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The President's Plan

Moving Dartmouth Forward

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Message from President Carol L. Folt

January 9, 2013

Dear members of the Dartmouth community:

Welcome back from our first extended winter break, part of the new academic calendar. I write to wish you a happy and successful 2013 and to look ahead to several exciting events planned, as well as to reflect briefly on some of what our community accomplished together in the fall.

This year, we're celebrating the vibrant diversity of our community, and the energy has been inspiring. In September, we celebrated four decades of our Native American Studies Program with a symposium on indigenous rights, sovereignty and nationhood--and we look forward to more events this winter and spring. In October, a series of events over Homecoming weekend marked 40 years of the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association, which now has more than 3,000 members. And in the spring, we will enjoy a campus-wide celebration of four decades of co-education at Dartmouth. We look forward to celebrating with our current community and welcoming back many alumnae at the events.

This energetic spirit extends to our Year of the Arts, which continues to spur unprecedented levels of arts-related activity across campus. Not only have world-class performers come to Hanover but students and faculty have been receiving support for their work through Year of the Arts grants. Alumni artists also have been featured in a show at the Hop and the Nearburg Gallery at the Black Family VAC, and newly commissioned works of art and performance will be coming to campus in the coming months. Please visit the Year of the Arts website ( to learn more about these activities.

Dartmouth's excellence in scholarship and research continues to bring acclaim. Among many notable accomplishments, six faculty members were selected as 2012 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Professor Cynthia Huntington was named a finalist for the National Book Foundation's poetry award, and Professor Donald E. Pease was awarded the prestigious Bode-Pearson Prize for "Outstanding Contributions to American Studies."

Students, staff and alumni had numerous accomplishments as well. For example, Thayer engineering students Joseph Anthony '12 and Theodore Sumers '12 were awarded a grant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement a small-scale hydropower system in Rwanda. On campus, Rosi Kerr '97, director of Dartmouth's Sustainability Program, led the raising of the new barn at the Organic Farm with the support of more than 50 student and staff volunteers. And alumna Louise Erdrich '76 won the 2012 National Book Award for fiction for her novel, The Round House. You can read about accomplishments and discoveries taking place on campus every day on our transformed website, launched in November; the newly-created Twitter feed @dartdiscovery, which highlights Dartmouth research, and by following us on Twitter @Dartmouth.

There is a buzz of pride and excitement following the election of Philip J. Hanlon '77 as Dartmouth's 18th president. I am delighted to have met with Phil a number of times since his election. The experience, wisdom and creativity he brings to the presidency set the stage for a strong and successful future for Dartmouth. I hope you will join me at the Welcome Celebration for Phil and his wife, Gail Gentes, on January 11 at 3 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium.

Throughout my time at Dartmouth, what has felt most constant and distinctive is the unmatched energy and commitment of our students, faculty, and staff in fostering a place where creative learning, impactful ideas and actions and new discoveries thrive. This vitality has been an important driver of the strategic planning process, which has engaged the entire Dartmouth community in forging an aspirational vision for the future of the institution. I deeply appreciate the hard work of the thousands of individuals who participated in the process, and especially the campus-wide strategic planning teams. We look forward to continuing these exciting discussions with President Hanlon and engaging further with the campus community in the coming months.

I could not be more proud of our present, and inspired by what we can become in the future. I look forward to a new year where we build on our strengths and fulfill more of the great potential that lies within us.

Carol L. Folt

Last Updated: 1/23/13