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Hanlon Greeting: A Thin Crowd

Only about half of Spaulding was filled for Phil Hanlon’s coming out party today: I’d say, at best, 500 people. And the on-line audience was even thinner:

Hanlon January 11.jpg

There isn’t much to report. Phil gave an 11-minute speech that reprised much of what he had said in his introductory video, though this time around there was praise for his family; the Board (“terrific”); the search committee (“ably led”); past Dartmouth Presidents Kim and Wright; and even for the head of the strategic planning process, IP Folt. The one encouraging moment: Phil compared the current conjuncture with the Kemeny presidency. Kemeny, he noted, “responded boldly” to the challenges facing Dartmouth in the early 1970’s.

Both Board Chair Steve Mandel and Phil wryly noted that they hoped that the College would not have to do another presidential search any time soon.

Addendum: The College noted:

Hundreds turned out for President-Elect Hanlon’s first public appearance, filling the seats in Spaulding Auditorium and then waiting in line to shake his hand in Alumni Hall…

In addition to Friday’s crowds at the ceremony and reception, many more watched a live webcast of the event, which is available on Dartmouth’s YouTube channel.

The “hundreds” did fill their individual seats in Spaulding, but they didn’t fill all the seats in Spaulding itself by any means. And, of course, from YouTube’s counter we know how many the “many more” were who watched and listened online.

Why does the College’s PR staff have to puff things up in such a transparently shallow manner? They should realize that they are writing for a perspicacious group of people.

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