Letter from the Dean September 2019

Dear Families,

It has been a tremendous first week of fall term. Our faculty and staff are delighted to be welcoming new and returning students. Last weekend, thousands of students participated in the Student Involvement Fair on the Green. The annual Twilight Ceremony on Sunday night in the Bema, our outdoor amphitheater, brought together new students, recent graduates and student leaders to share wisdom, moments of reflection, and literally "pass the flame" from student to student. It's a very special moment.

Your students are already fully engaged in their academic work and charting their paths for the coming year. The Undergraduate Deans are seeing many students from all classes about their academic and personal goals. As you'll see in one of the featured stories in today's edition of Speaking of Dartmouth, House Professors joined in our formal welcome to new students and are launching fall House programs.  Earlier this week, more than two hundred students attended the Center for Social Impact Fair to learn about internships, local programming, the thirteen academic courses offering social impact practica components this fall and new social-impact focused leadership opportunities. Yesterday, in just three hours, more than 850 students attended the Center for Professional Development annual Employer Fair, to engage with representatives from a wide variety  of sectors, including entrepreneurship, healthcare, education, government and public policy, high tech, marketing, and consulting. At the same time, thousands of students, faculty and staff gathered on the Green for the annual community picnic and outdoor concert. The campus is truly abuzz.

In closing, I'll share a few words that I offered our new students last week. I hope you'll join me this year in reinforcing the message that we want them to be courageous as we pursue our mission to prepare them for a lifetime of learning and responsible leadership:

You are not here to perform what you already know how to do. Your current knowledge and abilities are tools you can draw from, but your task is to stretch beyond them. You are here to explore, and to take risks. In fact, taking risks here (and occasionally failing) will prepare you to do the same out there – it's part of the process of building grit, determination, and resilience. And it's these characteristics – not perfection – that will allow you to develop into highly sought after and successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, parents, teachers, and other contributors that will allow you to leave your indelible mark on the world.

​Thank you for sharing your students with us. We look forward to working with them, and to getting to know more of you, as the year progresses.

With very best wishes,

Kathryn Lively

Dean of the College

Professor of Sociology