GAIL M. GENTES, as a champion of experiential learning, compassionate and engaged community member, and the wise and devoted partner to Dartmouth’s 18th President, your impact on Dartmouth, the Upper Valley and, indeed, the world has earned you the admiration and appreciation of your Dartmouth family forever.
Born in Wellesley, Massachusetts, to a homemaker and a fireman, you were the first in your family to attend college, earning your degree in American Studies from Wells College in Aurora, New York, in 1974. Your innate desire to help others inspired you to join the Peace Corps, where you spent several years teaching English to schoolteachers in Afghanistan before returning to the U.S. to earn your MBA from Boston University.
A fortuitous family golf excursion introduced you to Phil, and the two of you have been learning and leading as life partners ever since.
Upon arriving to Dartmouth, you immediately embraced experiential learning, expanding opportunities for students to learn by doing as Director of Action-Based Learning Programs and, later, Assistant Director of Dartmouth for Life. Your involvement with the Stamps Scholars and mentorship of students, including as an advisor to Alpha Chi Alpha and Cobra, became a hallmark of your time at the College, as did your unparalleled dedication to volunteer service in the broader community.
Whether donning your cycling jersey at The Prouty to raise money for cancer research, championing the Lone Pine recognition program to honor talented Dartmouth staff, or serving on the Boards of area non-profits, from the Montshire Museum to WISE to the HOPE Foundation, you’ve served as a model for how one person’s actions can, indeed, make a difference.
For your keen intellect, quiet leadership, and deep-rooted interest and concern for others, Dartmouth is proud to award you the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.