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

Student Lunch with Jake Tapper '91

Jake Tapper

Jake Tapper ’91, CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent, was on campus with his program "The Lead with Jake Tapper." Photo by Robert Gill.

Jake Tapper

Jake Tapper '91 and students during an informal lunch Q&A. Photo by Robert Gill.

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Dartmouth students gathered at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center on Friday, February 5, 2016 for lunch with Jake Tapper ’91. Today, Jake Tapper is an anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent at CNN, hosts The Lead, and moderated the CNN Republican Debate on Dec 16, 2015. As a student, he was a cartoonist for The Dartmouth and graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

When asked to reflect upon his time at Dartmouth compared to now, he acknowledged the conservative nature of Dartmouth while he attended, and is glad to see the direction of inclusivity the College has taken. Mr. Tapper commented on the attention he received from his undergraduate professors, and loves that the strong emphasis on students has remained constant. At Dartmouth, he made lifelong friends and was able to pursue many of his interests because of the small class size.

He had friendly advice for Dartmouth students, saying “don’t sweat it if you don’t know what you want to do right now.” Mr. Tapper’s own journey to journalism was one fraught with divergence, but he reminded students to keep searching until they find an occupation they love.

As a news anchor, he takes his responsibility as a watchdog and advocate for the people very seriously. Mr. Tapper aims to keep his show bipartisan and advocates for universal principles such as truth and government responsibility. He maintains that even though there is an industry pressure to be first to a story, his primary responsibility is making sure all that he reports is factually correct even if it slows down the reporting process.

His parting words of wisdom to all '16s was to enjoy the next 4 months, because after graduation, they would be “leaving the womb” and entering the world. “Surround yourself with friends and find your place.”

Submitted by Azhar Hussain ’19

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