Deep Roots

Legacy families at Commencement 2014

Legacy members of the class of 2014 gathered with their Dickinson family members for this larger than life photo shoot during Commencement weekend. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

by Lauren Davidson

Looking out into the sea of faces, hearing cheers from afar, and then stepping through Old West’s double doors and onto the dais during Commencement is a momentous experience. For the 62 legacy members of the class of 2014, that moment included a more personal touch. These graduates, who were handed their diploma by another Dickinsonian — relative, faculty member or administrator — exemplify a lifelong affinity for this institution. And the sentiment dates back to the very beginning.

“Many of the college’s early students were people who had some kind of relationship with the school through other family members,” notes College Archivist Jim Gerencser ’93. For example, Isaac Grier was a member of Dickinson’s second graduating class in 1788. His son Robert Cooper Grier is one of the very first legacy graduates, following his father in 1812.

Dickinson’s first woman graduate, Zatae Longsdorff Straw, class of 1887, also was a legacy. Other Dickinsonians in her family included her father, William (1856); brother, Harold (1879); and sisters Hildegarde (1888), Jessica (1891) and Persis, who matriculated with the class of 1894 but left after one year.

The most extensive legacy family in the class of 2014 is that of Alexandra Faccenda, whose great-grandparents, Lewis Gayner Sr. '31 and Sara Lukens Gayner '31, grandparents, William ’58 and Dottie Gayner Rogers ’60, and parents, Robert ’84 and Deborah Rogers Faccenda ’84, plus her great-uncle, Philip Rogers '52, uncle, Lewis Gayner Jr. ’57, and sister, Elyse Faccenda ’10, make for quite a deep-rooted family tree. Even deeper, Faccenda’s great-grandfather Horace Rogers was a member of the class of 1924, a distinguished chemistry professor at the college and the first recipient of the Dickinson College Distinguished Alumni Award in June 1984.

“Being a legacy means that I’ll always have close ties with this part of my life, and I’ll always have somewhere to come back to,” Alexandra says. “Dickinson will always be a second home to me and my family because we have so much history and so many memories here.”

Who's Who?

Group 1: unidentified
Group 2: Angela Goldman P'09, P'14, Terry Goldman P'09, P'14, Michele Goldman '09, Jasper Goldman '14
Group 3: Peter Marks '73, Anna Marks Crouch '09, Lydia Marks '14, Gail Troussoff Marks '73, Tim Crouch '09
Group 4: David Cochrane '14, Jeanine Rosar Cali '95
Group 5: Taylor Thompson '14, unidentified
Group 6: Stanley Wolowski '77, Nicholas Wolowski '14
Group 7: Lynn Hammond Voss '62, Jillian Dunbar '14
Group 8: Paul McGinley '05, Emily West Cocores '06, Julia West McGinley '08, Benjamin West '14
Group 9: Andrew Salvitti '14, Brian Salvitti '08
Group 10: Leigh Ratino '14, Caitlin Ratino '12
Group 11: Mark Hamel '14, Carolyn Wherly Cleveland '60
Group 12: Megan Sagastume '14, Samuel Reinhart '14
Group 13: Ariel Blask '14, Jerome Blask '73
Group 14: Alex Motiuk ’14, Leo Motiuk '66
Group 15: Elyse Faccenda '10, William Rogers '58, Alexandra Faccenda '14, Dottie Gayner Rogers '60, Deborah Rogers Faccenda '84, Robert Faccenda '84
Group 16: Donna Lueckenbach Shaffner '83, Jessica Shaffner '14
Group 17: Maria Kast-Carson '83, Christopher Carson '82, Abigail Carson '14

Read more from the summer 2014 issue of Dickinson Magazine.

Published July 22, 2014