Hanover, NH: In November I visited Dartmouth for the day; I drove around the campus, saw a dorm room, and attended a soccer game. Although I didn’t attend any classes or enjoy a formal tour or interview, I did get a good look at the college and learned a lot from speaking with a friend of mine who attends Dartmouth.
Hanover is an absolutely beautiful, quiet, New Hampshire town. It was freezing cold, but the beauty of the trees and quaint architecture and the splendor of the mountains numbed the chill from the harsh wind and bitter cold,almost. It was a two hour drive from Newton, easy to find, and there was very little traffic from start to finish.
The campus of the school is an extension of the beautiful town and surrounding scenery. Dartmouth is the center of the town, which seems both an advantage and disadvantage. The importance of the college to the town puts a strong focus on the students and their needs, yet for the students there’s not much beyond their college. Certainly, one must be looking for a smallish, isolated school to be interested in Dartmouth. In that sense it is comparable to Williams College.
The dorm I saw, Zimmerman, was more modern than the majority of architecture in Hanover, and in many ways seemed like a pleasant, artistically-pleasing hotel. It was kept immaculately clean by the college, and there were many windows and a central, spacious atrium which gave the whole structure a feeling of freedom and peace. It seemed like it would be easy to concentrate on studying there, while at the same time it would be easy to find an area in which to socialize or simply talk with friends.
The students I met seemed very content with both their living situation and the progress of their studies at Dartmouth. Dartmouth students study only three courses at a time, so there is room to focus on a highly intensive curriculum. Classes are said to be small and intimate, and the professors are known to be extremely helpful, knowledgeable and dedicated.
However, the most memorable aspect of my visit was the soccer game. Not only did I see an exciting, high level of National Tournament soccer, but I also got a true sense of the spirit and character of the Dartmouth student body. I sat in the middle of the stands, among several thousand Dartmouth fans. The shouts of “Go Big Green!”, “Here We Go, Lads!” and “How We Play, Dartmouth!” were deafening, and the enthusiasm was abundant from all spectators. There was not much else to do in Hanover on a Sunday afternoon, so most of the students gathered to root on their Big Green and meet each other. In my opinion, the smallness and isolation of the school was overshadowed by the spirited and unified student body. I would recommend a visit to Dartmouth to any interested student. n
Reviewed in 1990