Robert E. Snitchler II ’10
Publisher Malcolm Forbes stated: “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” Throughout our time at Dickinson, President Durden has inundated us with anecdotes about Benjamin Rush and his goals for Dickinson College. Rush founded Dickinson as a liberal-arts institution with the goal of creating a citizenry that could effectively run the new nation and to create pioneers who would lead the way into the 19th century and beyond. For one to be a true pioneer, their mind must be constantly open to new possibilities and opportunities.
My time at Dickinson has indeed demanded an open mind. While an international business & management major, I have taken classes in departments as wide-ranging as sociology, Russian and philosophy. While my classes may appear to have absolutely no bearing in business, I have found that exposing myself to a wide-range of classes has only further enhanced my education. By taking other classes, my career goals have become as diverse as my education. When I look at things through a business lens, I am automatically drawn to the other subjects I have studied as well. We have all been truly blown away by that one class that expanded our minds past our focus of study and each of us can point to at least one instance where our area of study was directly impacted by some other area—whether it was education, international relations or sustainability. We discovered that we were not engaging in many fields of study independently, but a unifed and interconnected quest for knowledge. We kept our minds open, and in so doing, became far more educated in our own fields than we ever imagined. Thus, we have all become experts in our fields, and educated in other fields.
Our experiences outside of the classroom have been just as varied as our experiences within. Personally I joined a fraternity, competed with Model United Nations, participated in the Russian Club and joined the Order of Scroll and Key. I worked in various areas including Dining Services, Campus Life and the international business & management department. We have all participated in extracurriculars that were dear to our hearts and that have augmented our classroom experiences and expanded our horizons. Through these extracurriculars I came to understand the importance of knowledge, service and the interconnected education at Dickinson. These experiences, combined with my time in the classroom, have served to expand my mind and show the difference that each one of us can make in the world in a variety of different ways.
Being at such a small school, we have shared so many experiences. Almost all of us have visited Deli-C, Massey's and Miseno’s. All of us have spent lazy weekends lounging on the quad, attending sporting events and engaging the community in some way. We have attended Common Hour events, philanthropy events and MOB-sponsored events. In so doing though, we have each found our own way to navigate this sea of similarity and have each pioneered our own Dickinsonian experience.
As we move beyond the limestone walls and begin the rest of our lives, we will always be imprinted with the stamp of our time at Dickinson. Whether we pursue graduate degrees, enter business, commit ourselves to public service or any other endeavor, Dickinson has implored us to explore all possibilities, learn everything we can and to serve selflessly. When we embark on our future tomorrow, we will already be pioneers, because our experiences are personal and unique, yet all have the foundation of being a Dickinson pioneer.