The collected speeches of Dartmouth’s sixteenth president
Jim Wright is an unabashed optimist. Reading his speeches, it doesn’t take long to see that he believes in the fundamental values that shaped the American republic: opportunity and accessibility, individuality and a shared sense of community. He carried this idealism into his presidency of Dartmouth College and, indeed, throughout his career as teacher and historian.
At heart, Jim Wright was always a teacher. His election to the presidency of Dartmouth College gave him the opportunity not only to lead the college he loved, but also to use the presidency as a bully pulpit to encourage his students to make a positive difference in the world. The speeches gathered in this collection, particularly the annual convocation and commencement addresses, illustrate that calling. It is in these addresses that he was the most intentional about his goals and his aspirations for Dartmouth, for the Dartmouth faculty, and ultimately for Dartmouth students.