HANOVER — Dartmouth College has received an unprecedented and historic academic investment, the college announced Thursday.
President Philip J. Hanlon accepted an anonymous gift of $100 million, the largest single outright donation in Dartmouth’s 244-year history.
“This gift is really offered as an unqualified endorsement for President Hanlon’s academic vision of Dartmouth,” said Justin Anderson, Dartmouth assistant vice president for media relations.
That vision includes teams of interdisciplinary faculty collaborating at the cutting edge of discovery, with students given uncommon access to new ideas around the globe through course work and research opportunities.
“I am deeply honored and grateful for this extraordinary act of generosity,” Hanlon said in the announcement. “This historic gift is an exceptional vote of confidence as we embark on an exciting journey to ensure Dartmouth remains the preeminent undergraduate institution in the nation; a magnet for human talent; and a college that cultivates a culture of ideas, discovery, and solutions to problems that will make the world a better place.”
The gift also comes with a two-to-one challenge with the potential of doubling the investment’s size to $200 million, Anderson said.
“The gift is for $100 million; $50 million of that $100 million is being set aside and is being used to inspire others to give and it will be used as a two-to one-match, so for every $2 that is donated, the donor will give another $1,” Anderson said. “So $50 million will hopefully raise an additional $100 million.”
That $150 million would be used for the Cluster Initiative, Anderson said.
Hanlon recently announced the Cluster Initiative, which aims to build Dartmouth faculty in a way that would address worldwide problems through an interdisciplinary collaborative effort among faculty members.
Anderson said issues such as energy and sustainability, climate change and the world economy “can be informed by many academic perspectives.”
The initiative plans to create approximately 30 to 40 endowed positions over the next decade. To date, 29 cluster proposals — involving as many as eight faculty members each and more than 100 faculty in total — have been submitted to the Office of the Provost.
“President Hanlon's pursuit of interdisciplinary excellence will bring Dartmouth’s already outstanding academic programs a new level of distinction,” incoming Provost Carolyn Dever said in the announcement.
She added: “Dartmouth offers just the right combination of schools to investigate challenges of global complexity. An infusion of new faculty and ideas, combined with the incredible achievements in teaching and discovery already occurring on the campus each day, will be instrumental to creating the Dartmouth of the future.”