President Wright greets Shannon Prince '09 at the May 20 community farewell event (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)
James Wright came to Dartmouth in 1969 as an assistant professor of history. During the years that followed, he became a legendary teacher, scholar, and administrator. In 1998 he was elected the 16th president of the College.
During his tenure, he has overseen significant growth in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and increased the diversity of the student population. In addition, he has strengthened the College's commitment to financial aid and invested in both the academic and out-of-classroom experience through the new and renovated facilities across campus.
Wright will step down on June 30, 2009. His legacy to Dartmouth includes:
- The Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, which has raised $1.18 billion. Twenty new professorships have been endowed and more than 500 new endowment funds have been established.
- A financial aid program that provides $72 million in scholarships and aid to Dartmouth students.
- An incoming class with a record 18,132 applicants, a 77 percent increase over the 1998-99 academic year (10,259 applicants).
- A more diverse student population. For the class of 2002, the first to matriculate during Wright's tenure, students of color represented 20.3 percent and international students 4.3 percent. For the class of 2012, students of color represent 36 percent and international students 8 percent.
- An Arts and Sciences full-time equivalent faculty that has grown from 380 to 439 and a student-faculty ratio that dropped from 10-to-1 to 8-to-1.
- Sixty-four percent of Dartmouth classes with fewer than 20 students.
- More than $1.1 billion invested in new facilities, including $80 million for athletic facilities and fields.
To learn more about President Wright and his tenure, visit the exhibition "An Extraordinary History: James Wright at Dartmouth," on view in the Baker Library main corridor through June.