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"Dartmouth' s Dedicated Alumni"
by Stephen L. Waterhouse '65
Several months ago, our classmate, Steve Waterhouse, published a book on the history of Dartmouth College and it's
alumni, called "Dartmouth's Dedicated Alumni." We have recently had the opportunity to quiz Steve on what is in the
book, and why he undertook this project.
Q. What is your new book, Dartmouth's Dedicated Alumni, about?
The book provides an updated history of Dartmouth College since before its founding in 1769 to today, and outlines the contributions
of some 500 alumni to that history. It is the only book ever written to highlight the most active alumni of Dartmouth
College, is over 300 pages in size, and has hundreds of historical images of the college and alumni. It is dedicated
to Alumni Award recipient Robert Frost, Class of 1896, and includes histories of the 7 Alumni Award recipients from our Class.
Q. Why did you take on this project?
A. I was a member, and then Chairman, of Dartmouth's
Alumni Award selection committee for over a decade. This Award program was started in 1954 to highlight the contributions
of Dartmouth's most active alumni. We celebrated the program's 50th Anniversary in December, 2004. I initially
took on the task of providing a history of the 420 recipients from the Classes of 1894 to 1977 as a feature of that celebration
because most recipients were not known to anyone other than by name. And the project just sort of took off with its
own momentum to become a serious book on the history of Dartmouth College, and alumni contributions to that history.
Q. What are the significant components of the book?
To begin the book, we tell the story
of how Eleazar Wheelock came to be President of the 7th, and last, of the colleges to be established in this country under
a "Royal Charter." Next, there is the first updated history of the college years from 1769 to 2004. The last revision
was done by Ralph Nading Hill in 1964, and copies were presented to members of our class at graduation in 1965. Then,
in the largest part of the book, I have outlined the contributions of some 25 outstanding alumni from 1769 to 1890 followed
by the only background histories ever written of the 420 recipients of the Alumni Award from the classes of 1894 to 1977,
and the 35 recipients of the Young Alumni Award from the classes of 1976 to 1995.
Are there special things in the book that we should be looking for?
A. I thought I knew a lot about
the history of Dartmouth College. I learned that I knew very little so the section on Dartmouth's history should be
of particular interest to those who want to learn how Dartmouth developed. There is also an aspect to the history of
our college that I had never really thought about, and that is the importance of Dartmouth College and its alumni to the early
development of the United States, and the world. Dartmouth alumni were especially active in the legal and political
formation of the United States from day one. Finally, it is impressive to see the diverse contributions of individual
alumni to the welfare of Dartmouth, the communities in which they lived and their career working lives.
Q. Are there some unique stories about Dartmouth's history in this book?
there are many tales that I was not aware of. For example, do you know why Hanover was about the only town from the
state of New York north to not be attacked by Indians during the Revolutionary War? Did you know that George Washington
had to intervene to keep Hanover, and Dartmouth, from being a part of Vermont, and not New Hampshire? Why are all the
buildings in Dartmouth Row painted white? Do you know the name of the planet named after a Dartmouth grad? And more...
Some items are important, and some are just local trivia, but all were interesting facets of the history that has led to the
Dartmouth College that we know.
Q. How long did it take you to write the book, and
where did you locate the historical information?
A. It took me three years to write the book. I
read through most of the history books ever written about Dartmouth, and researched the files in the College's "Special Collections"
for individual alumni histories and the historical photographs. We found about 60% of the original citations presented
to past Alumni Award recipients, but had to recreate the rest from old Alumni Magazine stories and other sources. Adrian
Bouchard's photographs from the 40ties, 50ties and 60ties were particularly useful. He was the mild mannered, friendly
guy many of us will remember seeing around campus in the 60ties with his camera always in hand!
Q. How has the book sold and how do we get a copy?
A. The book was published
as a "Limited Edition" of 100 with a hard bound cover and 1000 with a special stiff backed cover. The contents are the
same in each. The hard backs were reserved for special situations like the archives of the Special Collections Library
where it now serves as their principal historical resource on Dartmouth alumni. We auctioned two hard backs off at our
recent Class of 1965 reunion to raise funds for our class scholarship fund. About 75% of the stiff backed covered books
are now gone. A large quantity were acquired by a group of Alumni Award recipients so they cold be given out on 12/4/04
at a dinner for the approximately 150 living recipients of this Award, and any widows we were aware of. The book is
now available via the Dartmouth Coop website, the Dartmouth Bookstore or directly from me at a price of $50 plus a small shipping
"We have no plans to print more so when these go, that's it!"