On April 23rd, 1947, Thomas Louis Cook was born in Hanover, NH, to Bill Cook '49 and his wife Evelyn. Bill Cook was a decorated World War II airman who had received numerous commendations for his service to his country, including a Purple Heart for a gunshot wound inflicted during the US Marines' occupation of Peleliu Island in the fall of 1944. After the war, he and his wife came to Dartmouth, where he distinguished himself as a lacrosse player and she ran a small crafts store in downtown Hanover.
Although the enthusiasm of the College seems genuine enough, its interactions with Ronwi and his parents reveal the struggle of the Dartmouth community to differentiate between its traditional appropriation of Native American culture and its treatment of actual Native Americans. A sense of unease pervades, mostly in small details like the College Photographer's subject heading ("Indians") for his files or the use of the title "Grand Sachem" in Ronwi's birth declaration. Sadly, we will never know how Bill Cook felt about the attention lavished upon his son by Dartmouth or about his time on campus: he died in a military flying accident in 1952 after being called back into service as a flight instructor.
To learn more about Bill Cook '49, and to read an essay he wrote for GOVT 54 about the threat of governmental paternalization of the Mohawk tribe, come to Rauner and ask for his alumni file.