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I remember the first time Dartmouth felt like home. I remember the day — Jan. 3, 2015. I remember my outfit — a recently-bought wool sweater littered with pretzel crumbs. I remember where I was sitting — about halfway back the Dartmouth Coach in a window seat. I don’t remember the movie playing, but I do remember the screen was right above my head and I do remember the Coach’s headphone jack didn’t work.
As they prepare to graduate from Dartmouth, seniors might feel the need to make a lasting impact on the college where they’ve spent four years of their lives. That is the basis for the senior class gift, the yearly tradition of pooling money through the Dartmouth College Fund to contribute to financial aid for the College’s incoming class. The Class of 2018’s class gift will support financial aid for the students of the Class of 2022, half of whom will be receiving financial aid from the College. Students can donate any amount of money they choose, though a common donation is $20.18
When I was looking at colleges, I asked current students a lot of questions. Their responses were plentiful, varied and usually helpful. But when I asked Dartmouth students what stood out about their school and why they seemed to love it so much, I got one answer over and over and over again: they loved Dartmouth because of the people.
This year the men’s soccer teams will bid farewell to its three graduating seniors: Wyatt Omsberg '18, Matt Danilack '18 and Tyler Dowse '18, who have won four consecutive Ivy League titles over the course of their athletic careers . Their impact on the program has been immense, with the team finishing at the very bottom of the Ivy League in 2013 and finding itself at the top after their arrival in 2014 . This past season, the three seniors served as co-captains, finishing off their Dartmouth soccer careers without ever knowing what it’s like to be anything but the best in the Ivy League .
Dartmouth will award honorary degrees to six individuals at the upcoming Commencement ceremony on June 10. Each recipient will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters. The recipients’ professional experiences cover several industries, ranging from entertainment to public service to medicine.
As her sophomore year at the College came to a close, AnnClaire MacArt ’18 was considering a psychology major and an education minor. She graduates this weekend, nearly two years later, having completed a slightly different academic trajectory — an English major modified with religion.
Each year, Dartmouth’s theater department allows select theater majors to undertake an honors thesis. A selective process, only students who have completed at least five theater courses and who have an average major GPA of at least 3.4 or higher, along with an overall GPA of at least 3.0, are eligible to apply for the project. Those who are accepted are given the opportunity to sharpen their skills and enrich their knowledge in an area of interest through a written thesis or a full-length play. In the Class of 2018, there were four students — Claire Feuille ’18, Lela Gannon ’18, Virginia Ogden ’18 and Matthew Treiber ’18 — who presented their honors theses this spring. Senior Fellow Celeste Jennings ’18 also wrote and produced a play as part of her fellowship. Throughout the month of May, all five of the students premiered their projects in the Hopkins Center for the Arts, where they shared their works to audiences for the first time.
For the third year in a row, The Dartmouth conducted a survey that recorded the opinions and experiences of Dartmouth’s graduating seniors. Over the past four years, the Class of 2018 lived through many important events occurring on and off campus, all while navigating social and academic life at the school and preparing for the post-college future. The four sections below paint a picture of opinion on campus issues, facets of student life, relation to the national political scene and post-graduation life among members of the Class of 2018.
When the typical Dartmouth student thinks about the importance of athleticism in Dartmouth’s history, they may focus on annual traditions such as running around the Homecoming bonfire, diving into Occom Pond for the Polar Bear Plunge or hiking The Fifty. But Dartmouth sports also have a storied history of success as well, as the Big Green has produced professional athletes since the late 19th century.
This year, the College’s art history department will undertake a widespread effort to promote experiential learning and shift away from lecture-format classes, according to art history department chair Allen Hockley. Hockley stated that the renovation of the Hood Museum and the resources it will bring will “make a huge difference” in contributing to the changes. Hockley also noted that the department plans to increase its diversification efforts.
“Live authentically.” That’s such a common thing to hear, and it’s something most people likely believe. People tend to think of themselves as genuine, and everyone constantly hears how they should explore their interests, develop their passions and otherwise form an independent identity. People seem to know that they should stand up for what they believe in. They understand that they shouldn’t define themselves by a stereotype. But unfortunately, at Dartmouth, students often ignore that.
Colleges breed social activism. Thousands of young people from every corner of the country and beyond live together on one campus, bringing with them unique perspectives on issues both personal and political. In this melting pot of opinions, viewpoints collide to create either unity or tension, and movements take root under the leadership of inspired activists. Students arrive here bursting with ideas that they’ve brought from back home, many of them eager to share these ideas with their new community. They’re fueled further by an expansive liberal arts education and exposure to all kinds of new people. Perhaps most importantly, perceived injustices within the very institutions people attend motivate them to create change at the local level.
When Eric Libre ’85 arrived for his first year at Dartmouth in 1981, he found a school that was outdoorsy, down-to-earth, health-focused and thoroughly Greek. He absorbed all he could in his 150-student pre-medicine lecture classes while the biology and chemistry majors around him furiously scribbled their notes. But Eric Libre wanted more from his Dartmouth experience than what a one-dimensional focus on STEM could offer him. He pursued his passions in the humanities, socratically engaging with the origins of modern culture through history and Italian. He worked hard, using his D-Plan to secure off-campus work and research opportunities at the National Institute of Health and at local hospitals. When it came time to pick a major on his premed track, Eric Libre excitedly told the biology department head of his plans to combine STEM and the humanities through a new bioethics major — the professor told him he “wasn’t sure that fits” under premed. Under pressure but unwilling to give up on a liberal arts education, Eric Libre majored in history modified with Italian before heading to a top medical school in 1985.
Society dictates the ideal body. For women, it’s thin with luscious hair. For men, it’s broad shoulders with lean muscles. And for students at colleges with deep athletic traditions, the pressure to have an “ideal” body intensifies because so many people are physically fit. As Michaela Artavia-High ’21 noted in her recent Mirror piece, “Buff: The Ideal Male Body,” the connection between the demands of athletics and body image adds a layer of complexity to how everyone, including non-athletes, views themselves.
Phil Hanlon ’77 has served as the College’s President since June 2013. Five years into his tenure, Hanlon sat down with The Dartmouth to discuss issues facing the College.
Alcohol and substance use at the College forms part of a wider nationwide dialogue about high-risk behavior on college campuses. Dartmouth’s drug and alcohol policies have drastically changed over years, but most recently, the College has implemented new standards and refined current policies while continuing to offer a variety of programs that aim to reduce high-risk drinking and drug use among students. As the administration continues to evaluate current standards and programs dealing with alcohol and substance use, experts on substance use, students and alumni interviewed by The Dartmouth share their perspective on these policies.
Prospective Dartmouth students and parents arrive wide-eyed at the College after traveling far from their homes to reach the quaint town of Hanover, New Hampshire. These visitors who come to the school may make a stop inside Rauner Special Collections Library, where guides offer information about the magnitude and breadth of the library’s collections. Visitors can interact with the collection and learn about the artifacts, which range from Daniel Webster’s hat to historic documents like “The Godfather” author Mario Puzo’s papers.
Thirty years ago, the Internet was just arriving at the College. Not too long ago, desktop computers lined the main hallway of the first floor of Berry Library. Now, it is a common sight to see a Dartmouth student strolling this same hallway while looking down at their smartphone, perhaps checking their Blitz or Canvas.
Most of my Friday nights are spent according to a game plan adjusted based on social events put on by the College and the Greek system; I am no stranger to the different social spaces on campus. Since joining a Greek house, I have begun to become alienated from the party crowd that gravitates toward the big events organized by other houses. To refresh my memory and be able to record the student experience in some of campus’s most frequented social spaces, the Greek houses, I needed a guide.
Expectation drives, expectation cripples. Many students, despite coming to Dartmouth with a staunch readiness to absorb the breadth of knowledge inherent to a liberal arts education, carry the weight of expectations. That weight is sometimes definite, sometimes indefinite, but rooted always in a vision of the future that seems blurry and beyond reach.