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The Wheelock Succession of Dartmouth Presidents

JAMES WRIGHT, 1998 - 2009

James Wright

A member of the Dartmouth faculty since 1969, James Wright was elected president in 1998. Prior to taking office, he served as Dean of the Faculty, Provost, and Acting President. During his presidency undergraduate applications grew by 78 percent and the student body became increasingly diverse, with students of color and international students representing more than 30 percent of the student body. President Wright focused on advancing the academic strength of the College by expanding and diversifying the faculty; resulting in more than 10 percent growth in the faculty of the Arts & Sciences, an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, and the highest percentage of tenured women faculty in the Ivy League and among the highest percentage of faculty of color.

Spearheading the College’s $1.3 billion campaign—the largest fund-raising effort in its history—Wright provided additional resources for faculty support, including the construction of Berry and Rauner Special Collections Libraries, Carson Hall, Moore Hall, Kemeny Hall, and the Haldeman Center. The College also enhanced the out-of-classroom experience by making significant investments in residential and social options and athletic and recreational facilities. During Wright’s tenure, both Dartmouth’s endowment and annual fundraising more than doubled.

Wright, who served in the Marine Corps before pursuing degrees in history, led the creation and funding of a new educational counseling program for wounded U.S. veterans and helped to draft language for the Yellow Ribbon Program in the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill passed in 2008. He was honored by several national organizations for his efforts to increase educational access for veterans.


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Last Updated: 7/25/18