Obama Highlights Dickinson in College Access Speech

President Obama

Dickinson's commitment to expanding higher-education access earned national attention when President Barack Obama highlighted an incoming student in a speech at the White House's College Opportunity Summit, Jan. 16. To illustrate the transformational power of college scholarships, Obama shared the story of Estiven Rodriguez '18, a Dominican immigrant who will be attending Dickinson this fall as a Dickinson Posse Scholar.

"This son of a factory worker who didn’t speak much English just six years ago won a competitive scholarship to attend Dickinson College this fall," said Obama.

The anecdote highlights the college's focus on making the Dickinson experience affordable to all deserving students through roughly $40 million in annual scholarships and financial aid. 

"Making Dickinson a possibility for all students with the potential to become great Dickinsonians regardless of their financial backgrounds is one of our highest priorities," said Dickinson President Nancy Roseman. "Our unique mission of using the liberal arts to prepare graduates to make a difference means that a scholarship to attend Dickinson doesn’t just impact the recipient’s life. It impacts the world."

The White House's College Opportunity Summit was organized to encourage university presidents to learn from one another in order to enhance efforts to expand access to higher education throughout the country. The daylong event was attended by more than 100 college and university presidents and educational nonprofit leaders. 

The day before the summit, Michelle Obama hosted a related event featuring a screening of The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, on which Amy Nauiokas '94 served as executive producer.

Read Obama's speech.

Published January 16, 2014