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Our Next First Lady: Gail Gentes

While it is clear that President Kim’s wife Younsook Lim forsook the College even before she arrived in Hanover, President Hanlon’s wife, Gail Gentes, seems to be cut from different cloth. Her brother Bill was in AD with Phil Hanlon ‘77, so she comes pretty close to being an alumna herself (Bill Gentes ‘77 also received an MBA from Tuck in 1980).

Gail Gentes graduated from Wells College in 1974, and she received an MBA with high honors from BU in 1981. She and Phil Hanlon have three children in their 20s. And they like outdoor sports, according to President Hanlon’s recent interview in the Alumni Magazine:

How do you and your wife, Gail Gentes, spend your free time?

We’re very active. We downhill ski and cross-country ski. We walk, hike and bike a lot. We also like to play golf. And we’ve got a couple of Labradors, too. We’re big outdoors people.

Gentes is currently the Director of Research and Faculty Support at Michigan’s Ross School of Business, where she manages a four-person office. Coincidentally, Dartmouth’s Office of Institutional Research is without a fulltime director right now; the five-person office is being run by Acting Director Lynn Foster-Johnson. Perhaps Dartmouth’s new First Lady has a job waiting for her?

Other than that, let’s hope that Ms. Gentes plays an active, public role in campus life. At best, the College’s First Lady can be an extra set of eyes and ears for the President, an approachable alternate, and a wise counselor. For example, Susan Wright was much the better half of the Jim Wright Presidency.

At worst, a President’s spouse can be like Younsook Lim, who conveyed an aloofness and disdain for the Hanover/Dartmouth community that undercut her husband’s effort to build relationships — not that Jim Kim made much effort, but the invisible Younsook Lim added nothing to the Kim administration.

Addendum: Gail Gentes keeps a very low profile. There seem to be no available pictures of her on the web, other than an atypically out-of-focus photo that appeared in the Valley News several weeks ago, which you can see here. She is on the left, shaking hands with IP Folt.

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