“As a historian, I cannot resist noting Dartmouth's own strong history of innovation from our very founding in the wilderness of New England. Eleazor Wheelock was surely an entrepreneur, and like most start-ups his enterprise was long on ambition and short on capital. But other dreamers joined him and created here a College. Their success surrounds us. I think of the establishment here of schools of engineering and business – both the first of their kinds – and I think of the development of BASIC, of time sharing, of being one of the first wireless campuses a few years ago.
The need for people with entrepreneurial skills – creative, strategic, bold thinkers – is as evident today as it has ever been – in large companies and small, in governmental and non-profit organizations. Many of you here will consider entrepreneurship as a business skill, which surely it is.
I think of it principally as an intellectual quality and one that is not widely shared: the capacity to see opportunity, to imagine what might be. And this strength needs to be nourished for in this republic it is essential to the vitality, the energy, of public life as well as private life, of for-profit activities and not-for-profit activities. When I think of those qualities that mark Dartmouth students, I think of creativity and independence, the capacity to follow different paths, to take risks, to lead – and a capacity to see that which might be. Dreamers and idealists, perhaps, but dreamers and idealists with the will and the skill to realize dreams and to make ideals tangible. That is entrepreneurship. And it is critical for Dartmouth to encourage this quality - not as a business skill but as an activity related to our, educational purpose.”
President James E. Wright
16th President of Dartmouth College
in opening remarks to the Greener Ventures 2004