Dartmouth: Welcome Home
My name is Estelle, and I'm a freshman (or "'23") from Seattle, Washington. I was neither born nor raised on the West Coast, but I've lived in Seattle long enough to know where to find good pizza, great bagels, and the best coffee! (Just kidding. I like strong black coffee and couldn't tell an espresso from a cappuccino).
As I write this post, I'm looking at the construction taking place on the northeast end of campus, near the Kellogg Medical Auditorium. It's the renovation of Dana Hall. The construction reminds me of home: a walk around my Seattle stomping grounds offers a rapidly changing landscape within which new apartments spring like boxy mushrooms beckoning a new generation.
Today as one explores Dartmouth's architecture, they might note the emergence of new upon a campus which is decidedly old. Modern art nestled into a grassy lawn. Shiny buildings beside weathered. History brushes against Present as though the two belong always in sight of each other.
Dartmouth recently celebrated its 250th anniversary and is the ninth-oldest American institution for higher education. But don't let the years fool you: Dartmouth is as much a forward-looking hub for innovation as the West Coast. By blending architecture from the last two centuries with professors at the top of their fields, cutting-edge research, and devoted alumni, Dartmouth challenges its students to lead by example. The incoming class was shaped by one thousand one hundred and ninety three different backgrounds…but we work to shape the same future.
So, what is my background? I'm the eldest of five, a bibliophile, and a lover of laughter (especially the kind where you cry). I watch funny movies over and over and still laugh at the punch lines. Someday I think I'd like to own a donkey. Here, I can be found in Left Bank Books, Umpleby's Bakery, the Sanborn Library, exploring campus buildings, gracelessly swiping my card a dozen times in order to start the laundry machine (is it this hard for everyone?), and meeting new people while waiting in line at the '53 Commons.
Dartmouth is home to thousands of truly fascinating people. I've only begun meeting them, but the students here hold doors open, stop in their tracks to take you to the hall you can't find, extend greetings and phone numbers, and are quick to introduce themselves to people they don't know. They have already begun shaping my future, and it's only been three weeks!
So, as I watch this building settle into its place at Dartmouth, I am excited and hopeful to find my own. At Dartmouth, respect for the past does not eclipse the future. Here's to exploring!