Gary L. Love, '76, Dedicated Alumnus

Gary L. Love '76, dedicated alumnus, visionary, donor, and catalyst for thoughtful, impactful programs.

Each year AAAS announces the Gary Love Prize awarded to the student(s) with the most successfully completed research project as part of AAAS.  Our students work hard, are exceptional scholars and bring their own unique talents and perspectives to their research and writing.  AAAS is grateful to alumnus, Gary Love '76, who made it possible for us to recognize the extraordinary dedication and effort these students have exemplified with their impressive and innovative scholarship.  Gary Love established the prize in 1986.  Since that time the award has been successful in his goal of "expanding the horizons" of underrepresented students.

The student research recognized with this award spans a wide array of scholarship.  Research has encompassed issues and disciplines such as social justice, digital equity, public health, African history, the African diaspora, agricultural development, the intersection of religion, politics and race in the U.S. and Africa, carceral geography, family relationships, women and social change, #BlackLivesMatter and many timely topics in regard to history, culture, gender, societal dilemmas, and religion in the US and abroad. 

In the 35 years the prize has been awarded, 32 students have been recognized. Students who achieved goals for graduate school, law school, public health, careers in film, teaching, forest preservation, climate change, combatting food insecurity, finance, and a plethora of careers in public service and social activism.

Mr. Love continues to positively impact Dartmouth students in countless and often subtle ways.  He has been the catalyst for numerous, thoughtful, and effective programs supporting students, faculty, research, and scholarship; advancing numerous areas of the college and promoting greater diversity among our students and faculty.  His emails' closing phrase always reads, "Dartmouth undying."  Mr. Love is true to his word.

AAAS asked Mr. Love some questions about his time at Dartmouth, his continuing work, and his hopes for the future.

What are some of your memories of Dartmouth, both your struggles and your highlights?

I believe that Dartmouth is a lifelong journey. My challenge with the College has always been how to make Dartmouth a more welcoming environment for students of color. In fact, my life mission for Dartmouth has been to build an infrastructure that will support an ever-increasing diverse student body. I sincerely hope Dartmouth has finally taken the issue seriously with the addition of Dr. Shontay Delalue, SVP and Senior Diversity Officer.

I trust that the issues of diversity, equality and inclusion will finally be front and center for the College.

What do you feel you gained from your time at Dartmouth?

Without question Dartmouth changed my life. Today, I would be called a "first-generation student," who went to a public high school in Chicago. Dartmouth altered my paradigm of what skills I needed to develop to be successful. The College sharpened my verbal and analytical abilities. Having been successful in the classroom competing with the "best and brightest," I left Dartmouth with the confidence needed to aggressively pursue my life goals and ambitions.

Are there any faculty who stood out or were mentors to you?

Professor Colin Campbell from the Economics Department. I majored in economics, and he was my faculty advisor. In fact, he volunteered to be my major advisor after I took two classes with him. Professor Campbell was very supportive and wrote glowing recommendations for me when I applied to business school. I am forever grateful for his kind mentorship and high expectations of me.

What was your incentive to fund the Gary Love Prize?

Even though I did not major in AAAS, I have great respect for the professors who are members of the department. The professors are not only true scholars in the classroom, but mentors to many students who never took a class with them. I funded this award, because I wanted to recognize the quality of scholarship that students were producing in this discipline. And importantly, to acknowledge a department that many had tried to marginalize.

What are your hopes for prize recipients?

My desire for these remarkable students who are prize recipients is all about their continued success. I hope in some small way that this award helps to validate their outstanding achievements in the classroom. They are aspirational intellectuals who will be a force to be reckoned with and are destined for success going forward. I trust they will dream big and achieve more than they believed possible.

You have been a very active alumnus.  Would you like to share any other information about your time at Dartmouth or your service to Dartmouth over the years?

Even with the challenges Dartmouth has had with the issue of diversity, I view the College in a positive light. Dartmouth and I have, over the years, developed a remarkably successful partnership.

As a student I interned in the Admissions Office. I have maintained a close working relation with the Office since I graduated. I developed and initially funded Dartmouth Bound (originally called Gary's Kids).

I also lead the effort to establish and fund the E.E. Just Chair in Biology. That Chair was the catalyst that led to the creation of the E.E. Just Program.

In conjunction with those efforts and many more, the College has recognized my efforts.  I am the receipt of the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Granite Award, and the Dartmouth Alumni Award.

And finally, on a poignant note, I was one of the two funders of the Duane Gibbs & William Rice Memorial Book Fund. We are proud that the income from the endowment has been used as we directed, for the acquisition of books, journals, and reference materials by African American authors. Thanks to the library's faithful efforts, the fund has acquired over 750 titles.

I am currently a member of the President's Leadership Council and a member of my class's Executive Committee.

Thank you, Gary Love, for all the support and ways you have advanced Dartmouth College, our students and faculty. Your efforts will have everlasting impact!

Find out more about the Dartmouth Bound: Summer Program which introduces rising high school seniors from historically underrepresented backgrounds to a preview of college and assists them in preparation for applying.

Find out more about the E.E. Just Program which helps both undergraduates and graduate students from systemically underrepresented groups to chart pathways in STEM.