Wednesday, March 22, 2006

In Memoriam, James O. Freedman

The Dartmouth community lost James O. Freedman, its President from 1987 to 1998, yesterday after a 12-year bout with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The article in The Dartmouth characterizes his contribution to Dartmouth succinctly:

Freedman was a staunch advocate of intellectualism, ethnic diversity and gender parity at the College, while orchestrating an extremely successful capital campaign during the 1990s.

He was one of only a few presidents of the College who had no prior connection to it. But he managed to move it in a positive direction by, in the words of Sandy McCulloch '50, who was chairman of the College's board of trustees at the time Freedman was hired, "refocus[ing] on what we're in business for." It is a less ambitious agenda than that of a Summers or even a Hundert, who were hired to take their institutions in a new direction, but I am grateful for the effort, since it ultimately brought me to Dartmouth during that time.

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