Inauguration of Sian Leah Beilock Set for Sept. 22

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The president-elect will start work at Dartmouth on June 12.

Sian Leah Beilock
President-elect Sian Leah Beilock will start work in Hanover next month and be inaugurated as Dartmouth’s 19th president in September. (Photo by Tim Ryan Smith/Avenue 5 Films)

On Friday, Sept. 22, in a ceremony full of tradition and forward-looking optimism, President-elect Sian Leah Beilock will be inaugurated as the 19th president in the Wheelock Succession.

Planning for the occasion is well underway. Co-chairs Vijay Govindarajan, the Coxe Distinguished Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business, Chloe Poston, vice president for culture, belonging, and strategic engagement, and E.J. Kiefer, executive director of conferences and events, have convened an advisory committee on inauguration made up of more than 30 Dartmouth community members—including students, faculty, staff, and alumni—who are meeting to brainstorm themes, panels, and community-wide programming leading up to and including the inauguration weekend.

The day’s festivities are slated to begin at 11:30 a.m. with a community cookout, with the ceremony starting at 3 p.m. on the Green. Further details will be added to the inauguration website as events are finalized.

In keeping with Dartmouth tradition, President-elect Beilock officially begins her tenure as Dartmouth’s president on June 12, the day after Commencement. Last week, Beilock notified the Barnard community, where she has served as president since 2017, that her last day on the job will be June 11.

She succeeds President Philip J. Hanlon ’77, who is stepping down following a transformative decade in office.

During that time, President Hanlon instituted 10 interdisciplinary academic clusters to shape and advance the understanding of complex problems; fellows programs for emerging scholars; launched the Guarini School for Graduate and Advanced Studies; and made historic investments in student financial aid and new and revitalized facilities, including the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society, the Class of 1982 Center for Engineering and Computer Science, Dartmouth Hall, the Hood Museum of Art, and expansion of the Hopkins Center for the Arts—where work is underway.

In addition, Hanlon led the comprehensive Call to Lead capital campaign, which has raised more than $3.6 billion to advance Dartmouth’s distinctive educational model, pursue discoveries that benefit humankind, and prepare students for lives of wise leadership.

Beilock’s presence has been felt around campus and the greater Dartmouth community since her election by the Dartmouth Board of Trustees in July. Both Beilock and Hanlon have noted that the early announcement of Beilock’s appointment has allowed them to work closely over the past year to ensure a smooth and productive transition.

Beilock, who earned her bachelor’s degree in cognitive science from the University of California, San Diego, and doctorate degrees in psychology and kinesiology from Michigan State University, is one of the world’s top experts on the factors in the brain that influence all types of performance, from test-taking to public speaking to athletics, with a focus on research-driven strategies to encourage women and girls in math and science.

The recipient of a National Academy of Sciences Troland Research Award and a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, she has authored two critically acclaimed books and 120 peer-reviewed publications. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Psychological Association and a member of the National Academy of Kinesiology and the Council on Foreign Relations.

At Barnard, Beilock has enhanced Barnard’s STEM research and teaching programs to parallel the college’s renown in the arts and humanities; implemented Feel Well, Do Well, a campus-wide health and wellness initiative; and launched Beyond Barnard, a one-stop shop for career resources at Barnard and beyond. Building on Barnard’s relationship with Columbia University, Beilock has established options for students to transition directly from Barnard into a range of master’s programs at Columbia through unique five-year BA/MS degrees. Beilock has also led Barnard to record fundraising, increased applications for admission, and increased diversity among students, faculty, and staff.

Before joining Barnard, Beilock spent 12 years at the University of Chicago, where she was the executive vice provost, serving as an officer of the university, and the Stella M. Rowley Professor of Psychology. As executive vice provost, she oversaw and had budgetary responsibility for major academic centers including the university’s library system, the University of Chicago Press, the university’s art museum, and its professional theater. She was also responsible for campus-wide space allocation and oversaw several major building projects. She played the lead role in developing a system to account for how income and expenses flowed across the undergraduate college, the graduate and professional schools, and UChicago Medicine.

Beilock will be on campus to deliver the keynote address at the Karen E. Wetterhahn Science Symposium, one of Dartmouth’s leading STEM events for undergraduates, on May 24.

Check the inauguration website, which will be updated regularly, for more information about the event.

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