The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Political Campaign in Your Future? Dartmouth a Top College Pick for Gaining Experience

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The recent blog post “10 Best Colleges for Aspiring Presidents” rightly names Dartmouth College and its Nelson A. Rockefeller Center as a great place for undergraduates to gain political experience.  The Center was founded to honor alumnus Nelson A. Rockefeller, who certainly set a good example for politically minded Dartmouth students: after graduating from the College in 1930, he went on to serve as the Governor of New York from 1959 to 1973 and then was selected by President Gerald Ford to serve as Vice President of the United States from 1974 to 1977. 

Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller (center) clapping during the GOP convention in Chicago, July 1960.  Photo credit:  Ed Clark, LIFE

In this spirit, the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth has been working since 1983 to provide both education and experience to students who seek to study and maybe even try their hand at politics.  “Rocky,” as the Center is affectionately known on campus, coordinates a public policy minor, provides funding for students who work unpaid public policy internships, sponsors extra-curricular student groups such as the weekly “PoliTALK” dinner and discussion, and organizes a week-long intensive training in Washington, DC every summer to prepare first-year students for the professional world—to name a few things. 

Furthermore, Rocky helps to put New Hampshire and Dartmouth in the national spotlight every four years, as New Hampshire’s early presidential primary brings many hopeful candidates through campus frequently.  The Rockefeller Center, in keeping with the tradition of its namesake Nelson A. Rockefeller, is therefore in large part responsible for making Dartmouth, according to this blog post, “an excellent Ivy League college in which to plant your political roots.”

- Jessi Merry ‘12

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences