Asa Dodge Smith

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Asa Dodge Smith
President of Dartmouth College
Term 1863 – 1866
Predecessor Nathan Lord
Successor Samuel Colcord Bartlett
Born (1804-09-21)September 21, 1804
Amherst, New Hampshire
Died August 16, 1877(1877-08-16) (aged 75)
Hanover, New Hampshire

The Rev. Asa Dodge Smith D.D., L.L.D. (September 21, 1804 – August 16, 1877) served as the 7th president of Dartmouth College from 1863 until his death in 1877.

Dartmouth Presidency[edit]

After the forced resignation of Nathan Lord in 1863 over his support for slavery, the Trustees wanted a more conservative president to take his place. As a preacher for 29 years at the 14th Street Presbyterian Church in New York City, Asa Dodge had developed a reputation as a religious man with abolitionist beliefs.

Smith's presidency was a period of great growth for the College, including the establishment of two new schools within Dartmouth. The New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, later moved to Durham, New Hampshire and renamed the University of New Hampshire, was originally founded in Hanover in 1866. One year later, the Thayer School of Engineering was founded. Over the course of his presidency, enrollment at the College was more than doubled, the number of scholarships increased from 42 to 103, and Dartmouth benefited from several important bequests.


Asa Dodge's son William Thayer Smith (1839–1909) served as Dean of the Medical School from 1896 until his death in 1909 and was the first dean to give the name "Dartmouth Medical School" to the organization which had until then never had a consistent name. He was also the first person to perform a surgery in the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital. He was a Dartmouth Medical School class of 1879 and received an honorary LL.D. from Dartmouth in 1897.

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