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The Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine


Though there is no detail regarding a specific gift, the College’s announcement includes the following: “Their [Audrey and Theodor Geisel] generosity to Dartmouth during their lifetimes and through their estate plan renders the Geisel family the most significant philanthropist to Dartmouth in its history.” The overall Geisel gift has been known about for many years by College insiders. It is wonderful to see it announced just now.

See the full press release in the extended, and a YouTube video on-line.

Dartmouth Names Medical School in Honor of Audrey and Theodor Geisel

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth is fourth-oldest medical school in the

Dartmouth College announced today the naming of its medical school, founded in
1797, in honor of Audrey and Theodor Geisel. Their generosity to Dartmouth
during their lifetimes and through their estate plan renders the Geisel family
the most significant philanthropist to Dartmouth in its history. Theodor
“Ted” Geisel, known worldwide as the author and illustrator, “Dr.
Seuss,” was a Dartmouth graduate of the Class of 1925.

“Naming our school of medicine in honor of Audrey and Ted Geisel is a tribute
to two individuals whose work continues to change the world for the better,”
said Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim. “Ted Geisel lived out the Dartmouth
ethos of thinking differently and creatively to illuminate the world’s
challenges and the opportunities for understanding and surmounting them. His
vivid storytelling—with its whimsical imagery, fanciful phrasing, and deeper
meaning—lives on and raises children’s literacy around the world to new
heights by entertaining, amusing, and educating. Audrey and Ted Geisel have
cared deeply for this institution, and we are enormously proud to announce this
lasting partnership.”

“Ted and Audrey Geisel’s work and life serve as a timeless example for our
future physicians at the Geisel School of Medicine,” said Wiley “Chip”
Souba, vice president for health affairs and dean of the medical school. “We
teach our students to be compassionate, to pursue new knowledge that benefits
their patients, and to have the courage and humility to make a profound
difference in the lives of others.”

“Ted would be proud to have his name forever connected to one of America’s
finest schools of medicine … a school that’s doing much good in the
world,” said Audrey Geisel, who was married to Ted from 1968 until his death
in 1991. “Given my background as a nurse, this moving gesture on the part of
Dartmouth joins Ted’s great love of his alma mater and my passion of caring
for others through the practice of medicine.”

Naming of The Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth will
amplify support for medical students as they progress on the path to becoming
physicians and scientists and accelerate the research aspirations of faculty.
The exceptional benefaction of the Geisel family will support Dartmouth’s
goal of becoming one of the top medical schools in the world for preparing
physician leaders who will tackle the increasingly complex undertaking of
transforming health care.

The Geisel family and origins of Dr. Seuss

Ted Geisel was born March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Mass. As Dr. Seuss, he
authored and illustrated more than 50 children’s books that have been
translated into more than 20 languages. He won a Pulitzer Prize, three Academy
Awards, two Emmys, and two Peabody Awards for his literary creations. He
published his first children’s book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry
Street,” in 1937, and went on to pen many well-known classics, including, “The
Cat in the Hat,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,” “Horton Hears a Who!,” “The
Lorax,” “The Sneetches,” and “Green Eggs and Ham.” “You’re Only Old Once!,” a
book for readers over 50, follows its character through a series of medical
check-ups and the process of being “properly pilled” and “properly

It was at Dartmouth that Ted Geisel “discovered the excitement of
‘marrying’ words to pictures,” he said in a 1975 interview with the
“Dartmouth Alumni Magazine.” “I began to get it through my skull that words
and pictures were Yin and Yang. I began thinking that words and pictures,
married, might possibly produce a progeny more interesting than either

As a student, he wrote for and eventually became the editor-in-chief of
Dartmouth’s humor magazine, “The Jack-O-Lantern”. On April 11 of his senior
year, Geisel organized a party for the The Jack-O-Lantern staff to celebrate
the spectacular success that the humor magazine enjoyed during his tenure as
editor. Geisel and company’s revelry was not well received by the dean, and
Geisel was told to resign from all extracurricular activities at Dartmouth,
including the college humor magazine.

In order to continue work on the Jack-O-Lantern without the administration’s
knowledge, Geisel began signing his work for the first time with the pen name

In addition to his celebrated children’s books and productions, Geisel also
worked as a political cartoonist, as an illustrator for advertising campaigns,
and in the animation department of the U.S. Army during World War II. His
prolific writing continued throughout his life. He wrote “Oh, the Places
You’ll Go!” when he was 86 years old, and was working on scripts for a movie
version the week before his death at age 87 in 1991. His birthday of March 2 is
now aptly recognized as National Read Across America Day in the United States.

In 2010, Dartmouth English Professor Donald Pease published his biography of
Ted Geisel, called “Theodor SEUSS Geisel.” Audrey Geisel said Pease’s book
“got Ted better than anyone.”

Audrey Geisel was born in Chicago and grew up around New York City. She
followed her mother’s professional path and became a nurse, working at
Cambridge City Hospital in Massachusetts, among other hospitals.

Audrey has two daughters: Lark Grey Dimond-Cates is a sculptor in California.
She created the 22 bronze sculptures that compose The Dr. Seuss National
Memorial Garden in Springfield, Mass., and also was commissioned by Dartmouth
to create a Dr. Seuss-themed bas relief for the Theodor Seuss Geisel 1925 Room
at Dartmouth’s Baker-Berry Library. Another daughter, Lea Dimond, lives in
California and owns a children’s bookstore in San Francisco called Thidwick
Books. Thidwick, the big-hearted moose, is a Seuss character.

The recipient of an honorary degree from Dartmouth in 2000, Audrey Geisel
serves as president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises and oversees the management of Dr.
Seuss-licensed characters. She was the executive producer alongside Christopher
Meledandri, a 1981 Dartmouth graduate, on 20th Century Fox Animation’s
adaptation of “Horton Hears a Who!” in 2008, and has supported the creation of
the new PBS animated series “The Cat in the Hat Knows A lot About That!” Audrey
Geisel worked with Random House in 2011 to publish “The Bippolo Seed and Other
Lost Stories,” which assembled seven “lost” Dr. Seuss stories originally
published in the early 1950s. The publisher referred to the book as “the
literary equivalent of buried treasure.” Audrey and Meledandri joined forces
again to produce “The Lorax,” an animated 3-D movie that premiered March 2,

A longtime resident of La Jolla, Calif., Audrey is deeply involved in numerous
charities and organizations in the San Diego area, including the University of
California at San Diego, the San Diego Council on Literacy, National Center for
Family Literacy, La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe Theatres, San Diego Zoological
Society, United Through Reading, and many others. She was recently awarded the
prestigious UC San Diego Chancellor’s Medal, and was also recently honored by
“San Diego Business Journal” with the “Women Who Mean Business” Lifetime
Achievement Award.

“When I had the pleasure of conferring an honorary degree on Audrey Geisel, I
spoke of her effective stewardship over the Seuss legacy and of the munificence
of her actions in support of education, literacy programs, and health care,”
said President Emeritus James Wright. “The naming of our Medical School for
Ted and Audrey is a dream we have long shared, and I’m honored to join today
in saluting the Geisels.”

The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

The Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth strives to
improve the lives of the people it serves—students, patients, and local and
global communities—and to live out the Dartmouth ethos that “the world’s
troubles are your troubles.” The school builds healthier communities through
innovations in research, education, and patient care.

Home to the nationally recognized Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and
Clinical Practice, The Geisel School of Medicine is committed to creating
physician leaders who are skilled in path-breaking science and adept in
excellent management as well.

The Geisel School of Medicine has produced many firsts and achievements in
education, research and medical practice, including: the use of the stethoscope
in medical education, introduced by the poet-physician faculty member, Oliver
Wendell Holmes; the first clinical X-ray in America; the first multispecialty
intensive care unit; the first center to comprehensively examine variations in
health care costs in U.S. medical practice (The Dartmouth Atlas); and the
groundbreaking national model, “Supported Employment,” which improves
outcomes for those with serious mental illness. In 2010, Dartmouth launched the
first Center for Health Care Delivery Science and a new master’s degree
program in health care delivery science, a joint venture between the Tuck
School of Business and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical
Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine.

Founded in 1769, Dartmouth is a member of the Ivy League and consistently ranks
among the world’s greatest academic institutions. Dartmouth has forged a
singular identity as a strong undergraduate and graduate institution dedicated
to teaching and research with graduate programs in the arts and sciences and
three leading professional schools—the Geisel School of Medicine, Thayer
School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business.


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