Challenge Gift to Raise $8 Million for Arts and Humanities Faculty

Endowment will support faculty at all levels and target young faculty.

Kathy and Rick Kimball ’78, longtime Dartmouth donors and volunteers, have made a $4 million challenge gift to advance the scholarship and teaching of faculty in arts and humanities and provide startup funds for junior faculty in that area who are just launching their careers.

The Kimballs made their gift in the form of a dollar-for-dollar challenge, which, when fully realized, will provide an $8 million endowment to support faculty in perpetuity.

At the April 30 campaign celebration on campus Monday, President Phil Hanlon ’77 announced the Kimballs’ gift for the Arts and Humanities Division faculty, noting that it will enrich Dartmouth’s liberal arts programs and help prepare undergraduates for lives of leadership. 

“Critical thinking, a powerful ability to communicate, empathy, emotional intelligence, cultural humility—these are the skills that will serve our graduates for a lifetime,” Hanlon said.

The Kimballs are among the co-chairs of The Call to Lead, the $3 billion campaign that Dartmouth announced on April 27, and Rick Kimball is a member of the board of trustees. The couple say they made their gift to ensure that Dartmouth continues to offer the finest undergraduate liberal arts experience.

“I was a history major at Dartmouth, and wouldn’t change that for anything,” Rick Kimball said. “The skill sets that I learned, the knowledge that I gained, I use every day in my job, even though it has little to do with history. That’s the power of the liberal arts.” 

Dartmouth’s faculty are teacher-scholars, equally committed to classroom excellence and pushing the boundaries of knowledge in their discipline. It’s a demanding, time-consuming, and ultimately hugely rewarding educational model—for faculty and students—that erases the boundaries between classroom and hands-on learning. 

Through The Call to Lead campaign, Dartmouth is broadening support for teacher-scholars throughout the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, creating more opportunities to support them throughout their careers at the College. With the support of alumni, parents, and friends, the College will provide faculty with additional financial resources for initiatives such as incorporating innovative teaching models in their courses; leveraging advanced technologies to further teaching and scholarship; and, particularly important for new faculty who are just beginning their careers, establishing labs and studios.

The Kimballs’ gift, expressly for arts and humanities, will help faculty excel as scholars and in the classroom. It will also strengthen Dartmouth’s ability to compete for top-flight young scholars in the competitive world of top-tier higher education.

Associate Dean for the Arts and Humanities Barbara Will said the Kimballs’ gift will benefit generations of faculty and students drawn to Dartmouth’s high-touch model of education.

“With this gift, faculty at all stages of their career will have more opportunities to pursue innovative research projects and to involve students in their scholarship. It will fuel the discovery of knowledge and the exploration of artistic expression, and it will enrich our ability to attract top faculty,” said Will. “As part of the larger campaign, this is a crucial piece of Dartmouth’s essential investment in a 21st-century liberal arts education.”

By structuring their gift as a matching challenge, the Kimballs are inviting others to join and support The Call to Lead campaign.

“There are thousands of alumni who feel just as passionately about the arts and humanities as Kathy and I do,” Rick Kimball said. “This in an opportunity for them to invest in the academic programs that will make such a difference in the educational experience of future generations of students.”