Education: Out of the Woods

In a hilariously solemn metaphor. Dartmouth's college anthem boasts that the school breeds men with "the granite of New Hampshire in their muscles and their brains." Dartmouth people darkly suspect that the world pictures their school as an Ivy League training camp for ski bums and football players, dressed in the foul-weather fashions of six-month winters and rarely troubling their granitic heads with studies. Yet these days the Hanover hills are ringing with academic reforms and resounding to the whoops of culture.

Just opened is the Hopkins Center for creative and performing arts, a triple-threat (art, drama, music) complex designed by Lincoln...