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Dartmouth to wrap up $3.7 billion capital campaign

The campaign, called “The Call to Lead,” officially ends on June 30, following the end of President Philip Hanlon’s decade-long tenure.

A bicyclist passes a college tour group outside the Baker Library on Dartmouth Green at Dartmouth College.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

On Thursday, Dartmouth College said it is wrapping up a massive, five-year capital campaign that brought in $3.7 billion to the Ivy League school, the largest in its history.

The campaign, called “The Call to Lead,” officially winds down at the end of the month. President Philip Hanlon, whose decade-long tenure ends June 11, described the campaign as “phenomenally successful.”

“We are a small place, with 80,000 living alumni, which is much smaller than many of our peers, so we really needed to excite broadly,” Hanlon said in an interview. “[Donors] stepped up.”

Dartmouth’s last capital campaign, which ended in 2010, brought in $1.3 billion.


Other New England colleges and universities have completed multi-billion fundraising campaigns in recent years with the Harvard Campaign, which ended in 2018, raising $9.6 billion, and the MIT “Campaign for a Better World,” raising $6.24 billion when it ended in 2021. Boston University raised $1.85 billion over seven years, ending in 2019.

Dartmouth’s campaign, which began in April 2018, has allowed the college to expand financial aid and grow programs aimed at helping first-generation students succeed on campus. The funds also were used to launch a hub for interdisciplinary learning and test efforts to expand research and experiential learning opportunities in Arctic studies, global security, Black intellectual life, and tribal sovereignty.

The college’s financial aid program benefited from a $500 million investment in endowed scholarships. That allowed the New Hampshire college to eliminate loans from all undergraduate financial aid awards and expand its universal need-blind admissions policy, which means it does not consider an applicant’s ability to pay tuition.

“We want our graduates to be able to pursue whatever opportunities they have in life without being burdened by student loans,” Hanlon said. “I know that’s really important to a lot of our applicants.”


Dartmouth is also one of a handful of colleges to meet 100 percent of demonstrated needs regardless of citizenship status. That allows the college to recruit low-income students from other parts of the world.

“There are many highly talented students who come from circumstances where they have essentially no ability to pay,” Hanlon said. “This is especially true if you go to less affluent nations and regions of the world like Sub-Saharan Africa. We really aspire to make sure that Dartmouth can be a destination for any of the world’s most talented students.”

The gifts also supported a $100 million effort to improve the success and leadership of historically underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

More than 200 volunteers helped secure donations from 105 countries for the fundraising efforts. The college said it saw “unprecedented giving” by alumni of color and international donors, and 115 women gave $1 million or more to the school.

Donors gave nearly $60 billion to higher education institutions in the 2022 fiscal year, according to an annual survey from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, a 12.5 percent increase from the year prior.

Hilary Burns can be reached at Follow her @Hilarysburns.