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Philip Hanlon ‘77, Thought Leader

Phil Hanlon, who likes to refer to himself as a thought leader, has issued a statement to the Dartmouth community about this past weekend’s event in Charlottesville:

Hanlon on Charlottesville Comp.jpg

How would you grade this piece if you were an English 5 (now Writing 5) teacher looking for tight reasoning and forceful prose? Maybe I am being overly critical, but all I see here are a string of buzzwords and little rigor and precision. If Phil meant his statement to incite reflection on campus, he has not succeeded.

I’m told that Phil writes these pieces himself. It shows. Just how do the events in Charlottesville affirm our need for “a sense of responsibility for each other and for the broader world.” What do those words even mean?

Addendum: Horror and profound dismay? Enhancing the depth of our learning? Unnecessary and senseless?

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

President Hanlon’s statement conforms to the leftist take that the violence was exclusively the work of those protesting the removal of the Lee statue. In fact, many on both sides came “prepared to rumble,” or in some cases, just to defend themselves from expected violence. And some were no doubt there merely to peacefully express their views.

Hanlon’s ugly innuendo is that this event was akin to a National Socialist rally in 1930s Germany, which completely misrepresents what was going on. This from the President of what is supposed to be an educational institution. Sad!

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

I note Phil is quick to respond to the tragedy in Charlottesville, but his silence re: the untimely passing of Joe Rago has been deafening. Is there a policy re: alumni passings that I’m not aware of? Did the family request that there be no official statement? How else can one explain this?

Additionally, if you haven’t done so already, please check out the Dartmouth Review’s Rago festschrift - I have not read some of his articles since they were published and I was a mere freshman and sophomore (sorry, first year and second year cis student) but having reread them since they more than stand the test of time. Not since Lord’s history has such inspired prose been dedicated to the history of the College. They should be required reading for all students.


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