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Senior Gift Goal Met, so Dean Dial Shaves Beard  

He’s a smooth operator, that dean of seniors, Elliott Dial. 

Dean Dial challenged the senior class to reach 90 percent participation in this year’s senior Class Gift campaign. If so, he said, he would shave his beard. The seniors did their job, donating more than any other class since the start of the project in 2009. And Dean Dial did his job, the beard disappearing for the first time in about 12 years. 

“It usually gets shaped up every three weeks,” Elliott said. “I don’t usually let it grow out long, except during COVID, when my wife [Molly Giorgio ‘06] told me I was in my ‘deserted island look chic.’”  

Elliott caught the attention of the seniors with the challenge. 

“Initially, I think they were intrigued, but when I said that my wife had never seen me clean-shaven, they all started laughing,” he said. “I had at least a few students come up and say to me that they donated just to see me without a beard.” 

Dean Dial Shaves

At first Dean Elliott Dial's son did not recognize him. Then all was well. "Once he heard my voice he came and gave me a hug."

The Senior Gift goes into the Annual Fund, which plays a vital role in sustaining the school's everyday functions. The campaign kicked off with a big celebration on February 16 (100 days to Commencement) in Founders Lounge and wrapped up on Philanthropy Day, February 29. The senior class raised $1,697 in donations and pledges. Of the seniors who participated, 78 donated in honor of a faculty or staff member, parent, or friend. 

Elliott says he will grow the beard again. 

“I didn’t realize how much it protected me from the wind on a daily basis,” he said. 

Elliott’s family, including their dog, Sachem, had mixed feelings about his newly smooth face. 

“My dog didn’t have any issue with it. He’s loyal in that way,” Elliott said. “My family was thrown off by it. My wife just laughed and couldn’t really say anything other than laugh, and my son walked in the other direction when he saw me. Once he heard my voice he came and gave me a hug, but at least there were no tears.”  



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