Governor Margaret Wood Hassan

Greetings to the President, by Her Excellency Margaret Wood Hassan, governor of New Hampshire and ex officio Dartmouth trustee

Governor Margaret Wood Hassan

Good afternoon.

Thank you, Provost Wybourne, for the introduction, and thank you to the Dartmouth community for allowing me and my husband, Tom, to share this special day with all of you.

We are honored to join you, members of the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, students and alumni, Presidents Emeriti Wright and Kim, other distinguished guests, and members of the community, in welcoming new President Phillip J. Hanlon back to his alma mater. And University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, I would like to welcome you to New Hampshire, but most importantly, I want to thank you for returning President Hanlon to us.

The 10th Dartmouth alumnus to serve as president, President Hanlon is well aware of the tradition of strong leadership that has helped Dartmouth College become one of the most well-known and respected institutions of learning in the world. A tremendous source of pride for the state of New Hampshire and our people, Dartmouth has long reflected what the people of New Hampshire have always known—educating our young people is essential to the progress of our state and of our country. As we work to build the foundation for the innovation economy of the 21st century that will create good jobs and lift all of our people, Dartmouth's mission to prepare students for a lifetime of learning and responsible leadership is more important than ever. You have long been preparing tomorrow's leaders through the open exchange of thought and ideas and your work is one of the reasons we stand at the threshold of a bright, new future.

I have no doubt that President Hanlon will carry on the very best traditions of the Wheelock Succession—a dedication to creating excitement around learning, a commitment to caring about his students, and a conviction to help our young people create a better tomorrow just as his predecessors Dr. Wright and Dr. Kim did. Thank you, Drs. Wright and Kim, for your leadership, everything you have done for Dartmouth, our communities, our state, and our nation and, for what you are both doing now to strengthen humankind.

And President Hanlon, again, welcome home. We are so glad to have you and Gail in the Granite State. Some things in our state may have changed since your time as an undergraduate, but I know you will find that New Hampshire's natural beauty, our vibrant civic society and community engagement, our rugged individualism, and our commitment to collective problem solving continue to be as strong as granite. We consider Dartmouth to be an integral asset and a resource for the state of New Hampshire, and the success of your students benefits all of our communities, and your students’ understanding of what it means to be successful must be a broad one.

New Hampshire's unique citizen democracy, exemplifying the principle of self-government that our country was founded upon, requires an engaged citizenry. And we need that engaged citizenry to include young people from all walks of life who understand that our success, in our personal lives as well as economically, depends on our willingness to engage with each other as equals to solve problems together. We need Dartmouth and its graduates to continue to be engaged in our shared future.

President Hanlon, as a true scholar-teacher, I know that your commitment to hands-on education will serve the Dartmouth student body well and help the institution continue its invaluable contributions to our state and our nation, and your background in mathematics will undoubtedly help inspire more students to pursue learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. Even if their careers don't necessarily follow a path in one of the STEM fields, expanding knowledge in these areas, when combined with studies in the arts, history, culture, and other areas, is critical to a well-rounded education that will allow students to develop the creative and critical thinking necessary for success in an innovation economy.

I am confident that your inauguration is the beginning of another bright chapter in Dartmouth's storied history.

Congratulations to the entire Dartmouth community on this historic day and, to President Hanlon, I look forward to working together with you to build a stronger, more innovative New Hampshire.

Thank you all very much.