Fall Open House Opening Remarks
President William G. Durden ’71 greeted the more than 400 prospective students and family members at the Oct. 11 Fall Open House with a speech focused on the Dickinson Advantage—those attributes and assets that distinguish a Dickinsonian in a rapidly changing, 21st-century global society.
Dickinson was proclaimed to be a college for the 21st century by The Wall Street Journal and author David Kirp in his book, Shakespeare, Einstein and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education. And the college has lived up to those expectations.
Below is a video with excerpts from Durden’s speech at the Open House. In it he addresses four key elements:
- Imaginative and Pragmatic: A Useful Education
- The Dickinson Dimensions: Values-Driven Skills
- The Results: Character, Confidence, Responsibility, Civic Engagement, Lifelong Relationships, Conviction
- Seizing the Challenges of the New Century
Summarizing the Message
This is a message he’s been delivering at receptions and events across the country this fall, illustrating how Dickinson’s approach gives the college an edge over other institutions. In a recent summary, he surmised that “The Dickinson 21st-century advantage is a generous knowledge and skill set that prepares our students and graduates for informed engagement and leadership in the 21st century. We confront our students with ways of proceeding in the world that are especially right for their times. It is informed by our useful, liberal-arts curriculum that is at once pragmatic and progressive, an interrelated focus on key themes of the century:
- a global sensibility,
- sustainability and the environment, and increasingly, security,
- an activist residential life that advances engagement, citizenship, civility and public service,
- an entrepreneurial leadership narrative born out of the American Revolution that provides an historic foundation for high accomplishment, ambition, risk-taking and striving in a rapidly changing, culturally complex world,
- and, lastly, a globally connected, active, responsive alumni network to assist students and fellow alumni in job placement and advanced educational opportunity.”
Durden’s message is that Dickinson is not just another premier liberal-arts college but rather stands out and excels based on its progressive energy and 21st-century mindset, the evidence of value in its strong alumni network and its ongoing mission to educate engaged and informed global citizens and leaders.
View the full video of the Open House speech.