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Dartmouth College. Office of the President. David T. McLaughlin ( 1981-1987)



  • Usage: 1981 - 1987


David T. McLaughlin was born on March 16, 1932, in Grand Rapids, Mich., and graduated from East Grand Rapids High School. He received the B.A. degree from Dartmouth in 1954 and the MBA in 1955 from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business. As an undergraduate, Mr. McLaughlin was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Green Key service society, and Casque & Gauntlet, a senior honor society. He was president of his class as a junior, president of the Undergraduate Council, and an Air Force ROTC cadet. A member of the Dartmouth football teams of 1951, '52 and '53, he set several records that stood for more than 20 years. His senior year, he was awarded the Barrett Cup, awarded annually to that man in the senior class who shows the greatest promise of becoming a factor in the outside world through strength of character and qualities of leadership, record of scholarship and broad achievement. After graduating from the Tuck School of Business in 1955, he served in the U. S. Air Force as a jet pilot for two years. Following his military service, Mr. McLaughlin joined Champion Paper, Inc., where he worked for 13 years. He then joined the Toro Company as president and chief operating officer in 1970, and two years later assumed the additional responsibility of chief executive officer. In 1977, he was elected chairman of the board of Toro, also retaining the role of CEO. Mr. McLaughlin was elected to the Dartmouth Board of Trustees in 1971 and became its chairman in 1977, continuing in that role until 1981.

On Feb. 23, 1981, he was selected as 14th President of Dartmouth, and was inaugurated June 28 of that year. During his tenure, the College's physical plant was enlarged by the construction of the Hood Museum of Art, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for the Social Sciences, the Friends of Dartmouth Rowing Boathouse and the Berry Sports Center. His academic initiatives included the establishment of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding and the Institute for the Study of Applied and Professional Ethics. President McLaughlin also supported the plan to relocate the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center which, in the years following his administration, would allow for continued expansion of the campus to the north. Despite the difficult financial climate at the time, during the McLaughlin years Dartmouth stood behind its policy of need-blind admissions, increased faculty salaries by over 40% and saw the endowment reach a new high of $521 million. His administration was also marked by student protests surrounding the College's investment in companies doing business with South Africa, and by issues surrounding the governance of the College. David McLaughlin retired from the Dartmouth presidency in 1987.

Mr. McLaughlin then divided his time between the nonprofit and corporate sectors. He was chairman of The Aspen Institute from 1987-88, then president and chief executive officer until 1997. In 1988 he became chairman and CEO of Orion Safety Products, serving in that capacity until 2001, when he relinquished the role of CEO but continued to serve as chairman until his death. He joined the board of trustees of the Center for Excellence in Education in 1997, chairing that body from 1999-2000. He became a member of the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross in 1998 and served in that capacity until 2001, when President George W. Bush appointed him chairman of the American Red Cross. He joined the board of trustees of Colby-Sawyer College in 2000 and the board of directors of After School All Stars in 2004. He also served as a member of the American Bar Association's Ethics 2000 Commission from 1997-2003, and as chairman of the New Hampshire Governor's Education Funding Commission from 2000-2001. From 1990-94 he also served on the board of trustees of the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the Dunwoody Institute, George Williams College, the Better Business Bureau of Greater Minneapolis, Inc., the Freshwater Biological Institute Foundation, Kimball Union Academy, the Federal City Council and the Business-Higher Education Forum. During the same period he chaired the Tuck School Board of Overseers, was an incorporator of the New Hampshire Charitable Fund, and served in volunteer capacities with Washington College, Stanford Research Council, the Washington Strategy Seminar, the National Chamber of Commerce and the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts. At various times between 1976 and 2002 Mr. McLaughlin served on the boards of ARCO, ARCO Chemical Company, Horizon Banks, Inc. Holding Company, Chase Manhattan Bank, Chase Manhattan Corp., Dayton Hudson Corporation, First National Bank of Minneapolis, Economics Laboratory Inc., Hamilton Allied Corporation, Meredith Corporation, PartnerRe, Atlas Air, Inc. and Infinity Broadcasting.

David McLaughlin died on August 25, 2004.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Dartmouth College. Office of the President (1981-1987 : David T. McLaughlin) records May Be Restricted

Identifier: DP-14
Date(s): 1978 to 1987
Abstract A member of the Class of 1954 at Dartmouth, and a 1955 graduate of the Tuck School of Business, David T. McLaughlin served as Dartmouth's 14th president from 1981 to 1987. The records of the McLaughlin presidency include correspondence, memoranda, reports, meeting minutes, drafts and recordings of speeches, budgets and other materials documenting the operations and activities of the College's chief administrative office. The records also contain some documents which pre-date the McLaughlin...
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