Charles Mirotznik ’75 is a lawyer in New York City, where he has practiced law for more than 35 years, representing an array of clients in the arts, entertainment and business world.
Outside of work Mirotznik enjoys all the cultural offerings of New York City and the Berkshires, where he maintains a farm. He has been president and director of numerous artistic and theatrical charities. A frequent traveler, he recently visited the North and South Poles, snowmobiled 120 miles in Yellowstone in one day and then dog sledded in the Grand Tetons the next day. Additionally, he has visited New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Rajasthan and Mumbai, and he traveled the Canadian Northwest Passage to the Inuit towns on the west coast of Greenland.
How has Dickinson’s useful liberal-arts education helped you?
It added a disciplined and studious side that has kept my mind challenged and inquisitive—academically, intellectually and culturally. The professors and the students increased my confidence and advanced a need and desire to accomplish and be accomplished. The historic and bucolic setting of Dickinson added to my academic experience. I studied in the Waidner-Spahr Library, but I also recall studying John Locke at a professor's house with a small group of students. The informality was illuminating—I still fondly remember that class!
What inspired your gift to Dickinson?
The memories of the beauty, cuisine, smell, charm and sophistication of Bologna and the Bolognese, which I discovered during my studies between 1974 and 1975—and how fortunate I was to have parents who indulged me (academically)!
Why do you feel that it is important to give back to Dickinson?
I hope that my humble gift will have a meaningful impact on qualified students. That experience forever changed me and the way I felt about myself and others. Living in such a student-friendly, historic college is inspiring.
What is your favorite memory from your time at Dickinson?
The generosity of the faculty and the diversity of the student body. I was surrounded by well-rounded and academically intelligent faculty and students from diverse backgrounds.
What advice would you give to today’s students?
Be nice on the way up. Make friends now who will follow you through the journey of life. Don’t be foolish. Maintain humor. Do not lie. Stay humble and honorable. Be kind, generous and considerate, and always help others in need. Humanitarianism is important—run from greed. Teach others and most importantly, be charitable.
Published August 8, 2018