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Flying High

Soon after earning paratrooper certification, Hayley Murdoch '18 shipped off for a fall semester in Bologna, Italy. Above, she takes in the scenery on the way to Portovenere.

Soon after earning paratrooper certification, Hayley Murdough '18 shipped off for a fall semester in Bologna, Italy. Above, she takes in the scenery on the way to Portovenere.

Hayley Murdough ’18 

Growing up in Mechanicsburg, Pa., Hayley Murdough ’18 didn’t need to go far when it was time to ship off to college. But she is well on her way to seeing the world. A Blue Mountain Battalion member and double major in international studies and economics, Hayley decided on a career path in international affairs after taking an international trip. Since then she has studied abroad through the Dickinson in Italy program, and, after graduation, she plans to pursue an international career through the U.S. Army—a career path she laid out last summer, when she conquered her fear of heights and graduated from the U.S. Army Airborne School (a.k.a. “Jump School”).


International studies  (economics minor).

Clubs and organizations:  

Army ROTC, Delta Nu, Panhellenic Council and Liberty Cap Society (tour guide).


Airborne School Graduate (paratrooper) and Alumni Scholarship.

Favorite book:

Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.

Favorite movie:

Zero Dark Thirty.

On choosing a major:

I’ve always loved traveling, and I wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy. After visiting England and South Africa in the summer of 2012, I knew that I wanted to study international affairs and travel the world.

On choosing Dickinson:

I chose Dickinson because of the focus on a global education and the friendly atmosphere of campus! When I did my ROTC overnight, I told my mom I never wanted to come home.

Favorite place on campus:

Morgan Field.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Anything from the Kove.

Proudest accomplishment so far:

Graduating from the U.S. Army Airborne School. I have a terrible fear of heights, and I didn’t even think I’d be able to jump when the time came. But I did—five times. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Favorite class so far:

I loved Christian/Muslim Relations with [Thomas Bowman] Professor [of Religion and Philosophy Ted] Pulcini. He taught us how to take what we were learning one step further.

Little-known talent/hobby:

I used to do a cappella [singing] and musicals. I’ve always loved singing. Now I reserve it for road trips with my best friends.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

Take a class outside of your comfort zone, because it expands your worldview.

On growing up in Carlisle:

I’m from Carlisle, so I have vivid memories of campus as kid. Sometimes when I walk around campus, I remember different events, and it’s nice to have recurring nostalgia throughout my college experience.

Favorite professor:

Kristine Mitchell. I had her for a Discover Dickinson Day and for my international relations 101 class. She really cares, and I feel like she’s my second mom on campus.

In a perfect world …

… I’d visit every continent, at least once.

Biggest influence:

My mom, who has taught me how to be strong in the face of all obstacles, no matter what.

Post-Dickinson plans:

I hope to have a wonderful military career, traveling the world, and eventually, establish a humanitarian organization and raise a family.

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Published June 15, 2017