September 13 with an enthralling performance at Spaulding Auditorium by the cellist Yo-Yo Ma, a 2001 Montgomery Fellow.
There is no greater expression of our commitment to creative collaborations, or the generosity of our donors, than the magnificent new Black Family Visual Arts Center. At the dedication on September 14, Leon Black '73 recalled with great passion the influence his mother had in forming his appreciation of the arts. I know this wonderful facility will inspire generations of students. The new Center and the breathtaking Ellsworth Kelly panels, which bring new life to the Hop's eastern facade, have enlivened our expanded arts district, which includes the Hop, the Hood, the renovated Hanover Inn, and the new conference center.
We also look forward to a dedication next month when our Wilder Physical Laboratory is designated as an American Physical Society Historic Site to commemorate the first precise measurement of radiation pressure of light on a macroscopic body. This highly significant scientific breakthrough was achieved in 1901 by faculty member and later Dartmouth president Ernest Fox Nichols and his colleague Gordon Ferrie Hull. Groundbreaking research continues at Wilder today, including a wide range of physics initiatives and innovative laser laboratories.
It is impossible to highlight here everything coming up this fall, but the public affairs team will continue to publicize events and the accomplishments of our students and faculty all year. One communication innovation to note: a Twitter feed (@dartdiscovery) where you can learn about the discoveries Dartmouth researchers are making every week from new technology to international policy to high science to medieval studies and more.
This week, I'll be in China with Dean of Faculty Michael Mastanduno and others to celebrate Dartmouth's 30-year educational partnership and student exchange program with Beijing Normal University. Dartmouth also will be represented at USAID's "Partnership for Change: Empowering Women" conference in early October in Kosovo. Some of you may recall that Kosovar President Atifete Jahjaga visited Dartmouth last March to share Kosovo's accomplishments and challenges since its fight for self-determination.
We also will be commemorating several milestones this year -- 40 years of undergraduate co-education, 40 years of our Native American Studies Program, and 40 years of the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association (BADA). We hope to involve many of you in planning these tributes.
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson has been working closely with the community on programs to ensure the well-being of our students. Two student forums were held since July to gather feedback about the new harm reduction reforms, which took effect last week. Importantly, students, faculty, the administration and our Trustees agree that reforms are necessary and will create a safer environment for all. Work will continue in these areas all fall.
I am grateful to those colleagues who continue to take on new tasks and assist me in my role as Dartmouth's interim President. In particular, I would like to thank our faculty and staff for accommodating a significantly earlier start to the academic year. It took a lot of hard work, but the new calendar will improve the continuity of the fall term academic experience, and increase opportunities available to faculty and students during the winter interim.
It will be a pleasure to work with you all this year to celebrate our accomplishments, and build on the momentum behind our path to increasing excellence, success and global impact. Thank you.
Carol L. Folt
Last Updated: 9/24/12