Guide to the Records of the Dartmouth College, Alumni College, 1964 - 2000Manuscript DA-33


Experimental programs in continuing education for alumni were conducted at Dartmouth College in 1921, 1922, and 1923. From 1937 to 1963 (with the exception of the war years 1943-1945), "Holiday", with Professor Herbert Hill serving as the program's first and only director, took place in June following commencement and reunions. Then, in 1964, Alumni College began, giving Dartmouth alumni and spouses a chance to return to the classroom for an eleven-day educational program conducted by four Dartmouth professors.

The inaugural session attracted alumni ranging from the Class of 1905 to the Class of 1960. Attendees prepared by reading several books in advance, and upon arrival participated in lectures and small group discussions and lived and ate in college facilities. Also included was a Junior Program for children of attendees. Beginning in 1969, the annual Alumni College was given a unifying theme, the first of which was "The Crisis of Values in a Changing World." The four-professor format also gradually changed to allow for a greater number of professors. In addition, the program was broadened to allow for parents of Dartmouth students, friends of the college, and other interested parties, rather than just alumni, to participate.

Further experimentation occurred with the establishment of traveling programs, such as the 1986 Alumni College America, a seven-day trip around the American West. Later variations were referred to as Alumni College West or Alumni Colleges Abroad. Computer Alumni College was also instituted in 1984 to familiarize students with the personal computer. Beginning in 1995, the WRITE program (Write, Read, Imagine, Think, and Edit) was added to the traditional Alumni College offerings, allowing attendees to partake in an intensive writing program that included critical analysis of their work. References are also found to "Reunion College" and "Alumni in the College" (later "Parents/Alumni in the College") a program begun in 1983 under President John Sloan Dickey in which alumni attended regular undergraduate courses for a week.

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