Class of 1961
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McArt Letter Requesting Support August 2008
The Class of 1961 Legacy: The American Tradition in Performance
"...the life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction
The Class of 1961 Legacy: The American Traditionin Performance is a unique creation.
In its brief, eight year history, The Legacyhas presented or co-presented --some twenty seven performances featuring the great artists of our time. Itzhak Perlman,Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Band; jazz vocalistDianne Reeves, Rosanne Cashwith her unique country sound; the cutting edge athleticism of Dartmouth-originated Pilobolus Dance Company, the Mark Morris Dance Company and its innovative brand of muscular classicism; the shrewd political satire of The Capitol Steps and the groundbreaking Martin Luther King’s Day celebration of the D. J. Spooky’s Hip Hop Rebirth of a Nation.
In addition to this superb array of performances, The Legacy has been involved with an extensive variety of Master Classes and Workshops, as well as an ongoing dialogue between Visiting or Resident Artists and the students.
The work of The Legacy has been a measure of pride for this Class, presenting with The Hop, what is brave and best in Dartmouth’s enduring commitment to the Performing Arts.
The Campaign for The Class of 1961 Legacy: The American Tradition of Performance was announced in mid 1999. The announcement of The Legacyseemed to strike a fire in the imagination of a substantial number of the Class who welcomed the idea of live performance as a gift to the future. And the creation of the endowment elicited contributions, even from several members of the Class who had not been active in Dartmouth’s fund raising efforts prior to The Legacy.
Through two campaigns the Legacy gathered a substantial and passionate support from this extraordinary class, finishing 2007 with a market value totaling over $725,000.
This year the Class of 1961 begins its current campaign challenge of reaching one million dollars for our 50 th reunion, one year earlier than the Hop’s own 50 th Anniversary in 2012.
This is a rare class, one that is uniquely placed to see both the Dartmouth of the past and that of the future with some clarity. We missed the opening of the Hop by a year. We were, and are, intimately acquainted with the undergraduate experience of those pre-Hopkins Center years and we understood from the beginning the importance of the HopkinsCenter and the potential impact a major performing arts program would have upon the life of the College.
With ongoing contribution from the Class of ’61, the HopkinsCenter has built a program of adventure and bold experiment, a program that over time has dramatically changed the lives of students and contributed mightily to the American experience of performance….a change that has enriched the Dartmouth experience beyond measure.
We have been in a very real sense, and without pretense, much like those early builders of the great medieval cathedrals—the anonymous artisans, craftsmen, stone masons, glass makers, sculptors—collaborating on a vision of beauty, of wonder, dedicating their work and their craft to a future whose grace and truth could only be glimpsed and claimed by faith.
So we, in fellowship, have contributed our own labor, the fruits of our labor, and our dedication, to build our own legacy to the future, a future we cannot clearly see, cannot fully know, but surely one that is buttressed and vaulted with the power and majesty of great art.
The Class of 1961 Legacy is, in its own way, an act of faith, of commitment to an ideal that is central to the very life and soul of the College and its future. Major works by major artists--the best and bravest of the performing arts. The best of Dartmouth.
The Legacy is that pursuit of “man’s best,” that our great President, John Sloan Dickey, asked of us so many years ago on lawn of Baker that warm June morning in 1961:
"At this moment… our hope for you and for us is that, having glimpsed
John Sloan Dickey
Commencement 1961, Valedictory to the Graduating Class
With gratitude and respect,
Cleve Carney, Chair
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