A new mural in our Admissions Office celebrates 26 great moments in our history to give our guests a sense of Dartmouth’s role in ideas, events, and movements that have changed the world. Click on this mural image to see it in its entirety.


December 13, 1769

The Royal Governor of New Hampshire, John Wentworth, grants founder Eleazar Wheelock the land upon which Dartmouth would be built and issues a royal charter in the name of King George III, establishing the College as the ninth—and last—college to be founded before the Revolutionary War.


Four students graduate from the College to become Dartmouth’s first alumni.


Dartmouth’s medical school, now known as the Geisel School of Medicine, is founded. In 1811, the College opened a building dedicated to the medical school, making it the first building in the United States devoted to medical education. Almost 100 years later, in 1896, the first X-ray would be taken at Dartmouth.


Daniel Webster defends Dartmouth’s right to remain private before the Supreme Court with the words “It is, as I have said, a small college. And yet, there are those who love it.” The court rules for Dartmouth, empowering educational institutions to operate without state interference.


President Bennet Taylor endows Dartmouth’s first scholarship.


Edward Mitchell (Class of 1828) becomes the first black student to matriculate at an Ivy League institution.


Dartmouth’s Alumni Association is formed.


Sylvanus Thayer (Class of 1807), nicknamed the “Father of West Point” for the engineering curriculum he developed at the United States Military Academy, founds the Thayer School of Engineering.


President William Jewett Tucker establishes the annual “Dartmouth Night” tradition by inviting alumni back to the College to connect with undergraduates and first-year students, especially. The tradition of first-year students building the massive Homecoming bonfire continues to this day.


Professor Franklin Austin helps Hanover physician Gilman Frost take the word’s first diagnostic X-ray.


The Amos Tuck School of Business is founded, offering the first MBA program in the country.


Fred Harris (Class of 1911) founds the Dartmouth Outing Club. The DOC is now the largest and oldest student outdoors club in the country, and also the most popular club on campus.


Ten years after the College organizes the first intercollegiate ski race, Dartmouth skiers compete at the inaugural Winter Olympics; Dartmouth students and alumni have competed at every Winter Olympics since.


Dartmouth faculty vote to establish the Liberal Arts curriculum at Dartmouth and to offer students the option of focusing their studies with academic majors.


The DOC organizes the first Freshman Trip, a hike up Mount Moosilauke, establishing the tradition of “Trips” enjoyed by 96% of current Dartmouth first-year students. All trips end at Mount Moosilauke with an optional sunrise hike to the summit.


Dartmouth’s 12th president, John Sloan Dickey, tells students at convocation “The world’s troubles are your troubles, and there is nothing wrong with the world that better humans cannot fix.” Dickey introduced many of the foreign study and social action programs that distinguish the College today.


Despite (or perhaps because of) nearly twenty years of widespread use of the phrase “Ivy League” to reflect an appreciation for the educational value of athletics, Dartmouth and its seven other peer schools formalize the Ivy League as an athletic conference in 1954. Abbey D’Agostino ’14 is the most decorated Ivy League athlete of all time, having won 7 NCAA championships before competing in the 2016 Olympics.


Math professor John McCarthy invents the term “artificial intelligence.”


BASIC, one of the first general-purpose programming languages, is developed by professors John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz.


John Kemeny, now Dartmouth’s 13th president, takes office and vows to rededicate the College to its founding mission of educating Native American students. Dartmouth welcomes 15 Native American students the following fall, creates the Native American Studies program in 1972, and begins hosting the annual Dartmouth Powwow in 1973.


Women matriculate at Dartmouth for the first time and go on to become the College’s first alumnae upon graduating in 1976.


Dartmouth hosts its first nationally-televised presidential debate. Major party nominees have made Dartmouth an essential stop on the campaign trail in every election since.


Under the leadership of President James Freedman, Dartmouth achieves gender parity in the student body and has the highest percentage of female tenured and tenure-track faculty in the Ivy League.


The Magnusson Center for Entrepreneurship at Dartmouth is created to promote entrepreneurship and innovation on campus.


Thayer becomes the first national research program with a graduating class of engineering students that has more women than men, thanks in part to initiatives like the Women in Science Project, which creates collaborative learning environments where women can thrive in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.


The State Department names Dartmouth a top producer of Fulbright Scholars.