Education: For Civilized Competence

When John Sloan Dickey, now 48, took over as twelfth president of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., he faced what could have been a trying situation. His predecessor, Ernest Martin Hopkins, had been the heart and soul of the college for 29 years, and it seemed almost inevitable that Dickey's first moves would suffer by comparison. As it turned out, they did not. By last week, a decade later, Dartmouth and Dickey had every reason to feel satisfied with each other.

Big (6 ft. 3 in.), genial John Dickey graduated from Dartmouth in 1929, went on to the Harvard Law School and...

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