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Remembering 2016 in the Hanover Area

Dec 13, 2016 09:18AM ● By Victoria Pipas
We’ll remember 2016 as a year of strong emotions. Whether rooting for an athlete at the Rio Olympics or a candidate in the general election, Americans of all walks of life have known disappointments and joys this year.

Read on for Hanover’s most memorable moments, celebrating how Hanover has grown and changed throughout this year while always maintaining its brilliant, quirky, and classically small-town vibe.

February: Dartmouth College took action against hazing and misconduct on its campus by de-recognizing an ill-reputed fraternity. Sigma Alpha Epsilon had been investigated in a 2012 article of Rolling Stone, and reports of alcohol-related hazing led the college administration to suspend this fraternity. This follows Dartmouth’s actions in 2015, when the college chose to suspend Alpha Delta, whose members had been engaging in physical abuse such as branding of new members. Dartmouth’s actions followed a string of attempts to curb harmful drinking behaviors on campus; last year, hard alcohol was banned on campus, and first-year students were barred from joining fraternities or sororities until after their first trimester on campus.

March: Way back before America’s political die had been cast, New Hampshire exercised its power as the state to hold the first primary election in the US. Republicans selected Donald Trump as their candidate, while the Democratic vote went to Bernie Sanders, a senator from our neighboring state across the Connecticut River.

More in June: On the first of the month, Hanover’s Morano Gelato and its franchise store in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, both celebrated the anniversaries of their openings. The Hanover store celebrated six successful years of business serving residents of Hanover and the greater Upper Valley delicious Sicilian gelato, while the Chestnut Hill store recognized a busy first year filled with new friends and new flavors. Both stores featured “cake batter” gelato in their cases for the occasion.


June: Hanover High School’s graduating class of 2016 said farewell to its alma mater. This class of 145 students was often called “the caring class” by many in the high school community. Although small in number in comparison to previous years, the class of 2016 was known for its camaraderie, intense involvement in school-related events, and exceptional participation in community service activities, and the intimacy created by the class size ensures that these “Marauders” will be friends for years to come. In the fall of 2016, graduates began their studies at Tufts University, Stanford University, Colby College, the University of St. Andrews, Parsons School of Design, the College of William and Mary, and many other institutions. Here is our 2016 article on Hanover High School.

August: At the Rio Olympic games this month, one of our own Dartmouth athletes won the world’s heart with her sportsmanship. Abbey D’Agostino, a 24-year-old native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, graduated in 2014 with a degree in psychology. While representing the Big Green, she became the first Ivy League athlete to win an NCAA Cross Country National Championship. This, along with a host of other titles earned during her undergraduate career, including champion of the NCAA Indoor Track 3000m and 5000m, set her up well for the Olympic trials. Yet it was not D’Agostino’s athletic performance in Rio that made her a household name but an act of kindness. The world watched as near the end of a 5000m heat, Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand tripped and fell, causing Abbey, who was behind her, to stumble and suffer a similar fate. As the dust cleared from the collision, D’Agostino scrambled up and seemed to be about to continue despite having landed hard on her side. Yet within seconds, she realized that Hamblin was still lying prostrate, having been defeated physically and emotionally by this stroke of bad luck. Abbey turned and helped Hamblin to her feet, cheering her with words of encouragement, and together the two women finished the final four laps of the heat. Both athletes suffered injuries, especially D’Agostino, who stumbled along the last four laps with a torn ACL. Yet both will be remembered not for the fall but for the way in which, with true Olympic spirit, they helped each other get up again and accomplish what they had set out to do. Abbey’s kindness and big-picture thinking are worth modeling in all aspects of life, and Hanover is proud to have its name linked to her courage and compassion.

October: On the first of this month, five minutes after midnight, a fire was reported in a dormitory on the Dartmouth Campus. Morton Hall went up in flames in a fire later attributed to the use of a hibachi-style grill on the roof of the building. No students were injured, but two firefighters sustained minor injuries. The two students who were using the grill were expelled from the college for violation of school policy; charcoal grill items are not permitted in Dartmouth dormitories. More than 70 students who lived in the dorm were displaced and lost possessions, but the Dartmouth and Hanover communities came together to provide relief to the victims. Clothes and supplies were donated to the students of Morton Hall to replace their lost possessions and allow them to continue their studies this term.

November: Citizens of Hanover, of New Hampshire, and of the United States cast their vote for president. In the end, Clinton won by a hair in the Granite State, although the state was shifting between shades of red and blue even days after the final votes had been cast. Perhaps New Hampshire ought to deem itself a wholly purple state. By the numbers, Clinton won the state’s four electoral votes with 46.8% of the votes cast, while Trump came in a very close second with 46.5% of the votes. That means that Clinton won the state by a mere 2,736 votes. Think your vote doesn’t count? Hanover selected Clinton as its candidate by a landslide; 84.9% of Hanoverian votes went to Clinton, while 12% went to Trump and 2.4% to Gary Johnson. Meanwhile, New Hampshire chose Democrat Maggie Hassan as its senator and Republican Chris Sununu as governor.

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