The Dickey Center's 35th Anniversary

Good evening! It's such a pleasure to be here to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Dickey Center with you.

And we are deeply honored to have former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken as keynote speaker. Tony - your emphasis on engagement in the world marks the very premise on which the Dickey Center was founded 35 years ago.

The Dickey Center, of course, pays tribute to one of my predecessors, the great John Sloan Dickey, a leader of great vision and conviction who imagined a Dartmouth that was motivated and inspired by the great issues of the world. He issued a call to action for our students and faculty and graduates to boldly take on these issues, and to do so collaboratively, creatively, compassionately, and courageously.

That theme resonates just as strongly, if not more so, today than it did during his presidency and is central to my vision of the Dartmouth of today. The Dickey Center convenes our campus around that aspiration.

Last summer, Gail and I had the opportunity to travel to Greenland with Ross Virginia, our Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science, to witness, first-hand, his decades-long research on the impacts of climate change on the arctic ecosystem.

As most of you know, Ross has helped position the Institute of Arctic Studies, based in the Dickey Center, as one of the top centers in the world for the study of the polar regions. Indeed, Dartmouth and the Arctic Institute have trained and supported many of the leading scientists in the field today, highlighting the profound impact Dartmouth and its graduates can have on the world.

And as global warming elevates the strategic importance of the polar regions, Dartmouth's leadership seems especially prescient. Because of the path-breaking work of Dartmouth faculty like Ross, because of the nurturing home the Arctic Institute has had in the Dickey Center, because of the connections to stakeholders and policymakers the Dickey Center commands, we have the opportunity to cement Dartmouth's place as the de facto global leader in polar studies. That's why the Arctic Institute is an investment priority for our campus.

We are poised to achieve global leadership and impact in other areas supported by Dickey, as well. Our International Relations group at Dartmouth, especially in the area of Security Studies, is the envy of any university. The U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security Postdocs hosted at the Dickey Center add energy and luster to this area.

And just last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Dickey Center's Straus Symposium on Global Health. Keynoted by Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, the Symposium brought together international leaders of global health organizations to talk about the future – the opportunities they see but also the challenges they face in the wake of proposed U.S. cuts to scientific funding and foreign aid and the growth of anti-globalist politics around the world.

But that's just one of many events presented by the Dickey Center each year on topics ranging from international security, to terrorism, to climate change.

I'm incredibly proud of all that the Dickey Center does to facilitate these kinds of discussions and to inspire action while instilling in our students the knowledge, skills, and international perspective required to solve complex global challenges.

Whether it's through the Great Issues Scholars Program for first-year students aimed at enhancing their understanding of the world and current international events, the War and Peace Fellows Program, which brings students together from across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities to discuss the social, political, moral, and technological dimensions of international conflict and cooperation, or the 80+ internships that Dickey funds each year, the Dickey Center has always been about international engagement, experiential learning, and global leadership and impact. And I can't think of anything more relevant to what we're doing at Dartmouth today or more in keeping with the future that both John Sloan Dickey and I share in our visions for our beloved institution.

So tonight, I simply want to say "thank you" to everyone involved in making the Dickey Center an epicenter of international dialogue and collaboration on some of the foremost challenges of our time.

Great credit goes to the incredible Dickey Center staff and our faculty leads, who are constantly working to deliver the very best experiences for our students, many of whom go on to distinguished careers in public service and beyond. To the members of the Dickey family, several of whom are here with us tonight. And to all those alumni and friends who have served on the Dickey Center Board.

And I'm especially thankful for the outstanding contributions of Sandy McCulloch, a visionary and longtime driving force behind the Dickey Center, not to mention one of my closest friends, mentors, and advisors.

Sandy - your leadership has helped to make the Dickey Center's first 35 years a resounding success.

It is fitting that I end my remarks with the words of John Sloan Dickey who said, "…leadership is man's only tried and trusted answer to great urgencies." Thanks to all of you who have contributed to the Dickey Center's leadership over the past 35 years and who join me in imagining even greater impact in the years to come.