President Emeritus Jim Yong Kim
Thank you. It’s wonderful to be back at Dartmouth, and it’s an honor to welcome Philip J. Hanlon to the Wheelock Succession of this great institution.
The first President of Dartmouth, the Reverend Eleazar Wheelock, left a clear and stern legacy for all who would follow him. He wrote:
"And it is my purpose, by the grace of God, to leave nothing undone within my power, which is suitable to be done; that this school of prophets may be and long continue to be a pure fountain. And I do with my whole heart will this my purpose to all my successors in the presidency of this seminary to the latest posterity, and it is my last will, never to be revoked."
Well, much has changed since then. We are much more than a seminary, and there is the possibility that not all of you in the great Class of 2017 are prophets, at least not yet.
But Dartmouth is one of the great enduring institutions in the world. Continuity and tradition are everywhere. The continuity of the Wheelock Succession is embodied in the Wentworth Bowl, a gift from New Hampshire's Royal Governor who, acting on behalf of the British Crown, granted Dartmouth's charter in December 1769.
The bowl's inscription reads:
His Excellency John Wentworth Esq.
Governor of the Province of New Hampshire,
And those Friends who accompanied him
To Dartmouth College the first Commencement 1771.
In testimony of their Gratitude and good wishes
Present this to the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock D.D. President
And his Successors in that Office
President Hanlon, as the 17th in the Wheelock succession, and on behalf of the great Jim Wright, the 16th in the succession, I warmly congratulate you on assuming your role as the 18th President of Dartmouth College. You are a native son of Dartmouth and all of us here today celebrate the glorious return of one of our best and brightest to our beloved College on the hill. You have already made enormous contributions to your field and to higher education. How fortunate we are that you have returned to shape the future of an institution which has so powerfully shaped you. President Wright joins me in pledging to you our unstinting support as you take Dartmouth to ever-greater heights in its teaching, research, and global impact.
If you will join me now President Hanlon, I will happily pass on to you a historic treasure that symbolizes the office you hold and then, soon after, President Wright will join us.