Alan Reifenberg ’92 is a managing director at Credit Suisse AG, where he's also the global head of litigation and investigations. Prior to his 12 years with the company, the former political science major spent a decade working for the U.S. government as a lawyer for the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, with two infantry tours in the U.S. Marine Corps sandwiched in between.
Outside of work, he's a passionate New York Jets fan, who notes that he's excited to be teaching his 14-year-old son that "rooting for the perpetually underperforming N.Y. Jets builds character."
How has Dickinson’s useful liberal-arts education helped you?
I see that it has become temporarily fashionable in certain circles to say that a liberal-arts education is becoming outdated, as some people gravitate to a STEM curriculum for potential employment opportunities. However, in my experience and in my position, I still see no substitute for the liberal-arts curriculum. The broad base of knowledge and exposure to multiple fields and disciplines provided by a liberal-arts education is critical to learning how to actually think and adapt. In fact, the more you progress in many fields, the more likely you are to need a wide variety of skills, knowledge and experience, and this is precisely what a liberal-arts education can give. For instance, as a manager, I regularly need to apply lessons from history, politics and psychology, among other things, on a daily—if not hourly—basis to perform optimally in my position.
What inspired your gift to Dickinson?
I’ve never forgotten the dedicated people at Dickinson who helped me get to where I wanted to go, so giving back is something I always intended to do. I’m proud of the school, my class year and my classmate whose scholarship I support with my gift.
Why do you feel that it is important to give back to Dickinson?
Dickinson is a place that’s special to me, and making a gift to the college lets me play some role in preserving its values and mission.
What is your favorite memory from your time at Dickinson?
Probably a tie between getting a good grade on my paper in my freshman seminar, World War II in Film, and being on the championship team (twice!) for intramural softball.
What is one piece of advice you would give to today’s students?
As important as your academic performance is, do not underestimate the importance of your personal interactions at school. Besides enhancing your time at Dickinson, these interactions develop your social intelligence and emotional IQ muscles.
Published July 16, 2018