Winter Term Welcome

Dear members of the Dartmouth community,

I want to offer my warm welcome to all of you as we return for this new term and new year. I hope the holiday break has left you rested and, like me, looking forward to this next leg of our shared journey.

Even as we look ahead with hope, we continue to face conflict around the world and deep divisions here in the U.S. I want to acknowledge these challenges and the pain many continue to feel. I also feel profound gratitude and admiration for the ways in which Dartmouth has come together to face this adversity, demonstrating real leadership that has resonated far beyond the bounds of our campus.

Over and over, you have collectively embraced our mission as a community of scholars and students and used that shared committment to put our values into action. Our Jewish and Middle Eastern studies faculty have deservedly received national attention for the way they have brought our community together for what is difficult, and often uncomfortable, dialogue around the war in the Middle East. Harnessing the strengths and core values of Dartmouth—ideological diversity, character, and community—we have been clear that our goal is to center dialogue and debate. In contrast, antisemitism, Islamaphobia, and any form of hate or threat are at odds with our institutional mission and values and therefore have no place on our campus. 

This fall, I spent many, many hours in conversation with students, faculty, staff, and alumni who worked together to find common cause and help care for one another. We must now renew these efforts with empathy and energy. We will have many opportunities this term to examine, to grow in understanding, and to learn from one another—too many, in fact to list in this email. But I do want to call our three efforts of special note:

  • Next week, we will be rolling out a new initiative called "Dartmouth Dialogues," led by the Arts and Sciences, including all of our schools, and every part of the institution, to help students, faculty, and staff engage in ideas effectively, respectfully, and responsibly in the face of difference. A central part of this initiative will be focused on providing our community with the practice, skills, and tools we all need to consider viewpoints that may differ from our own. Stay tuned for more information.
  • Professors Susannah Heschel and Tarek El-Ariss—along with their Jewish and Middle Eastern studies colleagues—have developed many new courses, including Ezzedine Fishere's undergraduate course this term, "Politics of Israel and Palestine." Of note, there will be several related webinars this term, open to all members of the Dartmouth community, to bring distinct expertise to our understanding of the Middle East.
  • And our faculty, students, and staff are working together to bring a diversity of perspectives to campus, including separate appearances later this week by former U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney and current U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin.

Dartmouth continues to create knowledge and impact, on campus and around the world. Last term, we saw vivid examples of ow this institution acts to convene leading figures across all disciplines on critical topics, from the Middle East to human vaccination, to the launch of a strategic plan for mental health, driven by the input and leadership of our students. We also saw evidence of how Dartmouth is sending new leaders out into the world.

At the same time, we continue to push forward on initiatives that will help Dartmouth and our neighboring communities flourish, creating the conditions for even greater distinction, now and long into the future. I look forward to sharing important news later this term on energy conservation and housing, and importantly, on our growing capacity to support and promote health and wellness, the foundation of our continued success together.

With that thought in mind, please take care of yourselves, take advantage of all Dartmouth has to offer, and take a moment to appreciate what we can accomplish when we work together. 


With best wishes for a productive 2024,

Sian Leah Beilock