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

Thirty-Five Years of Excellence

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“Fill these physical spaces with intellectual excellence. Build a true center of dynamic inquiry, controversy, and cross-fertilization. Realize within these walls the excitement and the stimulus of the life of Nelson A. Rockefeller. If you do all this, the building will be transposed into a true center, and the hopes and expectations of all of us will be realized.”

Thirty-five years ago, Rodman Rockefeller ’54 spoke these words at the dedication of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center on September 24, 1983. He and members of the Class of 1930 were instrumental in the creation of the Center, inspired by the life of Nelson A. Rockefeller ’30, former governor of New York State and vice president of the United States.

Nelson Rockefeller combined optimism and tremendous energy for public service and informed public debate. He cared deeply about the issues that resonate with every generation. He believed in people and was convinced that when informed people of goodwill came together, any challenge, even the most complex problems, could be solved.

Today, the Center’s programming develops undergraduates’ potential for civic leadership, experiential learning in the policy realm, and understanding of policy issues. In recent years, over twenty-five percent of graduates have participated in a Center-sponsored program and graduate equipped with both expertise and vision for policy that serves the greater good.

“The Rockefeller Center has been a constant source of inspiration and has proven to be much more than a building where I pursue my academic interests,” says Estephanie Aquino ’18, who graduated in the spring with a double major in Environmental Studies and Government with a minor in Public policy. “It has been a community that has connected me to today’s and tomorrow’s leaders and further developed my own abilities and confidence in those abilities.”

As President Phil Hanlon ’77 expressed at the launch of “The Call to Lead” campaign currently underway, “there is unprecedented demand for problem-solvers who can step up and serve humankind—broadly educated men and women who can create meaningful change.”

The Rockefeller Center meets that demand by enabling Dartmouth students to work on issues that matter to society, to engage more with others, to purposely apply knowledge to complex challenges for far reaching impact.

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