College receives $10 million gift for Hood, West end expansion

by Grayce Gibbs | 5/21/19 2:05am


The $10 million donation from the Engles will allow for the further development of the College's Arts District and the West End District, as well as increased faculty recruitment.

by Michael Lin / The Dartmouth Senior Staff

Earlier this month, the College announced a $10 million donation from Molly and Gregg Engles ’79 as part of the ongoing Call to Lead capital campaign, which aims to raise $3 billion by 2022. The three-part Engles donation will support the development of the Arts District, the West End District and faculty recruitment, according to provost Joseph Helble.

In 2011, Gregg Engles was elected to the Dartmouth Board of Trustees and will be stepping down this year after serving two terms, the term limit for board members.

Helble said that the Engles met with College President Phil Hanlon as well as a variety of deans and directors to determine the focus of their donation.

“I think the support of the Engles family is particularly exciting because it speaks directly to Dartmouth’s integrated, interdisciplinary liberal arts approach to education and scholarship,” Helble said. 

Hood Museum of Art director John Stomberg said he learned about the donation late last fall. Of the $10 million total, the Engles pledged $3 million to support the completion of the $50 million Hood Museum renovation. The Engles Family Gallery, which features a large 14-square-foot window overlooking the Green, was named after them in recognition of their contribution.

“From both the inside and outside, that’s an incredibly visually appealing and striking way of presenting art,” Helble said.

According to Stomberg, the renovation of the Hood Museum was funded entirely through philanthropic donations and did not rely on the College’s endowment so that the construction would not take away support from the daily operations of the College.

“The really interesting part about somebody like Mr. Engles is he realizes that the College needs to meet its ambitions through philanthropy so that it can continue to have its annual budget to do the good work that it does,” Stomberg said.

The West End district — home to the River Cluster, the Tuck School of Business and Thayer School of Engineering — is currently undergoing major renovations. In addition to the current construction of a parking garage, the College plans to build an addition to the Thayer School of Engineering that will house the computer science department and a building for the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society by 2021. According to Helble, the Engles provided support for a laboratory that will be in the integrated engineering, computer science and entrepreneurship center.

“We have very intentionally designed the facility to bring engineers, computer scientists, faculty and students together in integrated spaces in different research neighborhoods,” Helble said. “Their gift will enable the construction of that part of the building.”

The third part of the gift will go toward faculty recruitment as part of Dartmouth’s academic cluster initiative, which aims to create teams of interdisciplinary faculty that will collaborate to tackle 10 elaborate challenges facing the human race, according to Helble. The Engles’ gift will be used to recruit faculty who will research the breaking of the neural code — the neurological equivalent of the human genome. 

Gregg Engles is a founding partner of Capitol Peak Partners, a private equity firm based in Denver, CO, and also serves as a member of the Call the Lead’s Campaign Executive Committee.