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M*A*S*H* Rhymes With Cash
One of the College’s great luxuries is the Montgomery Endowment:
In extending and enriching the opportunities available at the College, complementary to the regular, curricular offerings of the institution, the Endowment has as its major program-objective the bringing to Dartmouth of outstanding figures not only from the academic world, but from non-academic spheres as well: persons “capable of achieving an important and broadscale impact educationally.”
The Endowment has been remarkably consistent in bringing fascinating people to Hanover. Since its creation in 1977, Montgomery has arranged visits to campus by major writers, senior political figures, scholars and artists for anywhere from a few days to a full term.
However in the year-long interregnum between the departure of Montgomery Director Richard Stamelman and his replacement by Christianne Wohlforth, IP Folt (remember her?) took an active role in the Endowment’s management. The result: an upcoming 36-hour visit by actor Alan Alda, whose academic claim to fame is a late-in-life commitment to helping scientists tell their stories via his Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Older alumni will recall his star turn in the TV series M*A*S*H* that ran from 1972 to 1983, and students might know him from The West Wing.
Not to be too picky — a celebrity or two can liven up the day — but eyebrows should be raised by the fact, as Dartblog has confirmed, that Alda will be paid about $100,000 for his flying visit. This figure is far above what Montgomery usually pays for even long-term visitors to campus, but it is in line with Alda’s usual rates for commercial engagements:
To take the full measure Alda’s fee in my usual way, with the same money that we are paying out to the graying actor for 36 hours of his precious time, we could hire a top-notch young professor for a year. Thanks, Carol.
Addendum: Alda and his colleagues did good work on M*A*S*H*, a show with a lot of heart. About half the country tuned in to watch the final episode, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” on February 28, 1983.
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…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…