‘Round the Girdled Earth We Roam

I’m guessing you never thought I’d be the type to blog. Well, I wasn’t sure I was either. But I’ve heard from many of you that you’d like to hear more from me about my perspective on topics affecting Dartmouth and higher education more broadly. And I’m listening. So I’d like to use this forum to address some of the issues and happenings at the College, and those that affect the College. I want to share a little more of my thinking on these topics, many of which are complex, and almost all of which involve competing considerations.

In so doing, I hope my posts will get you thinking along with me. And since we all know that Dartmouth is fun, don’t be surprised if I occasionally post about things I see or hear on campus or in the course of my travels that make me proud, get me excited about where we’re headed, or remind me of why this place is so incredibly special.

I haven’t yet decided on a name for the blog, but when I do, I’ll reveal it here. How’s that for a little suspense?!

This month, Gail and I will be embarking on two exciting trips that showcase Dartmouth’s global reach and impact, both through our research and discovery and through the work of our talented alumni.

First, we’ll be joining Dartmouth Professor Ross Virginia, who will be leading a group of alumni on a sail above the Arctic Circle (we just got underway), ending with a trip to Greenland. I’m most excited about seeing Dartmouth’s research in action. We’re going to Greenland because, in my time at Dartmouth, it’s becoming increasingly clear just how much our work in the Arctic is distinguishing Dartmouth and making an impact in the world, not just in the field of scientific polar research, but across a diverse and interconnected set of disciplines. (I’ll expound upon this in my next post, which I hope will be from Greenland, technology and connectivity willing…In the meantime, check out last week’s Dartmouth News article on our long history of work in the Arctic.)

After that, Gail and I will be back on campus for a short time before heading south to Peru. While we’re there, I’ll be meeting with one of our newest Trustees, Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor, who is a graduate of Tuck, Class of ’88. I’m looking forward to spending time with Carlos. He’s a remarkable businessman and philanthropist who leads with creativity, foresight and a tremendous amount of good will. You can read about his incredible journey to becoming the head of one of Peru’s most successful companies, comprised of seemingly disparate businesses, in this Tuck Today article from last December. He’s deeply passionate about education, as well, having started a network of affordable, high-quality schools in Peru to empower the growing middle class….and he’s got a great sense of humor. So, I’m looking forward to trading insights with him and sharing a few good laughs over a chicha morada or, better yet, a cremolada or two.

As avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, Gail and I are also excited to be extending this trip (on our own dime!) to include a tour of Machu Picchu. And I’m definitely bringing my selfie stick on both trips, so stay tuned for what I’m sure will be some fantastic photos….from the shores of Greenland and the mountains of Peru.

So, as I think about my summer at the near mid-point, it’s very much like the student experience at Dartmouth – a mixture of time spent here on campus, focused and looking inward…and time spent turning outward, experiencing the broader world. We all know what a powerful combination that is!

And as I tap into the adventuresome spirit that serves as a defining characteristic of the Dartmouth experience – not just in preparation for my travels, but in launching this blog, I hope you’ll come along for the ride. I aim to post a couple of times a month or when I’ve got something interesting to share, and I expect to invite occasional guest bloggers to the page, as well. I welcome you to share your thoughts about the blog at any time through e-mail at President’s.Office@Dartmouth.edu.

Thanks for following. Until next time…