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Home stretch for Kemeny Challenge

Kresge Foundation will add $1 million if goal is met in March

As Kemeny Hall takes shape on North Main Street, fund raising for the future home of the Mathematics Department is nearing completion.  Contributions from more than 1,500 alumni, faculty, staff and friends have brought the College within $3 million of the fund-raising goal. The outpouring of support reflects the Dartmouth community's high regard for former president John Kemeny, who the building will honor, and The Kresge Foundation's promise of a capstone gift of $1 million if the College completes fund raising for the project by March 31, 2005.

Kemeny Hall
Kemeny Hall (right wing) and the adjacent Haldeman Center (left wing) will reunite the Mathematics Department and house the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, Ethics Institute, and Fannie and Alan Leslie Center for the Humanities. (Illustration courtesy of Moore Ruble Yudell and Bruner/Cott, rendering by Al Forster)

The strong response of donors also reflects Kemeny Hall's anticipated contributions to the learning environment. "It has been more than ten years that the members of the Math Department have been housed in three separate buildings," said Thomas Shemanske, Professor and Chair of Mathematics. "Having a single space to reunite us will amplify the kind of interaction among colleagues which is so valuable to research and teaching." Kemeny Hall will encompass approximately 61,000 gross square feet and include six "smart" classrooms, five seminar rooms, ten laboratories and a variety of office and lounge spaces for students and faculty.  Contractor Daniel O'Connell's Sons of Holyoke, Mass., began site preparation in November. The Facilities Planning Office web site provides construction details and plans. A Mathematics Department web site shows progress on Kemeny Hall and Haldeman Center.

The Haldeman Center, adjacent to Kemeny Hall, will provide conference facilities for the campus and seminar and office space for the John Sloan  Dickey Center for International Understanding, Ethics Institute, and Fannie and Alan Leslie Center for the Humanities.

"President Kemeny worked tirelessly to build up the academic program and to support the intellectual character of the College," said President James Wright at the November groundbreaking ceremony. "I know that he would be enormously proud today to have seen the Department of Mathematics housed in Kemeny Hall."

Before becoming Dartmouth's 13th President, Kemeny was Professor and Chair of Mathematics. He and colleague Thomas Kurtz worked with  undergraduates to develop the BASIC computer programming language and time-sharing system that helped revolutionize computing and information  technology. As President (1970 to 1981), Kemeny championed coeducation and diversity and  rededicated the College to Native American  education. The year-round academic calendar, expanded foreign study programs and guaranteed  financial aid for all admitted students were hallmarks of his presidency.

 "His advocacy of equal opportunity forged the way for the pluralistic community we strive for today," said Wright in a letter to alumni announcing the Kemeny Challenge. To further encourage those who would honor him and his legacy, the College will prominently recognize the names of donors of $25,000 or more in the Kemeny Hall lobby and will display the names of  all donors elsewhere in the building. Donors represent all graduating classes beginning with the Class of 1932, and alumni who were undergraduates during Kemeny's presidency comprise more than half of them. The Class of  1978 leads all classes in participation with more than 100 donors. The Kemeny Challenge web site provides information about Kemeny and his  Dartmouth legacy, Kemeny Hall, and the Kemeny Challenge.

By MARK JOHNSON

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Last Updated: 12/17/08