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Olde Dartmouth Intellectual? Nah.

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently endeavored to determine the distinguishing characteristics of the Ivy League colleges, and first up on the publication’s list was the number of Rhodes Scholarship winners by school. After HYP, you may be surprised to find that the Ancient Eight’s smallest school came comfortably in fourth place:

Ivy Rhodes.jpg

Of course, before we engage in self-congratulation, let’s note that the the College’s performance in the past several decades fell well below our historical results, save for the decade encompassing the Depression and the start of WWII:

Rhodes Scholars 1904-2013.jpg

The moral of the story: before today’s undergrads deride bad Olde Dartmouth for its supposed myriad ism’s and anti-intellectual attitude, an examination of the details is in order.

Addendum: The Rhodes Trust publishes a list of institutions whose students have won a Rhodes scholarship (and how many) over the years, and the distribution of their numbers over the past century.

Addendum: Things are looking up. This year two undergrads — both from Canada — were Rhodes Scholars.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

You should note that the distribution list you refer to relates to US scholars, not those from other countries. Our two this year are both Canadian and, although wonderful for Dartmouth, do not contribute to the US totals above.

Also, it should be noted, lest we rest on 50-year-old laurels, that we have been easily surpassed by the likes of Stanford and USMA, and will be soon passed by places like USNA, UVA, and Duke.

My youngest daughter just graduated from Carleton, and I noted with some interest that that small school, less than half the size of Dartmouth, has produced twice as many Rhodes over the past 25 years.

I love Dartmouth. Three of my kids have gone there, and loved it, too, but I am pessimistic that it can regain its former academic glory for all the reasons you continually talk about. Keep up the great work!


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