AoA mailing

Below is a statement from the Association of Alumni, to be soon mailed out to the Association’s members (which includes all living alumni of the College). It begins:

The Story Behind This Mailing…

For more than a century and a half, Dartmouth’s Association of Alumni has been the primary representative of the College’s alumni. Its eleven-member Executive Committee is the only body elected by all of the alumni, and its current incumbents are the product of the many thousands of ballots cast in the Association’s first nation-wide all-media voting. Every successful candidate in that election vowed to improve communication with alumni. On July 3, the Executive Committee voted, 7 to 4, to send the enclosed letter and questionnaire on a matter of pressing importance to all alumni. To our sorrow, David Spalding (who is Secretary of the Association as well as Dartmouth’s Vice President of Alumni Relations), with the concurrence of President James Wright and Chairman of the
Board Charles Haldeman, declined our request. Specifically, they refused to permit use of our membership mailing lists and to fund the mailing. The Alumni Association has no treasury of its own; its operations have been routinely paid for through the College
budget. Until now. In the immediate future, we are determined that your Association leadership will have access to its own membership lists and have the funding necessary to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities. Meanwhile, the matter at hand is urgent. We have
therefore had to find other mailing lists and to raise money to get this critical message to you.

Date: July 11, 2007

To: All Dartmouth College Alumni

From: The Dartmouth Association of Alumni Executive Committee


The Dartmouth Board of Trustees has announced that its Governance Committee is looking into “the size and composition of the Board and the method of Trustee selection.” Accordingly, we are concerned that the right of alumni to elect half of the Trustees is now in jeopardy.

We believe that reducing the proportion of Alumni Trustees on Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees—or eliminating them entirely—would be detrimental to the close partnership between alumni and the College.

Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees currently consists of the president of the College, the governor of New Hampshire, and an equal number of Charter and Alumni Trustees (eight each) — the former, chosen by the Board; the latter, directly by the alumni. This arrangement dates to 1891.


Dartmouth is not unique in the participation of its alumni in governance, but no other school has evolved a system that equals it in assigning alumni a comparable degree of responsibility to assure continuing excellence and vitality. This involvement has clearly contributed to the storied devotion and loyalty of Dartmouth alumni, and we wish to preserve and increase this distinctive strength.


Go to the Trustees’ Governance Committee’s website,, and register your views. The committee will complete its review by September. To assure that your views will receive the attention they deserve, we invite you to submit a copy of them to the Association of Alumni Executive Committee as well (


We have also enclosed a brief survey for you to complete and return. Mail your postcard survey to us, or respond by e-mail at To ensure that the Board of Trustees will have the benefit of the views of alumni before taking action, we ask that you submit your response to us by August 27. We will present all responses received as of that date to the Board. We believe it is imperative that the alumni make their voices heard on this issue.



Dartmouth College Association of Alumni

One-Minute Survey

Please indicate whether you agree or disagree with the following:
“I believe that the Board of Trustees should maintain its current balance of 50% charter trustees and 50% directly-elected alumni trustees (excluding the two ex officio positions).”

“I believe that any concerns with the process of electing alumni trustees should be referred to the leaders of the Association of Alumni, as those representatives are duly-elected by all alumni to represent alumni interests, especially alumni participation in the trustee selection process.”