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A Look Back at Hamilton's 2016


While the Broadway musical Hamilton took the nation by storm in 2016, there was plenty happening at the “original” Hamilton too. Here’s a look back at the stories that garnered the greatest attention on the College’s news site this year, based on the number of views.

A story about a community rally on Nov. 15 attracted a large number of readers. According to organizers the event was planned “to show support for those who feel marginalized and negatively affected by the Donald Trump’s election as president. The rally was in conjunction with a nationwide student movement called “Our Power Walkout,” with marches at more than a dozen other institutions across the country.

Another popular story was the announcement of Neil deGrasse Tyson as the year’s Sacerdote Great Names Speaker. The astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium, was the first scientist in the Series.

Commencement 2016 Peter Thiel
PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel gave the Commencement address.

The announcement of American entrepreneur and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel as Hamilton’s 2016 Commencement speaker, and a subsequent story recapping his remarks to the Class of 2016 were widely read. Thiel told graduates “At this time in your life you know fewer limits, fewer taboos and fewer fears than you ever will in the future. So do not squander your ignorance! Go out and do what your teachers and parents thought could not be done, and what they never thought of doing,” he urged.

Readers were interested in the appointment of eight faculty members to endowed chairs in June. Doug Ambrose, Brian Collett, Martine Guyot-Bender, Gordon Jones, Tim Kelly, Heidi Ravven, Patrick Reynolds and Michael “Doc” Woods were awarded endowed chairs.

David Wippman talking with students
Opportunity Program students meet President Wippman in July.

Visitors to the news site in July got an early introduction to David Wippman, Hamilton’s 20th president. He officially took office on July 1, and members of the Opportunity Program were among the first of the Class of 2020 to meet him when he joined the group for a photo followed by lunch on July 5.

A story recapping Neil deGrasse Tyson’s visit to campus on April 12 drew a large number of readers. Tyson captivated the capacity crowd in the field house for 95 minutes, intermixing astronomy, social commentary and humor with his warm demeanor.

Like everywhere in the nation, readers were interested in this year’s presidential election. Government professor Phil Klinkner’s research revealed the easiest way to guess if someone supported Donald Trump: Ask if Obama is a Muslim. The story about the research analysis got the attention of many readers in June.

Orientation 2016
Orientation leaders welcome the Class of 2020.

A story about members of the class of ’20 arriving on campus received many views in August. This was the first year that all members of a class were required to participate in a pre-orientation trip. Exploration, Outreach and Adirondack Adventure trips brought the students to campus on Aug. 16 for nine days of orientation.

Student Research
Arthur Williams '16.

Readers were very interested in a story titled “White House Calling.” In March, Arthur Williams ’16 received a call from a White House staffer seeking information about Williams’ research on entrepreneurship in Cuba.

Finally, as 2016 neared its end, the story about David Wippman’s inauguration, with special guest Walter Mondale as a speaker, attracted many interested readers.

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