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Put Your Mouth Where Your $$ is...

Greetings, Mighty Dartmouth Class of ’96!

It is that time of year again where we seek your input into how you would like the funds designated for class projects to be allocated. You know that little box you tick when you pay your class dues – you know, the one that says add 10$ for a class project? Well, those 10$ bills add up and we are fortunate to be able to support one or multiple projects at the College. In past years, we have supported outdoor programs, student research and travel, student service programs and the arts. We even planted our own tree next to Baker! Since we left Hanover, our class has made a big impact on the lives of younger Dartmouth sisters and brothers. How will we make an impact in 2018 and in the years leading up to our 25th reunion?

In 2017, one of our class projects supported the work of Ashley Manning-Lockett ’17. Through our donation to the Dickey Center for International Understanding Winter Mini-Grant program, Ashley, along with 4 other Dartmouth team members, traveled to Delta State of Nigeria and implemented a capacity building project, providing design-thinking training to young entrepreneurs and leaders. The project also received support from the Class of ’81 and the U.S. Consulate in Lagos.

Ashley wrote the following…

Dear Class of ‘96,

My name is Ashley Manning ’17, and I want to write to thank you for your

generosity in making possible the incredible experience I lived a few months ago. Throughout my time at Dartmouth I’ve had a fair share of opportunities to travel overseas, but no experience has been as memorable or inspiring as traveling to Nigeria with the Dickey center last December.

Along with a team of several other Dartmouth staff, I spent a week in the Delta State of Nigeria co-facilitating a Design Thinking workshop with Robert Halvorsen D’17 T’17. We were there to help with a new entrepreneurial training program started by a former YALI fellow, Cynthia Mene, called Inspire Africa. The program had fourteen participants, all of whom are successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Tanzania, who are interested in furthering their skills and mentoring other entrepreneurs across the region.

Our five days leading this workshop were exciting, exhilarating, and exhausting. Robert and I wanted to give an all-encompassing view of human-centered-design, so we divided each day according to the different steps of the design thinking methodology: empathize (with your users), define (your problem), ideate (solutions), prototype (your ideas), and test (solutions on your users). We looked at everything from ethnographic methods to mock-shift prototypes and brainstorming. Working as a team was critical as Robert’s skills and my own really complemented each other: him as an engineer, and I as a human geographer. Alongside our mini-lectures and case studies, we also created a design challenge in which we split all of our participants into teams and had them test out the process directly in the field. The scarcity of resources and limited electricity we faced were overcompensated by our participants’ diligence and passion.

When I first discovered design thinking, I fell in love with the methodology because of the world outlook of positivity and a can-do attitude that it imbues on people. Seeing this happen first hand by co-facilitating this workshop was one of the most awesome and humbling experiences of my life – an experience I owe to your generosity and own relentless belief in the value of international understanding for the bettering of our future.

Thank you.

Clearly, our contribution made an impact not only on Ashley, but on the young people who are and will continue to be innovative and creative leaders for Nigeria. For more info about the Dartmouth team’s work in Nigeria click on the images below:

In addition to the survey, you can find the current list of College-identified projects at: If you see something that sparks your imagination, let us know. And if you have an outside the box idea that you’d like us to investigate, don’t hesitate to e-mail me at

Onward and Upward!

Holly Parker '96

Onward and Upward!


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