The Green (Dartmouth College)
The Green is a grass-covered field and common space at the center of Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. The institution comprises a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences...

, an Ivy League
Ivy League
The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group...

 university located in Hanover, New Hampshire
Hanover, New Hampshire
Hanover is a town along the Connecticut River in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 11,260 at the 2010 census. CNN and Money magazine rated Hanover the sixth best place to live in America in 2011, and the second best in 2007....

, United States. It was among the first parcels of land obtained by the College upon its founding in 1769, and is the only creation of the 18th century remaining at the center of the campus. After being cleared of pine trees, it initially served as a pasture and later as an athletic field for College sporting events. Today, it is a central location for rallies, celebrations, and demonstrations, and serves as a general, all-purpose recreation area. The College describes the Green as "historic" and as the "emotional center" of the institution.


The Green is a five-acre
The acre is a unit of area in a number of different systems, including the imperial and U.S. customary systems. The most commonly used acres today are the international acre and, in the United States, the survey acre. The most common use of the acre is to measure tracts of land.The acre is related...

The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...

) plot located in the center of downtown Hanover, New Hampshire
Hanover, New Hampshire
Hanover is a town along the Connecticut River in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 11,260 at the 2010 census. CNN and Money magazine rated Hanover the sixth best place to live in America in 2011, and the second best in 2007....

. It is crossed by seven gravel walking paths, the locations of which varied until about 1931, when the configuration was last altered. Three of them bisect the Green, running southwest to northeast, northwest to southeast, and east to west. The northernmost of its two east-west paths was added after Massachusetts Hall was constructed in 1907, and links the central entrance to that dormitory west of the Green to the northern entrance to Dartmouth Hall, east of it. Two paths run from the northwest and southwest corners respectively to the middle of the Green's eastern edge. A final path runs north-south along the eastern side. The Green also has paved sidewalks along its southern and western edges.

The Green is not perfectly rectangular, as its southern border along Wheelock Street runs slightly to the northeast rather than due east-west. This irregularity is due to the Town of Hanover's 1873 seizure of part of the southeast corner of the Green, which it used to straighten Wheelock Street. The Green had previously extended 30 feet (nine meters) farther south on that corner.

The outside edges of the Green are bordered by benches and trees; two flagpoles stand at the center of the western side. The plot is bounded by four streets: Wheelock Street to the south, College Street to the east, Wentworth Street to the north, and Main Street to the west. All but Wheelock Street are one-way roads, with traffic circulating counter-clockwise around the Green.

Many of Dartmouth's important campus buildings are located around the Green. To the north lies Baker Memorial Library
Baker Memorial Library
Fisher Ames Baker Memorial Library is the main library at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. The fresco, The Epic of American Civilization, was painted by José Clemente Orozco in the lower level of Baker Library...

, Dartmouth's principal library, Webster Hall, containing Rauner Special Collections Library, and Sanborn Hall, home to the English department. On the west side sits the administration building, Parkhurst Hall, the admissions building, McNutt Hall, and two student buildings, Robinson Hall and the Collis Center. To the south sits the Hanover Inn, a College-owned hotel, and the Hopkins Center for the Arts
Hopkins Center for the Arts
Hopkins Center for the Creative and Performing Arts at Dartmouth College is located at 2 East Wheelock Street in Hanover, New Hampshire. The center, which was designed by Wallace K. Harrison and foreshadows his later design of Manhattan’s Lincoln Center, is the college’s cultural hub. It is home...

. To the east lies the historic Dartmouth Row buildings, composed Wentworth Hall, Dartmouth Hall, Thornton Hall, and Reed Hall, as well as Rollins Chapel.


The land on which the Green sits was originally a pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

 forest, with some trees reaching the height of 270 feet (82 m), high enough to block out the sun. The process of clearing the pines was begun in 1770 by the newly founded Dartmouth College. The village plan of Hanover was laid out the following year and included as its central feature an open square of 7.5 acre (3 ha) (three hectares). Even though the land had been cleared, many tree stumps remained until 1831; for a long period, it was a Dartmouth tradition for the graduating class to remove one stump.

The Green was not maintained at first; after being cleared, it was unkempt and ragged, sloping sharply towards a swamp
A swamp is a wetland with some flooding of large areas of land by shallow bodies of water. A swamp generally has a large number of hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodical inundation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp...

 in the southwest corner. As early as 1807, the College was debating as to the future of the plot, considering using it for a variety of purposes. In 1828, the Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College
The Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College is the governing body of Dartmouth College, an Ivy League university located in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. , the Board includes twenty-three people...

 finally voted to plow, seed, level, and fence the area. Lack of funding would delay this plan from being carried out immediately; the Green was leveled in 1831 and finally fenced in 1836. The main road from Hanover to the northward Lyme, New Hampshire
Lyme, New Hampshire
Lyme is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 1,716 at the 2010 census. Lyme is home to the Chaffee Natural Area. The Dartmouth Skiway is in the eastern part of town, near the village of Lyme Center...

 had previously led diagonally across the Green, and due to the new fences, had to be diverted around it.
One of the Green's earliest uses was as a pasture
Pasture is land used for grazing. Pasture lands in the narrow sense are enclosed tracts of farmland, grazed by domesticated livestock, such as horses, cattle, sheep or swine. The vegetation of tended pasture, forage, consists mainly of grasses, with an interspersion of legumes and other forbs...

 for cattle belonging to the residents of the town. Dartmouth students resented this use, and in the early 19th century herded all the cattle into the basement of Dartmouth Hall as a protest. The fence constructed during the 1836 renovations was in part a response to this action, and was meant to keep animals out.
In 1824, a Hanover ordinance permitted "the playing at ball or any game in which ball is used on the public common in front of Dartmouth College," confirming the Green's ongoing use as an athletic field. Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 was among the games regularly played on the Green in the 18th century, and old division football
Old division football
Old division football was a soccer-like game played from the 1820s to around 1890 by students at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. The game was first played before the rules for soccer and rugby were standardized in England, and it continued to rely on its own local rules for some time...

 was played by the 1820s. Dartmouth's first intercollegiate matches in baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 (1866), track and field
Track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

 (1875), football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 (1881), and tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

 (1884) took place there. The College built its first gymnasium (Bissell Gymnasium) on the southeast corner of the Green in 1866-67.

In April 1873, the Town of Hanover seized part of the southeast corner of the green to align East and West Wheelock Streets; the town moved the fence thirty feet to the north of its original position. Dartmouth students protested by tearing down and burning the rebuilt fence; the town responded by threatening to reopen Main Street on its previous route from the Green's southwest corner across to the northeast. In an effort to quickly replace the fence and prevent the road from being reopened, College President Asa Dodge Smith
Asa Dodge Smith
The Rev. Asa Dodge Smith D.D., L.L.D. served as the 7th president of Dartmouth College from 1863 until his death in 1877.- Dartmouth Presidency :...

 convinced students to pay for the new fence. In 1893, when the fence's original purpose of keeping out livestock was no longer needed, the College decided to tear it down, to much student and alumni outcry. The class of 1893 restored and sponsored part of the fence as a "senior fence," and today the Senior Fence runs along the parts of the southern and western borders closest to the southwest corner. Only senior students were allowed to sit on it, and underclassmen in violation of this policy were soaked in a nearby watering trough.
In 1906, the Board of Trustees voted to officially name the space "the College Green," although at the time the space also went by names such as "the College Square," "the Common," and "the Campus." Aside from minor changes in furnishing, vegetation, and crosspaths, the Green has remained largely unchanged since being cleared.


The 2007–2008 edition of Dartmouth's Student Handbook states that the Green is reserved "for informal use, including rallies and other assemblies, by students, faculty, staff, and guests of the College... and for a limited number of traditional events." Since other facilities have superseded its use as such, the Green is no longer used for official athletic competitions. Nevertheless, informal sports and games frequently occur on the Green. Like all of the Dartmouth campus, the entirety of the Green is Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi or Wifi, is a mechanism for wirelessly connecting electronic devices. A device enabled with Wi-Fi, such as a personal computer, video game console, smartphone, or digital audio player, can connect to the Internet via a wireless network access point. An access point has a range of about 20...


Rallies and protests

Given the Green's role as "the physical and emotional center of campus life," it is often the setting for protests, rallies, and demonstrations. Dartmo, an online directory of Dartmouth College's buildings, describes the Green as being "used any time when collective joy or frustration is to be expressed." Dartmouth's Student Handbook explicitly permits the Green to be used for demonstrations and rallies.
One of the earliest student demonstrations took place in 1814, when students gathered on the Green to celebrate Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

's defeat in Europe. At the height of the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 in the late 1960s, the Green regularly saw antiwar demonstrations
Opposition to the Vietnam War
The movement against US involvment in the in Vietnam War began in the United States with demonstrations in 1964 and grew in strength in later years. The US became polarized between those who advocated continued involvement in Vietnam, and those who wanted peace. Peace movements consisted largely of...

, some attracting up to a thousand protesters. A 1969 protest over the presence of the campus Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program culminated in the occupation of Parkhurst Hall, the College's administration building. In 1986, students constructed shanties
Shanty town
A shanty town is a slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic...

 on the Green to encourage the College to divest from South African companies supporting Apartheid; staffers of the conservative newspaper The Dartmouth Review
The Dartmouth Review
The Dartmouth Review is a conservative, independent, bi-weekly newspaper at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire . It was founded in 1980 by disenchanted staffers—including Gregory Fossedal, Gordon Haff, Ben Hart, and Keeney Jones—from the college's daily newspaper, The Dartmouth. It...

took sledgehammers to the structures. More recently, the Green was the location of a controversial 2006 May Day
May Day
May Day on May 1 is an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday; it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures....

 rally in favor of immigrant rights.
On September 26, 2007, Dartmouth hosted a Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate. The Green was the site of student rallies in favor of various candidates, and also saw the live broadcast of Hardball with Chris Matthews
Hardball with Chris Matthews
Hardball with Chris Matthews is a talk show on MSNBC, broadcast weekdays at 5 and 7 PM hosted by Chris Matthews. It originally aired on now-defunct America's Talking and later CNBC. The current title was derived from a book Matthews wrote in 1988, Hardball: How Politics Is Played Told by One Who...


Traditions and celebrations

Dartmouth is well-known for its variety of long-standing student traditions, many of which are centered around the Green. At Homecoming each fall, a bonfire
A bonfire is a controlled outdoor fire used for informal disposal of burnable waste material or as part of a celebration. Celebratory bonfires are typically designed to burn quickly and may be very large...

 is constructed on the Green by the freshman class; students and community members gather to watch the freshmen run around it as it burns. The wintertime celebration of Winter Carnival sees the construction of a snow sculpture
Snow sculpture
Snow sculpture is a sculpture form comparable to sand sculpture or ice sculpture in that most of it is now practiced outdoors, and often in full view of spectators, thus giving it kinship to performance art in the eyes of some. The materials and the tools differ widely, but often include hand...

 on the Green. In the springtime, Green Key Weekend is marked by concerts and performances on the Green, which until 1984 was also the site of fiercely competitive Green Key chariot races
Chariot racing
Chariot racing was one of the most popular ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine sports. Chariot racing was often dangerous to both driver and horse as they frequently suffered serious injury and even death, but generated strong spectator enthusiasm...


Other traditions involving the Green include the placement of a Christmas tree
Christmas tree
The Christmas tree is a decorated evergreen coniferous tree, real or artificial, and a tradition associated with the celebration of Christmas. The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas started in Livonia and Germany in the 16th century...

 at the center each December and an annual Native American Pow-Wow
A pow-wow is a gathering of North America's Native people. The word derives from the Narragansett word powwaw, meaning "spiritual leader". A modern pow-wow is a specific type of event where both Native American and non-Native American people meet to dance, sing, socialize, and honor American...

. Students gather on the Green on the night of the winter's first snowfall for a school-wide snowball fight
Snowball fight
A snowball fight is a physical game in which balls of snow are thrown with the intention of hitting somebody else. The game is similar to dodgeball in its major factors, though typically less organized. This activity is primarily played during months when there is sufficient snowfall.Today, the...

. The College's commencement
Graduation is the action of receiving or conferring an academic degree or the ceremony that is sometimes associated, where students become Graduates. Before the graduation, candidates are referred to as Graduands. The date of graduation is often called degree day. The graduation itself is also...

ceremonies are traditionally held on the Green, regardless of weather conditions.

External links

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