Pair of '02s complete notable College careers

by Megh Duwadi | 6/20/02 5:00am

Editor's Note: This is the first of two articles examining the lives of four recent Dartmouth graduates.

On June 9, over 1,000 graduating seniors received their diplomas, and despite being dressed in the style-erasing classic black robes, each had a unique story to tell about his or her time spent at Dartmouth over the past four years.

Several students spoke with The Dartmouth about the activities and pastimes that have shaped their college lives: here are their stories.

Brian Jacobs

While the words "music mecca" may not accurately describe rural New Hampshire, Dartmouth's setting has provided award-winning singer-songwriter Brian Jacobs '02 a world of opportunities.

The 21-year-old music and French double major from Bridgewater, N.J., has released two solo CDs during his four years at the College.

Describing himself as "a cross between Ben Folds and Tori Amos," he said he aspires to produce more music in the future.

Jacobs, a member of the Dodecaphonics and the Dartmouth Chamber Singers, became better known at Dartmouth after his senior thesis performance in Spaulding Auditorium this Spring term.

The first such student presentation of its kind, Jacob's thesis presentation was one of the highlights of his musical career, he said.

"Next year, I'm going to France to teach English and study music," Jacobs said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to get some more musical influences. I'll want to pursue music in some way, shape or form, whether it be going to grad school in music or pursuing the more popular style of music that I write."

Jacobs began his musical endeavors 12 years ago, singing in his school's chorus and playing the trumpet. By the time he reached high school, he was writing his own pieces and taking private lessons from a professor at the Juilliard School of Music.

Studying music "was always something that I wanted to do," Jacobs said. "My parents didn't push that on me at all."

Jacobs credited Dartmouth's music department and his thesis adviser, Professor John Appleton, for influencing his works. Also important, Jacobs said, are peer relationships.

"My interactions with my friends here have influenced my music," he said. "It's in the life experiences that you have with other people."

Jacob's passion for music paid off last year when he was nominated by Jam Music Magazine, a New Hampshire-based publication, as the best new artist of 2001.

Far from reaching a plateau in his music career, the graduating senior said that he views the music industry's evolution -- and his own music's development -- with much anticipation.

"I see myself always progressing as a musician," Jacobs said. "Technology is always changing music. I hope that I'll always have something new to learn, and that I'll always be able to try new things."

Molly Stutzman

As student body president, Molly Stutzman has witnessed a relatively tranquil year among waves of change at the College.

Stutzman, a history major from Wilmette, Ill., became involved in student government at Dartmouth during her freshman year by serving as activities chair on the 2002 Class Council.

During the past four years she has held numerous student government positions, including vice-chair of the Student Life Committee, Green Key Society member and 2002 class vice president. From her experience in these offices Stutzman said she has seen a shift in the Dartmouth's core values -- a shift that goes beyond the basics of the Student Life Initiative debate.

"From 1998 to 2002, I think there's been a huge culture change," Stutzman said. "Then, people who were involved in the Greek community and just students in general felt that the Greek system was being attacked. It was hard to be cognizant about what was going on -- I think now people are much more willing to listen to people who they disagree with."

Nevertheless, Stutzman said the Initiative has helped stimulate this change in perception.

"If anything, I think [the Initiative] really pushed people out of their comfort zone."

The 2001-2002 academic year has been calm in comparison to last year, Stutzman said, adding that the Assembly has been successful in establishing and maintaining improvements in its structure and in its services. She cited the Assembly's efforts to address community and diversity issues as well as the creation of a dining guide and a new interactive web calendar as this year's main accomplishments.

Meanwhile, Stutzman said her role as leader of the student body has fostered introspection and self-analysis.

"As president, something I've thought a lot about is that I really think carefully about my actions or what I say," she said. "As much as possible, you try to think beyond your own experience " you have a responsibility to know as much as possible about what other people are thinking."

Stutzman does not have definite plans upon leaving Dartmouth, although she said that work in New England college admissions is a possibility.

"I'd really love to work in an environment where you have so much energy," she said. "My plan is to move to Boston and then go from there."