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Beyond the Limestone Walls: From theory to action

Michael Donnelly ’02

Michael Donnelly ’02

by Michael Donnelly '02, Alumni Council President

This edition of Dickinson Magazine is highlighting the theme of #dsonproud. While not every reader of this magazine uses Twitter, the contemporary focus on the use of the hashtag is as much cultural as it is functional. In a time in our nation when social media is abuzz with allegations of fake news and vastly disparate opinions, Dickinson is celebrating the good that exists in our world thanks, in part, to the Dickinson experience. What better time to rally all Dickinsonians than now? I hope that you enjoy reading about the remarkable fellow alumni who are featured in this issue. I must say that I am consistently humbled by the work of our alumni and the impact that Dickinsonians have on the world. I couldn’t be more proud to be a Dickinsonian!

As you know from my previous columns, the work of the Alumni Council this year has been to transition from theory to action. Our members have been making a concerted effort to be present at regional events and to engage in outreach to fellow alumni. We also want to make an impact on the Alumni Council as a whole. In February, we met on campus for a busy, but productive, weekend. And in what has become a biannual tradition, the council and the Board of Trustees met for a focused work session. This year we emphasized internships and externships. We also spent time on fellowship during a joint dinner and reviewed the good work that each of these volunteer bodies do on behalf of the college. What made this year’s dinner special was the celebration of Professor of English Wendy Moffat, who was installed as the John J. Curley ’60 and Ann Conser Curley ’63 Faculty Chair in Global Education. Please join me in congratulating Professor Moffat.

The Alumni Council also got a glimpse of current student-faculty research. Council members rotated to various lab and work spaces on campus to get a better sense of the collegial academic work that is taking place throughout campus. Wow! To say that our faculty and students are second to none is an understatement. Through this experience the council members were able to better see the connections that our work has to the academic initiatives that are taking place at Dickinson. I encourage you to reach out to any member to learn more. Alumni Council members also are willing to respond to inquiries, meet with fellow alumni and share other news of our alma mater. You can access contact information for council members on the website.

In the spirit of being #dsonproud, I continue to encourage all members of our alumni community to make Dickinson your No. 1 choice for your philanthropy. Our alma mater has provided each of us with a multitude of opportunities that embody the true essence of a liberal-arts education—choice in vocation not limited to one single focus. As the college, in conjunction with leadership by the Board of Trustees and with support of members of the Alumni Council, continues to rise to the challenge of increasing Dickinson’s impact within the global community, the value of our degree can’t help but appreciate. Your contributions to the college will help provide opportunities for future Dickinsonians who, without financial aid, would not otherwise be able to attend. As a first-generation college student myself, I was able to become a Dickinsonian because of scholarships, grants and the financial support of dedicated alumni like you. Now, as an alumnus, I give back to Dickinson because I believe that I am able to have an impact on the future of those who will one day join us as alumni.

I would like to close by congratulating everyone who is celebrating a milestone reunion this year. My class, the great class of 2002, will be on campus to celebrate our 15th reunion (hard to believe!). In addition to celebrating milestone reunions, Dickinson’s Alumni Weekend celebrates all alumni. Everyone is encouraged to come back to campus this June. A special part of this weekend will be the visibility of the Alumni Council. We have shifted our spring meeting to take place during Alumni Weekend so that council members are present and available to build relationships with each of you. As always, I welcome your questions, comments or feedback. I look forward to our continued work together to promote and support our alma mater.

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Published April 5, 2017