Robert Fletcher wasn’t just the founding director of Thayer School. For 65 years, he was Thayer School.
By Lee Michaelides
Photographs courtesy of Dartmouth College archives
“We all love our Bobby — many of us received our life’s inspiration from him,” wrote a Thayer School alumnus on the occasion of Dean Robert Fletcher’s retirement in 1918. It was difficult to imagine Thayer School without Robert Fletcher, for from the beginning, Fletcher was Thayer School.
Fletcher’s service to Thayer began in 1871, when he came to Hanover as Thayer School’s founding director and sole faculty member. He retired only because he reached Dartmouth’s mandatory retirement age of 70. He didn’t actually leave, however. He stayed on as a lecturer and overseer until his death in 1936 at the age of 88. Clearly, Dartmouth loved Fletcher, and Fletcher loved the College.