Dartmouth celebrates inauguration of new president

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 5:14 PM EDT
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HANOVER, N.H. (WCAX) - For the first time in its 254-year history, Dartmouth College Friday officially welcomed its first female president.

In front of faculty, students, and the college’s board of trustees on the campus green, Sian Beilock was inaugurated as the college’s 19th president.

“Institutions of higher education are unique in their ability to break new ground across the full spectrum of disciplines. This is our calling, it is a responsibility we feel deeply because the betterment of society depends on it,” Beilock said during the ceremony.

Beilock has been on the job since June getting to know the campus and connecting with students and faculty. Students we spoke to on campus have high hopes for Dartmouth’s 19th president. “She definitely had a joyous personality and her smile was just so energetic,” said Najma Bore, a first-year student who is also new to campus just like Beilock. “She took the time to get to know us and she asked us all what our favorite classes were and also asked us questions about them.”

Beilock has been on what she calls a campus “listening tour.” With a background in cognitive science, she says that when you can get input from different points of view, the outcomes are better.

“I am interested in majoring in cognitive science so it was really cool sharing her ideas and talking to her about something I am also interested in,” Bore said.

“She’s so confident all the time that she really inspires me in that way,” said Dorsha Chakraverty, Class of ‘27. “I’m really proud of the fact that she is a woman and that we’ve had a woman president for the first time and I feel that that’s really great.”

“I’m honestly excited for a change of leadership. I didn’t have strong feelings about the president before but I’ve heard a lot of good things about her,” said Chris Sole, a senior. He has yet to meet Beilock but says he’s glad she’s taking the time to get to know the students, something past presidents have not always done. “When you are not having that one-to-one time, and having your ear to the ground like that, I feel like you can miss out with what’s really going on and what’s really important -- mental health and COVID is a great example of that.”

Beilock has said that addressing mental health issues on campus will be a top priority during her tenure.

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