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Dartmouth medical school gets a new doctor: Seuss

Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss.

He’s not a real doc.

But at Dartmouth, that’s cool.

He can still have his name on the medical school.

That’s Dr. Seuss, a.k.a. Theodor Geisel, the late, beloved children’s author who, with his wife Audrey, has donated more money to Dartmouth College than anyone in history. Their generosity was rewarded Wednesday as the college renamed its medical school after the family, giving Seuss’s doctor title a little more resonance. (The school will officially be called The Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine.)

Geisel picked up his nom de plume as a Dartmouth senior in 1925 after a dean, irked that Geisel and friends had been swilling gin during Prohibition, asked him to resign from the college humor magazine.

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Officially, Geisel quit.

Unofficially, the Springfield native kept writing for the magazine, but as Seuss, his middle name.

He never lost his affection for Dartmouth and gave the college secret shout-outs in his books, naming the protagonist in “Horton Hears a Who!’’ after a classmate and the Wah Hoo River in another book after the old school “Wah-Hoo-Wah’’ chant, according to Dartmouth professor Donald Pease’s biography.

“Ted would be proud to have his name forever connected to one of America’s finest schools of medicine, a school that’s doing much good in the world,’’ said Audrey Geisel, a former nurse.

Theodor Geisel’s oeuvre remains a subject of fascination at the college: Freshmen are served an annual meal of green eggs and ham.

MARY CARMICHAEL

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