Facets, Going Deeper: Dick, retired but still volunteering

Meet Dick. He coached football at Hanover High School in the 1960's.  

Dick was born in Bronxville, New York and grew up in Chappaqua. His first job was mowing lawns. He met the girl who would later become his first wife in high school. Dick went to Dartmouth College to study English and to play football and baseball. He graduated in 1959 and promptly got married. The couple moved to White Plains, New York, where Dick taught English and coached football at the local high school. Somehow during that time Dick managed to study for and earn a Masters in teaching English from Columbia.

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In 1963, his phone rang. It was Paul Petrich, principal of Hanover High School. Did Dick want to come to Hanover to teach English and coach football? Heck yeah. It was great being back in the Upper Valley. Since they couldn't afford a house in Hanover on a salary of $4,800, they found a home with 32 acres in the foothills of Cardigan Mountain. A few years later, when Dick was walking down Main Street in front of the old Campion's store, he ran into the head of the Dartmouth College Admissions Office. Did Dick want to come work with him in Admissions? Heck yeah. This was a great opportunity. So he went to  Dartmouth and eventually became the Director of Admissions. In 1989 the position for Athletic Director at Dartmouth opened up. Ed Shanahan, Dean of the College, encouraged Dick to throw his hat in the ring. Dick got the job. He was the A.D. from 1989 until his retirement in 2002, overseeing the ever-growing facilities and the thousands of staff and students who worked or participated in Dartmouth's varsity, intramural and non-competitive sports and fitness programs.

During his time at Dartmouth, Dick worked under 5 different college presidents. The most exciting and rewarding thing he did at Dartmouth was to help implement Title IX. Title IX bans discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program receiving federal funds. This meant that Dartmouth had to, among other things, provide the same amount of resources - quantitvely and qualitatively - to women's sports as to men's sports. And that meant making huge changes. "It wasn't like we were doing some great pioneering thing," said Dick. "We were just doing what was right."  

Dick lives in the same house in the foothills of Cardigan Mountain. It's in Orange. Dick's first wife died in 1992. He was lucky enough to find a wonderful partner, Sally, and to marry again. Both of his children are grown with families of their own and teach English. (That fruit didn't fall far from the tree.) Dick volunteers for the Upper Valley Humane Society and the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council, where he delivers Meals on Wheels to senior citizens. In his view, he's been "lucky as hell" - lucky to to have lived where he lives, lucky to have worked where he worked and lucky to have known such great people. Dick is 81.

You’re reading Facets, a blog that features brief portraits of the people and the places that collectively comprise the Upper Valley. Each one of these people and places is a facet of the Upper Valley. If you'd like to read about more facets, subscribe here. While no one person is more interesting or worthy of learning about than another, Facets will sometimes delve deeper into a subject's story and then provide more color to that subject's portrait. That's the case today.

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