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Joyously Celebrating 250 Years?

An alumnus who was at the College in 1969, when Dartmouth celebrated its 200th birthday, writes in with a good question about the College’s Sestercentennial, the alma mater’s 250th birthday upcoming in 2019:

There seem to be an amazing lack of build-up to this celebration which begins in a little more than thirteen months.

For the Bicentennial there was tremendous build-up starting several years before.

Maybe Phil is failing again, or maybe there will be nothing to celebrate because Phil will truly fail and Dartmouth will totally collapse before we get to 2019.

Which is more probable? I am starting to fear the latter.

As we know, the Hanlon administration does not much like pomp and circumstance. Recall that Phil is the guy who downgraded Convocation from a serious ceremony, one that assembled the robed faculty for an exaltation of the College’s purpose, into nothing more than a content-free community barbecue. That said, perhaps one day in 2019 our President will see fit to organize a gathering on the Green with free gelato and a bouncy castle to celebrate Dartmouth’s greatness over the last quarter millennium. If he is not too busy.

Addendum: You’ll be happy to hear that at least the College’s Inclusive Excellence initiative is thinking forward to 2019. Here is its goal for the celebration:

In consultation with faculty, students, alumni and staff, Dartmouth will commission public projects on the historic treatment of underrepresented, marginalized and excluded groups as part of the College’s sestercentennial celebration in 2019.

Addendum: Lest I be considered harsh (moi?), there actually is a group charged with planning the Sestercentennial. Its steering committee has five members and its planning committee has twenty-four members, including a single member of the undergraduate faculty and a professor from Geisel:

Sestercentennial Planning Committee.jpg

Note that Co-Chair Martha Beattie ‘76 has, um, retired (great timing on that decision, Martha), and the last five Planning Committee’s slots have yet to be filled, even though names have been promised by the end of this year.

Addendum: By the way, if you are interested in the Vice President for Alumni Relations job, you can apply here.


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