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A Note From Trustee-Elect Stephen Smith

Professor Smith writes on his blog:

As of yesterday, the results of the Dartmouth Trustee election are in. Thanks to the hard work of countless alumni, I have been elected to the Board of Trustees. It is an honor beyond words to have the opportunity to serve the College as a Trustee. I owe that opportunity to the many alumni who signed my petition to get on the ballot, voted for me, and contributed to my campaign, and to the volunteers €“ student and alumni alike €“ who donated their time and talents to spread the word about my candidacy. I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.

I also thank my three opponents in the Trustee race. Their love for Dartmouth is obvious, and they provided a service to the College by putting themselves forward as candidates for Trustee. I look forward to their continued involvement in the life of the College we love so much.

I would be remiss in this week of Mother ‘s Day if I didn ‘t acknowledge my mother, the late Barbara Curtis Smith. She was truly one of a kind. Crippled by Multiple Sclerosis and left to raise four children alone on public assistance, she refused to accept any limitations on what her children could accomplish. She challenged each of us to study hard, avoid the many pitfalls of the inner city, and €œbe the best € €“ even though we were, as she put it, €œwelfare recipients. € That challenge led me to come to Dartmouth as a student twenty-three years ago, and it still motivates me all these years later. I lost Mom to MS nine years ago, yet not a day goes by that I don ‘t think about and miss her. She would ‘ve been so happy to see one of her €œwelfare recipients € chosen to serve on an Ivy League board of trustees.

This race for Trustee was, as it should have been, a contest of ideas. Alumni were presented with a clear choice, and they voted for an independent Board of Trustees €“ a Board that, as I ‘ve said before, will support the administration when it ‘s right and oppose it when it isn ‘t. I confess the race, at times, was too acrimonious for my tastes, but I know we ‘ll close ranks and work together to preserve the special jewel that is Dartmouth College.

In that spirit, I had very positive discussions yesterday with President James Wright and Board Chairman William Neukom. They are both men of incredible passion for Dartmouth, and I look forward to working closely with President Wright and the other Trustees to build on the College ‘s many strengths.

To all members of the Dartmouth community, I promise that I will faithfully discharge the weighty responsibilities I am about to assume as a Trustee of the College. I will listen to all members of the Dartmouth community €“ including students, faculty and staff, and alumni €“ and reach an independent judgment about what we need to do to ensure that Dartmouth remains the best college in the world. My goal is nothing short of unparalleled excellence in every aspect of life at the College.

I am deeply grateful for the confidence that has been reposed in me and for the opportunity to be of service to the College.

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