Perspective: Partners in Success
By Dean Joseph J. Helble
While private colleges and universities continue to address the effects of declining endowments experienced in 2008 and early 2009, it is worth pausing to celebrate a financial success achieved through the generosity of our alumni and friends in the midst of a challenging economy.
On December 31, 2009, the Thayer School of Engineering successfully concluded its largest-ever comprehensive campaign, raising $61 million to support graduate and undergraduate engineering education at Dartmouth. This effort, which launched publicly in November 2004, had set an ambitious $60-million goal that was four times higher than that of any prior campaign, reflecting substantial opportunity for growth in engineering at Dartmouth and the urgent need for new facilities. More than 2,000 alumni, friends, parents, faculty, staff, and organizations contributed to this successful effort.
Most visibly, support raised in this campaign completely funded the construction and operation of the MacLean Engineering Sciences Center, dedicated in 2006 and adding over 60,000 square feet in integrated project laboratory, studio classroom, research laboratory, and office space to the School. It also provided funds to permit growth in the faculty, through addition of four endowed professorships that strengthen Thayer School’s focus on engineering in medicine and innovation and entrepreneurship; additional funding for student scholarships and fellowships; support to encourage entrepreneurial projects among students and faculty, international exchange and internship opportunities, and distinguished speaker programs; and funds for the establishment of the Ph.D. Innovation Program — the nation’s first doctoral-level engineering Innovation Program.
This campaign concludes at a critical time, with the School poised for growth due to a surge in interest in engineering. Since the fall 2004 public launch of the campaign, B.E. dual-degree enrollments and Ph.D. enrollments have grown by more than 65 percent, and M.E.M. enrollments have grown by more than 80 percent. While A.B. and overall B.E. degree numbers remained fairly constant, that will soon change, given significantly increased enrollments in our junior and senior classes. With the impressive new facilities and initiatives made possible by campaign donors, we are well prepared to provide the increased numbers of students with Thayer’s close student-faculty contacts and interdisciplinary education. To all who share in this success, we extend our congratulations and thanks.
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