Top Headlines From 2012: Dartmouth Now’s Year in Review

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The Dartmouth Now news team has been busy this year sharing news with our readers. Dartmouth’s news has also caught the attention of reporters and media outlets around the globe. As the year drew to a close, the Dartmouth Now team took a look at the more than 800 stories we published in 2012 and selected 12 of our favorite headlines.

We hope you enjoy this retrospective, presented below in chronological order. To keep up with the news in 2013, subscribe to email updates from Dartmouth Now.

1. Dartmouth Researchers: Organic Food Sweetner May Be a Hidden Source of Dietary Arsenic

ArsenicDartmouth researchers led by Trace Element Analysis Core Facility Director Brian Jackson discovered arsenic in organic brown rice syrup, a sweetening alternative to high fructose corn syrup. Baby formula and other food products made with rice products, such as cereal bars and energy shots, were found to contain arsenic. The research made the national headlines, in media outlets including NBC Nightly News and The Boston Globe.

2. Kosovo’s President Tells Dartmouth: ‘We Need Strong Partners’

 Atifete JahjagaIn March, Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga spent two days on campus, where she delivered a lecture, presented an award to former Geisel School Dean James Strickler, and met with students, faculty, and physicians. During Jahjaga’s visit, Dartmouth and the American University in Kosovo agreed to collaborate on the creation of a women’s leadership institution at American University in Kosovo.

3. Medical School Named in Honor of Audrey and Theodor Geisel

Geisel School of MedicineThe Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth was named in honor of author and illustrator Theodor Geisel, Class of 1925, known worldwide as “Dr. Seuss,” and his wife, Audrey. The Chronicle of Higher Education celebrated the Geisels’ generosity with a few Seuss-style verses in its blog post entitled “Oh, the Lives That You’ll Save.”

4. President Emeritus James Wright Publishes Groundbreaking Book About Veterans

James WrightThis spring saw publication of President Emeritus James Wright’s Those Who Have Borne the Battle: A History of America’s Wars and Those Who Fought Them. Wright participated in a panel discussion entitled “Hometown Heroes: Perspectives on the American Military Experience” during Homecoming weekend. Among the media that took note of Wright’s recent accomplishments: The Takeaway and The Huffington Post.

5. London’s Olympics and Paralympics Feature Dartmouth Alumni

Olympic ringsThe London 2012 Summer Olympics featured four former Big Green student-athletes: Sean Furey ’04, Thayer ’05 and ’06 (track and field), Evelyn Stevens ’05 (road cycling), Erik Storck ’07 (sailing), and Anthony Fahden ’08 (lightweight rowing). Alex Stein ’06 was a member of the U.S. rowing team at the London 2012 Paralympics. In more recent Olympic news, it was announced that shot-putter Adam Nelson ’97, who won the silver medal at the 2004 Olympics, may take the gold after all. A drug test revealed that the athlete who took the gold in that event had used performance-enhancing drugs.

6. A Record-Setting Year for Philanthropy

Baker TowerA new record was set this year as Dartmouth received $171.5 million in total philanthropic support from alumni, parents, and friends. The total for the 2012 fiscal year surpassed the previous record of $167.6 million, set in 2008.

7. Dartmouth No. 1 in Undergraduate Teaching

Baker TowerFor the fourth year in a row, Dartmouth earned the top spot for “Strong Commitment to Teaching” in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2013” rankings. In the overall rankings of the top national universities, Dartmouth climbed one spot to the No. 10 position.

8. Dartmouth Celebrates Year of the Arts and the Opening of the Black Family Visual Arts Center

Year of the ArtsA highlight of Dartmouth’s Year of the Arts came on September 14, 2012, with the opening of the Black Family Visual Arts Center. The celebration included the dedication of Ellsworth Kelly’s Dartmouth Panels. The Visual Arts Center is named in honor of former Trustee Leon Black ’73 and his wife, Debra, longtime patrons of the arts who contributed $48 million toward the center. Major exhibitions and performances, artist residencies, new initiatives, and expansion of arts facilities are among the highlights of the Year of the Arts.

9. 2012: A Year of Celebrations

BADAThe Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association, the Native American Program, and the Dartmouth Pow-Wow all celebrated 40th anniversaries in 2012. The Hopkins Center for the Arts marked its 50th anniversary this year with a celebration weekend in October. An event coming up in the spring will commemorate the 40th year of coeducation at Dartmouth.

10. Dartmouth Alumna Louise Erdrich ’76 Wins National Book Award

Louise ErdrichLouise Erdrich ’76 won the prestigious National Book Award for fiction for The Round House. Erdrich was a member of Dartmouth’s first coeducational class, has been a Montgomery Fellow three times, and received an honorary degree from Dartmouth in 2009. Dartmouth Professor Cynthia Huntington was a finalist in the National Book Award’s poetry category.

11. Cancer Survivor or Victim of Overdiagnosis?

The New York TimesProfessor H. Gilbert Welch of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice has been in the news many times this year for his research on mammography and other cancer screenings. The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and USA Today were among the media covering the story.

12. Philip J. Hanlon ’77 Elected Dartmouth’s 18th President

Philip HanlonIn November, Dartmouth announced the election of its 18th president, Philip J. Hanlon ’77, who currently serves as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan. Hanlon takes office on July 1, 2013, following President Carol L. Folt. Folt took over as interim president in July after former President Jim Yong Kim left to become president of the World Bank. Hanlon’s election was covered by national media, including The New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek.