Friday, September 18, 2009

Inauguration Day

In honor of Dr. Jim Kim's inauguration as the 17th president of Dartmouth College, we present three treasures from the College Archives central to the ceremonial life of the College.

THE DARTMOUTH CUP

The Dartmouth Cup was made in 1848 by Robert Garrard, proprietor of a London firm with a long history of creating fine silver for British monarchs. It was originally acquired by the fourth Earl of Dartmouth, becoming part of the family silver, until presented to Dartmouth College by the ninth Earl in 1969, at the College's bicentennial celebration.

Since 1983, the Dartmouth Cup has been carried by the College Usher, immediately following the head marshal who leads the academic procession. In this way, the College honors the connection between Dartmouth and the earldom, dating back to the 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, whose benefaction was acknowledged by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock through the naming of his new college.

THE WENTWORTH BOWL

In August of 1771, Dartmouth College held its first Commencement exercises, graduating four students. New Hampshire's Royal Governor, John Wentworth, and his entourage of sixty, traveled to Hanover from Portsmouth to attend, much of the journey on rough roads and trails through wilderness.. To mark the significance of the occasion, Governor Wentworth presented a silver monteith to the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock and "to his Successors in that Office."

One of only three known Colonial American monteiths in silver, the Wentworth Bowl, created by Daniel Henchmen and engraved by Nathaniel Hurd, is the historic symbol of the Dartmouth presidency, and will be passed from President James Wright to President Jim Yong Kim at the inauguration ceremonies.

THE FLUDE MEDAL

During a trip to Europe in 1785 to solicit funds and acquire apparatus for the College, President John Wheelock received this gold and silver medallion from London broker and silversmith, John Flude. It carries the motto "Unanimity is the Strength of Society" on a relief depicting the Aesop fable of the old man and his three sons attempting to break a bundle of sticks, which could not be broken if held together, but could be broken alone.

When in academic attire, the President of the College wears the Flude Medal as a symbol of office.

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