Valedictorian ends with 3.97 GPA

by Charles Davant | 6/9/96 5:00am

It would probably make sense that the person with the best grades be the one who spent all day and all night with his nose in a book in the library.

But not this year.

In addition to landing a 3.97 GPA, biology and Asian studies double major Marc Ginsburg '96 is co-captain of the men's volleyball team, a member of Zeta Psi fraternity and a presidential and Rufus Choate scholar.

And the worst grades Ginsburg got at Dartmouth, may have been his best grades ever, he said.

The only grades Ginsburg was given other than perfect As were three A minuses.

Ginsburg said he got an A minus on his biology Foreign Study Program, in Asian studies 62 and English 68, the only English class Ginsburg took at Dartmouth.

Ginsburg said the English class was so difficult, he was lucky he got an A minus.

"That A minus was one of the best grades I got at Dartmouth, looking back," he said.

Jeremy Longinotti '96, who is co-captain of the volleyball team with Ginsburg, said Ginsburg "is not someone who spends all his time studying."

"The guys on the team would marvel at how he had time to do well at school and give time to his fraternity and give time to the team," Longinotti said.

Ginsburg "said he gets about three to four hours of sleep a night, and never more," Longinotti said.

Longinotti said Ginsburg spends more than 20 hours a week playing volleyball during the regular season.

"Every day in practice he spends about three hours. And he lifts three days a week," he said.

"With weekend trips, he is putting in at least 20 hours a week," he said.

Longinotti said Ginsburg is a remarkable person.

"He is one of the most incredible people I've ever met," Longinotti said.

"He is a very intelligent person to begin with, but he also has a lot of desire for life and a lot of time to give other people," he said.

Longinotti said if he knew how Ginsburg does it, he would be valedictorian himself.

Ginsburg remains demure when discussing his achievement.

"I was kind of surprised," he said.

Ginsburg said he thought he would be in a three-way tie for first in his class.

Indeed, this year's two co-salutatorians were breathing down Ginsburg's neck.

Justin Cooper '96, a linguistics major and German minor, and Justin Ruben '96, a biology major and environmental studies minor, both finished with GPAs of 3.96, according to the College News Service.

Next year Ginsburg will go to work for a health care consulting firm in his home town of Wellesley, Mass.

Ginsburg said he found out about the honor Thursday morning from Dean of the College Lee Pelton.

There is no easy formula for success, Ginsburg said.

"There is no secret," he said. "Just hard work."

Ginsburg said his goal was never to be valedictorian.

"You don't think about it while you do it," he said. "I took each class as it came."

"You start confident and go from there," he said.

"You put in whatever it takes," he said.

But for Ginsburg, that did not mean many hours more than his classmates.

"For a normal class, I don't student much more than the average," he said.

Ginsburg said he studied more for the classes associated with his thesis, which was on coral reefs and tropical ecology.

Ginsburg is a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society, the Golden Key honor society and the Older and Wiser program.

He was given the Francis L. Town Scientific prize in 1994 for his achievement in biology during his sophomore year, according to Dartmouth News Service Director Roland Adams.

Adams said Ginsburg worked with Biology Professor Eric Lambie on a research project about the mutational analysis of C Elegans Germline Development.

During spring 1993, he studied Japanese as part of Dartmouth's FSP in Kanazawa, Japan.

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