Welcome to the Start of a New Academic Year

Dear students and colleagues,

Nothing energizes the spirit like the start of a new academic year, and I hope you're feeling as excited as I am for a fantastic year ahead as we welcome a new class of students, faculty and staff to campus and celebrate our collective return. 

The vibrancy, creative energy and intellectual depth of our community is already on full display, with The Ritual of Breath Is the Rite to Resist, a multidisciplinary opera based on the infamous police killing of Eric Garner on a New York City sidewalk in 2014 set to premiere at The Hop this weekend. Six years in the making, it brings together truly extraordinary faculty, student and alumni talent, and I sincerely hope you'll join me for what promises to be a powerful and memorable performance.

Of course, this 2022-23 academic year marks my final year as president, and I'm committed to making it a great one for Dartmouth!  

This fall, I'll be embarking on a multi-city tour to thank all the friends, family and alumni who have made our Call to Lead campaign such a success. So much of the exciting work taking place on campus today, and the extraordinary progress we've made over the past decade, has been fueled by their support, and I can't wait to give a rouse in honor of all the members of the Dartmouth community who have helped us fulfill our grandest ambitions.

Looking ahead to winter term, I'm thrilled to have an opportunity to teach Math 28, a course that is especially near and dear to my heart. I took that course as a first-year student here some 40 years ago at a moment when my interest in mathematics was flagging. But from the very first lecture in Math 28, I was moonstruck. Math 28 was the course that launched me on a path toward a career in combinatorics that has brought me so much joy and satisfaction, I can't wait to share it with all of my students this year.

I'm equally excited and energized that the Trustees have selected Sian Beilock to succeed me as president. Her impressive background and credentials give me great confidence in the future of Dartmouth. She and I have been in close communication ever since her appointment was announced, and I look forward to working with her to ensure a smooth transition and to witnessing all she will undoubtedly accomplish during her time at Dartmouth. 

Throughout this year of transition, it will continue to be full speed ahead on the five priorities I've outlined for my final year.

First, we'll be working to finish the campaign strong. Successful fund-raising over the past six months has pushed us very close to reaching the West End fund-raising targets and fully funding the Hop renovation, while fueling historic progress on financial aid endowments. I am so grateful to all who have contributed to that success to date and to those who will help bring those efforts to a successful close.

As some of you know, we've also been actively exploring new revenue-generating initiatives – specifically, how we might offer educational programming that would expand Dartmouth's reach and reputation and, at the same time, strengthen the institution's financial health over the long term. I'm delighted to share that a leader for this initiative has been identified and an announcement will be forthcoming soon.  Their role will be to identify and implement the best ideas from across our community, and I very much look forward to welcoming them aboard full-time in January.

In Arts and Sciences, I will continue to work closely and actively with Dean Smith, Provost Kotz, President-elect Beilock and other academic leaders to determine options for how Arts and Sciences can best support the student experience and elevate the impact of its faculty's scholarly work.  And in Athletics, we are following through on all of the commitments contained in the action plan developed in response to the three recent Athletics reviews. These steps will improve the student-athlete experience for all.

Lastly, our trio of 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2022 will conclude this fall with a special ceremony commemorating co-education. During that event, we will have much to celebrate, including the grand reopening of Dartmouth Hall as we pay tribute to the remarkable Dartmouth women who came together to make it happen. I can't think of a better way to cap off a year in which we honored the 50th Anniversary of the creation of our Native American Studies Program with the historic repatriation of Samson Occom's papers to the Mohegan Tribe last spring, and hosted a truly moving celebration on campus in May to commemorate the founding of BADA 50 years ago. The diversity of our community will always be our greatest strength, and it's been an honor to place the spotlight on it in such a meaningful way this year.

As the 2022-23 academic year gets underway, I simply want to thank all of you for your engagement, encouragement, commitment, and support. Every one of you – students, faculty and staff alike – contributes to the magic of Dartmouth, and it is with you and because of you that we are able to fulfill our mission with pride.

I wish you all a warm and welcoming start to fall term and a year full of learning and leading ahead.


Philip J. Hanlon '77