Frank J. Guarini School: Students React

On Friday, April 27, 2018 President Phil Hanlon ’77 announced the public launch of the College’s capital campaign, The Call to Lead. As part of the launch, the President also announced that the graduate school is to be named in honor of Frank J. Guarini ’46. The following Monday, President Hanlon, Dean Kull, and Deans of Tuck, Thayer, and Geisel met with student leaders at an informal coffee reception at Occom Commons to elucidate the goals of the campaign and to provide an opportunity for students to ask questions and learn what the naming of the School means.

Dean Kull affirmed the importance of the landmark gift, stating “This incredibly generous gift from Congressman Guarini deepens our collaborative commitment, inspiring us in our common task of tackling tough problems and graduating students who go on to become leaders in their fields.”

The naming strengthens the School identity and is a dynamic start to Dartmouth’s Call to Lead Campaign. “It’s so exciting to see the School receive a naming gift, thanks to Congressman Guarini’s generous support,” Graduate Student Council (GSC) Vice President Patrick Bedard stated. “It feels like such a fitting gift for the Call to Lead Campaign—the tradition of a 130-year-old graduate program being infused with the energy of a new school (in 2016) and now the energy of a distinctive new name and an endowment.”

Dean Kull also discussed the school’s mission to empower students to become effective communicators and leaders in their chosen fields—qualities that Guarini embodies. A former congressman, Guarini is a leader in his field. He served as a delegate to NATO and worked with the United Nations as a U.S. Representative. During his college years, Guarini also served in the Navy during World War II before returning to Dartmouth to graduate as a civilian student.

Former GSC President Erin Brioso ‘GR 16 noted the privilege that comes to the school with its new name and endowment: “The news about the Frank J. Guarini School for Graduate and Advanced Studies is fantastic. Not only is the name one of distinction, but the essence of the person shines as an example to the exemplary work that Dartmouth graduate students and postdocs do—in the lab, in the community, and with undergrads. It’s more than generous and with those resources the school will really be able to foster and enhance the excellence in education and research for which it stands.”

Along with discussing the naming, Dean Kull outlined the objectives for the Guarini School. The first is to ensure all programs are high quality and allow students to craft their academic experiences in order to help them meet their future career goals—whether they want careers in academia or industry. Second, the School will continue to support its faculty, which Dean Kull observed, will impact the undergraduate population, since graduate faculty and students are in departments across Dartmouth.

Regarding this second point, Bedard said: “I especially appreciated Dean Kull’s emphasis on the fact that the Guarini School at Dartmouth has impact across the institution, from Geisel to Thayer to Tuck to the College. It simultaneously allows us to compete with and stand apart from our Ivy+ peers: the Guarini School gives undergraduates access to fully-functioning labs and graduate student mentors without replacing faculty in the classroom, as often occurs at large research universities.”

The third goal for the School is to enrich and support the undergraduate population and to further integrate the graduate and undergraduate communities. Dean Kull recounted the mentorship and support he received from graduate students during his own undergraduate Dartmouth experience. He stated that the School aims to ensure that the graduate community continues to support the research efforts of undergraduates while also supporting their general college experience. He cited the 24 graduate students who are currently serving as Resident Fellows throughout the housing communities and are providing mentorship and support to undergraduate students beyond the classroom.

Beyond the three goals, Dean Kull emphasized that the overall vision of the Guarini School to holistically support each graduate student by providing students with advanced technical training in their chosen fields as well as to empower students to be leaders and effective communicators—a vision which is attainable thanks to Guarini’s generous gift.