Plato's Academy in New Hampshire
Melina Marmarelis '07 majored in biochemistry and molecular biology at Dartmouth and plans to go to medical school. Her father, Dr. Panos Marmarelis, practices neurology, and her mother, Gayleen, is a former registered nurse and now a full time student pursuing a degree in music. Her sister, Eleni, is entering her senior year of high school. We recently spoke with Gayleen about Melina's Dartmouth experience.
When Melina returned from an East Coast tour during her junior year in high school, she was emphatic: Dartmouth is the ideal place for me. Great academic atmosphere in a small town where the campus life and outdoor activities are the only life.
We believe in total immersion in college life, so we were pleased to hear her choice. (Her choice also maximized the distance between her and her Southern California parentsa desirable quality in her teenage mind!)
It's Plato's Academy in New Hampshire, Panos sometimes jokes. Dartmouth has greatly exceeded our expectations. Strong academics and outdoor sports activities and the physical setting combine in an ideal way to nurture the young mind and body. It's similar to the classical Greek academy where the study of philosophy combined with gymnastics produced moral guardians and philosopher-kings.
We are impressed by the physical setting, friendly atmosphere, and particularly the students. Melina's friends are bright, polite, and idealistic. They are interested in political and international events and able to discuss them intelligently.
Melina blossomed at Dartmouth and she has been very happy for these last four years. We are impressed by the range and depth of her coursework. She had the opportunity to do cutting-edge research in pancreatic cancer in Dr. Korc's lab, which culminated in her senior thesis, and she was greatly inspired by Dr. Witter's mentorship and the guidance of many of her professors.
There is nothing more important that we can do for our children's welfare than to provide them with a great education. The faculty play the central role. They are often the unsung and underappreciated actors in this process. Our gift is meant to be a token of our appreciation for what they have done for Melina's education. We are certainly grateful.
We detect a certain sense of sadness in Melina as these four years come to an end. We share some of this sadness. Melina's first impression was correct: Dartmouth was the ideal place for her.