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Dartmouth president to leave next year

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Associated Press / February 5, 2008

HANOVER, N.H. - The president of Dartmouth College, James Wright, has announced he will step down next year to spend more time working to help wounded veterans go to college and to reimmerse himself in his academic field, American political history.

Wright, 68, has told the board of trustees he intends to leave in June 2009, after 11 years as president and 40 years at the Ivy League school.

He said that completing his presidency in June 2009 will allow him time to ensure a successful conclusion of several key programs, including a major fund-raising campaign that has already raised $1 billion.

Wright led Dartmouth's efforts to enhance academic life, expand the size the faculty, increase student diversity, build and renovate campus facilities, and revamp financial aid.

Wright conceived and helped raise funds for a program of the American Council on Education to provide college counseling to veterans in military hospitals.

He also has worked to extend the GI bill and will continue that work with Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia, and other members of Congress.

In 2005, Wright, a former Marine, began a series of visits to US military medical facilities in Washington, D.C., and Maryland to meet with Marines and other military personnel who had been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. He encouraged them to continue their education.

He has been honored for this work by the New England Council, which named him 2007 New Englander of the Year, and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, which has selected him to receive its 2008 Semper Fidelis Award, presented each year to an outstanding American for patriotic service.

Ed Haldeman, chairman of Dartmouth's board of trustees, said the board will discuss the search process for Dartmouth's next president at its March meeting.

Haldeman said that consultation with faculty, students, staff, and alumni would be a critical part of that process.

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