Dartmouth campus home to 75 different summer programs

by Kathleen McDermott | 6/25/01 5:00am

Wang Yang Lau '02 is clearly not a sophomore, having finished his sophomore summer nearly a year ago.

Yet for the past week the physics and economics double major has remained on campus, along with 100 recent college graduates and rising seniors at the Tuck School's Business Bridge Program.

The competitive program draws liberal arts students from all over the world -- from Harvard, Yale and as far as India -- and aims to give them a crash course in the complex and multifaceted world of business.

Lau, however, is only one of nearly 6,900 people who will visit the College over the course of the summer through over 75 residential programs and camps. In several days, the campus will be dotted with students, adults and alumni who fill vacated dormitories and help bear the cost of an irregular academic term.

Approximately 300 of those visitors will travel in packs spouting out newly learned Spanish, French, and Chinese, to name only several of the languages the Rassias Foundation's Accelerated Language Programs (ALPs) will be teaching this summer.

According to Helene Rassias-Miles, the program's coordinator, ALPs is "like summer camp for grown-ups," and "pressure-filled, yet fun."

"They know it's painful," she explained, detailing a typical day's schedule -- five hours of drill instruction in the language, lunch and dinner spoken in the language -- which is enough to make even the most dedicated participant "cross-eyed by the third day," as she phrased it.

Yet by the tenth day, program attendees are literally "flying," and a participant at the Advanced Beginner level has a language fluency equal to a term of introductory language instruction at Dartmouth, Rassias-Miles said.

Across campus, nearly 40 athletic camps -- mostly geared for high school students -- will bring soccer stars, swimmers, basketball players and tennis enthusiasts from all over the country throughout the summer.

For example, the women's basketball department runs the All Star Camp, a teaching camp geared toward girls from eight to 18 years, according to Head Coach Christina Wielgus.

In addition to a day camp segment for younger players, the department coordinates a residential basketball camp drawing high school students from throughout the New England area.

High school students with a strong interest in playing college-level soccer are recruited to come to a residential soccer camp. Once the players spend time on campus, Dartmouth has a good shot at recruiting them, as the logic goes.

Rounding off the College's summer visitors will be alumni and parents participating in the 38th annual Alumni College, coordinated by the office of Alumni Continuing Education and run by five Dartmouth professors drawn from the history and government departments.

Focusing on "Split Decision 2000," the program will bring the 125 attendees together for discussions and readings on the issues surrounding the presidential election and "put them back in touch with the original idea of why they were here in the first place," according to Director of Alumni Continuing Education Mardy High.

Also working out new ideas, the two hundred odd high school students visiting for this summer's Junior Debate Workshop and Dartmouth Debate Institute have been spending their days reading, researching, and discussing from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., according to Ken Strange, Dartmouth Debate Team coach and the program's coordinator.

Students from nearly forty states attend the two programs, Strange explained. In its eleventh year, the Dartmouth Debate Institute -- the more competitive of the two -- receives three to four times as many applicants as it can admit, he added.