Greetings on My First Day

To the Dartmouth community:

I am thrilled to be writing to you on my first day as Dartmouth's president. When I arrived on campus nearly 40 years ago as a first-year student, I knew that Dartmouth was a very special place. I feel just as excited and privileged to return now to lead this institution at a time of such promise.

We are at a moment of great transformation and ferment in higher education, with an increased relevance of the liberal arts to today's workplace, the great promise of learning technologies to transform the way we teach and learn, and the importance of globalization to our education and scholarship. Underlying these issues is the imperative of ensuring that Dartmouth remains affordable for all admitted students--something about which I care deeply.

Since my appointment in November, I've had the opportunity to speak with many members of the Dartmouth community. I especially want to thank Interim President Carol Folt for her insight and guidance. I've also listened intently to what the College means to you, your hopes for its future, and how Dartmouth--for all its strength and vibrancy--can be even better.

Together, we will ensure that Dartmouth maintains its leadership position during this time of change. As part of this effort, I will look to enhance the impact that Dartmouth has on world issues through scholarship and direct engagement. This is the very embodiment of Dartmouth's dual mission. As an institution that advances the frontiers of knowledge through research and discovery, Dartmouth has a special role in addressing the world's major problems. And as an institution dedicated to the liberal arts, we are uniquely positioned to develop citizen-leaders with the creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and multidisciplinary mindset to put this knowledge to work for the greater good.

In today's global society, cultural awareness and an appreciation of diverse perspectives are critical for success. This is particularly true of college campuses, which must be sites of civil and open sharing of ideas. We have the opportunity to be leaders in dealing with nationwide concerns about these issues of student life. Dartmouth must offer a campus climate that all students experience as welcoming and respectful. Consequently, I will place a high priority on fostering an environment that is positive, healthy, and conducive to open dialogue, debate, and learning.

As we approach the 250th anniversary of Dartmouth's founding, I am truly inspired to return to campus and to lead us through that important milestone, and beyond. Gail and I can't wait to begin working with the extended Dartmouth family to ensure that this remarkable institution continues to achieve greatness--in thought, in action, and in community spirit.


Phil Hanlon