Alumni spotlight: Where are they now?

by Alexandra Steinberg | 8/13/17 11:40pm

This article was featured in the 2017 Freshman Issue.

Approximately sixty-six thousand Dartmouth graduates “roam the girdled earth,” as we sing in the alma mater. Some you may not have heard of, and some you may know and are ecstatic to share the same Dartmouth identity.

Theodor Seuss Geisel ’25: Theodor Geisel was instructed to cease his participation in extracurricular activities after being caught consuming alcoholic beverages in his dorm room during Prohibition. However, Geisel continued to write for the Jack-O-Lantern, the College’s satirical humor publication, under the pseudonym Dr. Seuss. During his time at Dartmouth, Geisel was the editor-in-chief of the Jack-O and a brother at Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. After graduating from Dartmouth, Geisel attended Lincoln College at the University of Oxford but left without a degree. He drew advertisements for companies, including General Electric, National Broadcasting Company and Standard Oil, during the Great Depression. Additionally, Geisel was a commander of the animation department for the Army in 1943. Although Geisel died in 1991, today many know him for his popular children’s books, such as “The Lorax,” “Green Eggs and Ham” and “The Cat in the Hat.” Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine is named in his honor and a room in Baker-Berry Library is devoted to his work.

Timothy Geithner ’83: Tim Geithner received his B.A. in government and Asian Studies, followed by a master’s in international economics and East Asian Studies from Johns Hopkins University. He later became the president and chief executive officer at the Federal Reserve of New York from 2003 to 2009. Geithner served as the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President Obama from 2009 to 2013, succeeding another Dartmouth alumnus, Henry Paulson Jr. ’68. Following his tenure as treasure secretary, he was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2013. In 2014, Geithner also released his memoir, “Stress Test: Reflection on Financial Crises.” Geithner’s signature is featured on bills still in circulation.

Kirsten Gillibrand ’88: Tina Rutnik, as she was known to her classmates, was an Asian Studies major, squash and tennis player and magna cum laude graduate. Since her time in Hanover, Rutnik abandoned her nickname, returned to using her birth name Kirsten and took the last name of her husband, Jonathan Gillibrand. Gillibrand was a Democratic U.S. Representative for New York from 2007 to 2009, and since 2009, she has represented New York in the U.S. Senate. The Senator came to Dartmouth in October 2016 to campaign for then-Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and then-candidate for U.S. Senate Maggie Hassan (D-NH).

Shonda Rhimes ’91: Meredith Grey, the lead character in the medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” often wears a Dartmouth t-shirt during the series. This is how Shonda Rhimes ’91, the TV show’s creator, head writer and executive producer, represents her alma mater. Since her tenure directing the Black Underground Theater Association at Dartmouth, Rhimes created other drama series, including “Scandal” and “Private Practice.” In 2004, the Dartmouth English and film studies major created her own production company Shondaland. Time Magazine named Rhimes one of its 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2013. She has been featured on many similar lists, including Fortune Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” Glamour Magazine’s “Women of the Year” and Variety Magazine’s “Power of Women.” Rhimes presented the commencement address to the Dartmouth Class of 2014.

Mindy Kaling ’01: Mindy Kaling came to Dartmouth to follow her “love of white people and North Face parkas,” she wrote in her memoir “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” At Dartmouth, Kaling was a theater major and a member of the improv comedy troupe Dog Day. She also sang with the a cappella group the Rockapellas and created a comic strip for The Dartmouth entitled “Badly Drawn Girl.” After her time at Dartmouth, Kaling shortened her last name from Chokalingam to Kaling and pursued a career in television and comedy. When she was 24, Kaling became the first woman to join the writing staff of the TV sitcom “The Office” when she was 24, a show in which she played the character Kelly Kapoor. Kaling also writes and stars in her own television series, “The Mindy Project.” Time Magazine named Kaling one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2013. Currently, Kaling is preparing the sixth and final season of “The Mindy Project” and is starring in the film adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s novel “A Wrinkle in Time.”

Kyle Hendricks ’12: Kyle Hendricks was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 2008 Major League Baseball draft when he was a senior in high school. Hendricks declined, instead committing to play baseball for the Big Green at Dartmouth. In 2011, Hendricks signed with the Texas Rangers, pitched for their minor league team and then was traded to the Chicago Cubs. He was the Cubs’ 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. While pursuing his professional career, Hendricks completed his degree in economics modified with math and graduated in the spring of 2014. Hendricks pitched his first major league game that same year with the Cubs. He also pitched in the 2016 World Series, when the Cubs won their first title in more than a century. This June, Hendricks was placed on the disabled list for inflammation in a tendon in a finger in his right hand, his pitching hand. He returned to pitch July 28.