Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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The Back Story on the Geisel Gift
The generous gift to the College from Ted and Audrey Geisel was agreed to many years ago. In essence, when Audrey Geisel passes away (Ted died in 1991), the College will become the owner of most, if not all, of the Geisel empire: a large business that manages the rights to the Dr. Seuss books and other products. The Geisels have no children (Ted famously said, “You have ‘em; I’ll entertain ‘em.”) and the value of their estate is estimated to be many hundreds of millions of dollars.
Audrey Geisel received an honorary degree at Commencement in 2000. Since at least 2004, the Geisel family donation has been reflected in oblique terms in the College’s annual reports. In that year, Dartmouth’s accounts began to be audited by KPMG; they replaced the College’s previous auditors PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Whether the Geisels’ gift was agreed upon in 2004, or that was just the year in which the new auditors first insisted upon its reflection in the College’s accounts, is unclear. KPMG has, however, included the following language in its opinions on the College’s financial statements every year since then.
For example, in Note K to the College’s 2004 financial statements, the uncertain, but undoubtedly substantial, value of the College’s interest in certain trusts is described by KPMG. There has been an equivalent note every year since then.
It is not evident whether the Geisels’ gift was initially agreed upon during Jim Wright’s Presidency, or before that under Jim Freedman, or even when Ted Geisel was alive and David McLaughlin was President. In any event, Ted and Audrey Geisel’s donation is an extraordinary one that the College has long expected.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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