In his own words …
About twenty years ago I returned to Dickinson for the first time in almost twenty-five years. I had been invited to attend a retirement roast for Wilbur “Goby” Gobrecht, a longtime coach at Dickinson for whom I had played football in both high school and at Dickinson. The afternoon of my arrival there was an alumni football game. As a Dickinson grad, I was smart enough to know that I was too old to play in the game, but wanted to see who might be there. As I approached the field two gentlemen were standing with their backs to me. Upon hearing me approach they, in unison, turned and greeted me with a “Hello Larry.” It was Ben James and my former head football coach, Don Seibert. Needless to say, I was blown away. I felt at home right away. I also saw many former 60’s era grads that weekend since it was a reunion weekend. I experienced the same kind of warmth and friendship from them. I vowed at that time to return to campus more frequently in the future.
As I began to meet then-current staffers at Dickinson and former classmates, I began getting invitations to serve on various committees and in various volunteer roles. With free time on my hands, I accepted some of these opportunities. I had enjoyed my first Dickinson experience and was enjoying my second experience even more. I was originally able to attend Dickinson only because of the financial aid which I received during my undergraduate years. It was way past time to begin “giving back,” both in time and money. The first volunteer request which I accepted was to serve on the reunion committee for our thirtieth reunion. I had never attended a reunion in the past but felt that it would be a great way to reconnect with former classmates.
Since that initial role I have served on many committees and in various roles. DFAC (Dickinson Fund Advisory Committee) was an early role. MacAndrews Fund Advisory Committee, more reunion weekend committees, DAVS (Dickinson Admissions Volunteer Society) as regional chair for the Hartford area and as co-chair with my wife, Anne Selden, of The John Dickinson Society were roles that followed. I got back to campus frequently and have enjoyed it immensely.
Anne Selden and I were not in the same social circles when we were at Dickinson in the 60’s but served on my first reunion weekend committee together. We struck up a friendship at that reunion weekend and promised each other to stay “in touch.” Did we ever!!! We’ve been together ever since. Beyond that rather life-changing impact, I have met many current and former Dickinsonians, both on campus and in our communities. As a DAVS member I have interviewed many prospective students and frequently followed their careers at Dickinson. As a “Mac Fund” volunteer I became very interested in the athletic programs at Dickinson. My own Dickinson experience had been significantly enhanced by the friendships which I made as a member of both the football team and the baseball team and by participating in those sports. I attend many athletic contests at Dickinson and make it a point to get to know many of the student-athletes. Our student-athletes and our coaches represent Dickinson very well. I have enjoyed many friendships which have developed as a result of my volunteer efforts at Dickinson. Many of my closest friends are the result of my Dickinson undergraduate experience and my volunteer efforts in the past twenty-five years. I can say without a doubt that I have profited by my efforts in behalf of Dickinson as Dickinson has profited. I have “given back” and have enjoyed every minute of it.
Published November 4, 2014