Rededication of Dartmouth Hall

President Hanlon's remarks from the rededication of Dartmouth Hall.

What a thrill to be gathered for the re-dedication of such a beloved building…and on the same weekend we celebrate 50 years of undergraduate coeducation. We all know it was primarily our Dartmouth women who rallied to make this happen, and I couldn't be prouder than I am right now.

There is no more iconic building on our campus than Dartmouth Hall. It is the first sign of welcome to visitors and prospective students and one of the most enduring images etched in our memories long after we depart.

For those of us who are alumni, it is part of our shared history – a common touchpoint for every Dartmouth student who walks the time-worn paths of the green before it.  

I, like many of you, took my first class at Dartmouth in this building. For me, that was English 5. Much to my surprise when I came back as Dartmouth President – and as much to my dismay – the classroom looked exactly as it did when I was a student some 40 years before. Suffice to say, it was all the evidence I needed to convince me that a renovation was in order. 

I am so proud that our community and, specifically, our outstanding alumnae, rallied to the cause, because Dartmouth Hall – above all else – symbolizes the role that Dartmouth's past plays in her future. 

With its technology enriched classrooms and as home to the Leslie Center, Dartmouth Hall recognizes the enduring centrality of the humanities in a liberal arts education – important in understanding the past but even more prescient as society looks toward the future.  

It also connects our proud history of language instruction with our aspiration to become an even more global institution. And it embodies one of Dartmouth's most celebrated educational features: the special relationships forged between Dartmouth students and their professors.

I am especially grateful that the design makes the building more accessible to all, removing the barriers to entry and facilitating ease of movement within the building for those with disabilities….

….and that it's been constructed to achieve LEED-Gold certification.

Its glorious front door is, once again, open and welcoming. For that, we have a lot of people to thank. 

More than 3,000 supporters, 2,712 of them Dartmouth alumnae, generously contributed over $26 million to realize this project. Leading that effort was an unstoppable committee of a dozen daughters of Dartmouth. Ellie, Peggy, Laurel, Beth, Leslie, Robin, Ann, Pam, Whitney, Ashley, Caroline and Denise…we are truly in your debt.

Their campaign was so successful that in addition to funding the capital renovation, it established a million-dollar scholarship fund that donors are still contributing to today.

And I cannot let this moment pass without expressing my sincerest gratitude to two more Dartmouth women who skillfully led this project from the very beginning and were instrumental to its success: Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Elizabeth Smith; and A. and R. Newbury Professor of English and Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives, Barbara Will. 

Thank you to all of you for bringing us to this day.

To be standing here in front of this beautifully reconstituted building that is worthy and supportive of the 21st century teaching and learning that happens inside is a moment I will cherish, and I hope you will, too.

It is now my honor to invite Caroline Hribar and Denise Dupre, two of the 12 women behind the incredible alumnae-led fundraising effort, to share a few words.