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The Wheelock Succession of Dartmouth Presidents

ASA DODGE SMITH, 1863-1877

Asa Dodge Smith

The administration of President Asa Dodge Smith was one of tremendous growth for Dartmouth. Smith was a cosmopolitan man, whose reputation as a preacher and public speaker had won him many friends and admirers. During his thirteen-year tenure, the Thayer School of Engineering was founded; the number of scholarships increased from 42 to 103; and the College became the beneficiary of several important bequests. One, left by Richard Fletcher of Boston, totaled $100,000. The Chandler Scientific School, which was later merged with the College, grew in enrollment and financial resources. Alumni were brought together in regional associations from Boston to Cincinnati. It was also during Smith's administration that Hanover became the site of New Hampshire's first land grant college after the passage in 1862 of the Morrill Act. The New Hampshire College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts remained in Hanover for over 20 years, but was eventually moved to Durham and later became the University of New Hampshire.

President Smith presided over the observance of the one hundredth anniversary of Dartmouth's charter—a spectacular event that was almost rendered a disaster by a sudden thunderstorm. Nevertheless, it drew such dignitaries as U.S. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, a graduate of the Class of 1826, and General William Tecumseh Sherman.

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Last Updated: 7/25/18