Forum, July 30: A Dedicated Dartmouth Coach; Who’s Unfit to Be President?

Published: 7/29/2016 10:00:01 PM
Modified: 7/29/2016 10:00:10 PM

A Dedicated Dartmouth Coach

We would like to share our perspective on Amy Patton’s recent resignation as women’s lacrosse coach at Dartmouth College. More important than our disappointment with the tone of the college press release and questions about the way the inquiry was handled, is our concern for the reputation of a longtime coach and mentor.

Amy Patton served Dartmouth College for 26 years. Her accomplishments are noteworthy, as are those of her former players. These accolades don’t begin to illustrate the role she has played in shaping confident leaders. In the wake of her resignation, the support for Amy has been overwhelming.

The focus of our support has been on Amy’s devotion to the program. Coaching Division 1 athletes today is not easy. Coaching at academically rigorous institutions, where “student” truly comes before “athlete,” makes it even harder to build success. Despite these headwinds, Amy built a culture of excellence. She expected a lot from her players and gave them her utmost dedication in return. Teammates were expected to help each other on and off the field. This fostered leadership. Many of her teams experienced a tremendous amount of success.

In the words of Lauren Holleran, class of ’95: “Amy Patton led the Dartmouth women’s lacrosse program by example, with hard work, integrity and passion for the game. To be sure, playing for Amy wasn’t easy — at times she demanded more than I thought I had to give — but then I would discover that I could meet the demand, and was better for the challenge. I have no doubt that playing for Amy made me a better person and a harder worker — both elements that continue to serve her players far beyond the lacrosse field.”

Amy is a brilliant teacher of the game. These are some powerful statistics about Amy’s players and teams:

Won 9 Ivy championships.

Participated in 13 NCAA tournaments, including four Final Four appearances and one national championship appearance.

47 IWLCA All-Americans and numerous U.S. Team players.

128 All-Ivy Players: 62 First Team, 39 Second Team and 28 Honorable Mention.

Amy took the program built by Aggie Kurtz and Josie Harper and made it world class — without scholarships and big budgets. Even more important than individual and team accomplishments, Amy created a community of strong women who value “Green Pride.” We have seen it in action since Amy’s departure, as we have united in our respect for Amy and her legacy. You see it in Dartmouth lacrosse reunions each year in the connections between alumnae and current players. Amy created that feeling of shared pride. We, and hundreds of program alumnae, want the world to know that Amy Patton deserves respect and recognition for the legacy she created.

While we look forward to welcoming a new coach and giving that coach all the support we gave Amy, so many of us alumnae are deeply saddened for Dartmouth women’s lacrosse at the loss of such a dedicated coach, teacher and mentor.

Kristen Zimmer

Berkeley, Calif.

Also signing were 116 program alumnae.

Who’s Unfit to Be President?

I am continually amazed at the letters to the editor that address the email situation with then secretary of state and now presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Her actions seem to be of paramount importance to some local readers, who write with grave concern about how the ill-advised choice on her part to use a private email server to do government business makes her unfit to be president.

I hope they tuned in to the Republican Convention, wherein Trump and many speakers and delegates close to him have clearly shown us what we might expect with a Trump presidency:

Disunity: An occasion that traditionally has been a time of uniting around common, thoughtfully considered principles, was marked with dissension and outright revolution by delegates and Republican Party leaders.

Pants-on-fire language: Egregious name-calling was not only tolerated but encouraged, with the prime focus being Clinton. A speech by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, for example, who himself has not been a model of politically upright behavior, incited the crowd to lock up the Democratic candidate.

Death threats: It was recommended by Trump’s veterans adviser, our very own New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro, that “Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”

The most horrifying aspect of the convention, however, was that the nominee did not speak out against this violence. In fact, it was the soul of his convention. In the ultimate act of irony, in his acceptance speech Trump declared himself to be “the law and order candidate.” Really? Unfit to be president? Not Hillary.

Judy McCarthy


Signal Support for Black Lives

The mayor of Somerville, Mass., population roughly 78,000, recently declined a request by the city’s police union to remove a banner draped over the doors of city hall — a Black Lives Matter banner. Somerville’s mayor, Joseph Curtatone, declared that respect for Black Lives Matter and for the police is possible. Not only is support for both groups possible, it is imperative! I call on Hanover and all neighboring communities to make similar statements. Hang a banner; start talking about equality and the current spate of killings by police; write to your state representatives and demand immediate action to bring racial justice to this country. I believe that most police officers are good and hard-working. I believe the same about most protesters. We must connect with one another in a new way, and we must start doing this right now. Whatever “democracy” we have in the United States is residual, at best. The threat to that sliver of democracy right now is real and imminent.

Carolyn M. Bardos


Another Look at Aging

Last Friday evening, my friend and I attended the opening reception of an anonymous photography exhibit entitled “Take Another Look: Aging With Dignity,” at the AVA Gallery in Lebanon. Anonymous meaning none of the 30 images photographed by Jodi Austin and Robin Roche are identified by name.

Viewers are provided an informational packet explaining that these wonderful portraits are of friends, neighbors and community members from Lebanon and Enfield. Printed quotes and computers are placed strategically around the room inviting the curious to explore little bits of wisdom, humor and candid interpretations about growing old. The Johnson Sisters Library was vibrating with excitement, especially when people realized that many of the “portraits” came alive and joined the celebration. The crowd of more than 100-plus spilled out into the hall and into another studio where we were treated to a series of short, student-generated videos spotlighting the challenges and resilience of aging in the Upper Valley. Anonymity is a good thing when one is gently pushed to go beyond the unknown.

This exhibition is a collaboration of the United Valley Interfaith Project (Senior Stories Project); ReThink Health: Upper Connecticut River Valley and CATV 8/10. Kudos to student videographers Sophie Bodnar, assistant director; Peter Dailey, Hartford High School; Claire Swanson, Thetford Academy; and Jack Spinella, Hanover High School.

Stop by AVA Gallery through Aug. 19. For more information about the Senior Stories Project, visit

You’re in for a treat!

Billi Gifford

West Lebanon

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