The Class of 1964 honors Nate Fick ’99

On Friday, November 6, 2015, during a reception at the Rockefeller Center, the Class of 1964 presented its second Outstanding Leadership Award to Nathaniel C. Fick ’99. The Class established the Outstanding Leadership Award at its 50th reunion in June of 2014 to honor those individuals who share the Class’s belief in the importance of developing young leaders to take on today’s challenges.

Fick has demonstrated outstanding leadership in all stages of his life. As a Dartmouth undergraduate, he graduated with High Honors in Classics and won a U.S. National championship in cycling. As a military officer, he served with distinction as a Marine Corps infantry and reconnaissance officer including combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also authored a New York Times bestseller, One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer. A graduate from both the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School, he is now an operating partner of Bessemer Venture Partners and has served as the CEO of two companies. He also serves as a director of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In 2007 he joined the Board of Visitors of the Rockefeller Center and was influential in outlining the case for leadership development on campus and helped the Center develop its initial programs for teaching leadership skills. He continued that advocacy when he joined the College’s Board of Trustees in 2012 in support of President Hanlon’s vision “to prepare our students to be leaders who will meet the world’s great challenges.”

The leadership exhibited by Fick resonates with members of the Class of 1964 who have long been champions of leadership training through experiential learning. The class shares in President Hanlon’s vision of creating citizen-leaders, who will not only engage in debate but actually shape public debate, and chose Fick for this award because of his demonstrated dedication to not only becoming the best leader he can be but also to teaching others what it takes to be an effective leader.

Fick has annually led one of the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program sessions, where each year he challenges the students to push themselves beyond their comfort zone, advocating strongly that leadership development is best accomplished while doing something “real.” He describes the Fellows as “eager to hear, eager to listen, eager to talk and to share, [and] eager to learn.” Like any good educator, he is energized by his work, and his enthusiasm for leadership is infectious. Students routinely rate Fick’s presentation as the best of the year.

The reception co-hosted by the Class of 1964, Dartmouth College Athletics, and the Rockefeller Center was part of a week-long series of events Dartmouth coordinated in honor of Veterans Day, and included a formal military retreat and drill ceremony conducted by Dartmouth ROTC, a remembrance breakfast at the Hanover Inn, the fourth annual Veterans Day banquet, and a ceremony to dedicate the monuments to Dartmouth service men and women at Memorial Field.

Director Andrew Samwick ’64a welcomed guest and read the award citation aloud. Bob Bartles ’64 presented the award to Fick along with an engraved bowl from Simon Pearce. Steven Spaulding concluded the formal remarks with a few words about the effective leadership the Class of 1964 has demonstrated in supporting the leadership development efforts by both the Rockefeller Center and Dartmouth Athletics. Amongst those in attendance at the reception were President Phil Hanlon ’77 and Gail Gentes, former President Jim Wright ’64a, members of the Class of 1964, members of the Class of 2016 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows, members of the Athletics Department, and the Faculty and Staff of the Rockefeller Center.