Dickinson marks 229th anniversary with second-annual Charter Day
September 11, 2012
On a warm and sticky evening in August, the Dickinson community gathered on the lawn in front of Old West to celebrate its second-annual Charter Day, marking the 229th anniversary of the signing of the college's charter. Sponsored by the Our Dickinson committee, the event featured a picnic, an array of easels displaying archival photos, and enough sunshine to keep the festivities going for hours. Also present were red-and-white-striped scarves, given to attendees so they could "wear the red" when the humidity finally subsides and winter moves in.
The Dickinson charter was drawn up by Dr. Benjamin Rush, a renowned physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, and enacted on Sept. 9, 1783—one week after the Treaty of Paris was signed, officially bringing the American Revolution to a close—making Dickinson the first college chartered in the newly formed United States.
The event was set among the campus's historic limestone buildings, and attendees also got a peek into the student body of the college's distant past, as photos displayed around the grounds showed sports teams and other groups from days gone by. When they weren't exploring the college's past, those in attendance enjoyed a variety of fare that was both traditional picnic food—hot dogs, hamburgers, hot sausage—and menu items that transcended what usually comes off the grill, such as lobster rolls and dishes served up at a vegan station.