by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
Edward Brown ’18 was an accomplished high-schooler, on scholarship at a private school, when he began the college-application process. He knew that without a college scholarship, further education would not be in the cards. Hayley Murdough ’18 had already been accepted to Dickinson College when, the day before her high-school graduation, her mom sat her down and explained that, because of recent changes, she would not be able to attend without financial aid.
Four-plus years later, both of these graduating seniors are shining stars at Dickinson who have contributed to campus life in many ways. Two weeks before Commencement, they took time to publicly express their gratitude during the 2018 Scholarship Luncheon, an event that brings promising students with big dreams together with alumni, parents and friends of the college who place those dreams within reach by supporting Dickinson scholarships.
Edward Brown '18. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.
A Baltimore native and American-studies major, Brown has demonstrated leadership as an officer of Dickinson Christian Fellowship and leader of Scroll & Key; member of the RAISE ally education and mentoring program; graduate of the MANdatory leadership-development program; and student-leader during an on-campus student intercultural-communication retreat. He also worked as a student program coordinator with the Office of Religious Life and as an alumni-engagement intern with the Office of Advancement, and gained a European view of the United States during the U.S. presidential election while studying abroad through the Dickinson-in-Norwich program.
Hayley Murdough '18 and mother Jackie meet with Zoe Pappas (left), wife of the late Dean Pappas '62.
Murdough, an international-studies major and Blue Mountain Battalion ROTC member, grew up in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Conquering her fear of heights, she graduated from the U.S. Army Airborne School and became the first female Army cadet to attend Cadet Troop Leader Training at Special Warfare School. She recently was named a Distinguished Military Graduate by the U.S. Army, having ranked in the top 20 percent of ROTC members across the nation. After Commencement, she will take up a post as a military intelligence officer at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
“If I had been working all through college, I wouldn’t have been able to have the experiences outside of class that have made me who I am,” said Murdough. “My scholarship allowed me to have that full experience and develop myself fully as a person.”
After their brief remarks, Murdough and Brown presented Mother’s Day bouquets to their mothers, Jackie and Lorna. The event's keynote speaker, Alex Froom ’08, who facilitates a Dickinson scholarship through a family trust, presented a bouquet of thanks to Vice President and Dean of Student Life Joyce Bylander, who will retire this spring after being a mentor to many students during her two decades at Dickinson.
Alex Froom '08 shares a moment with longtime Dickinson administrator Joyce Bylander." Photo by Carl Socolow '77.
Froom, a former Dickinson religion major who went on to earn an M.A. in social work and community organizing and an M.Div. from Boston University in 2012, is president of the board of Rez Refuge Ministries, a faith-based organization that runs an Arizona community center for Navajo youth, builds relationships and develops community leaders to strengthen the local community. During his keynote address, he described his mission to help cultivate a culture of "neighborliness" that calls us all to lift each other up and reach out across cultural, ideological and spiritual divides. He also highlighted the contributions of all who participate fully as mutually supportive neighbors within the global Dickinson community.
“At its core, this luncheon is a recognition of the fundamental reality of our interconnectedness,” he said. “Nurture begets nurture. We are all made better by the process.”
Brown said that he intends to continue to feed that mutually beneficial cycle.
“Dickinson attracts generous, loving, authentic people who have a level of passion and authenticity that’s unmatched, and I’m fortunate to have become a part of this community,” Brown said, noting that whereas he once thought of the college experience as a chance to simply earn a degree, he now realizes that it is about so much more. “I hope to one day give back to this place which has given so much to me and my family, to pay forward to others the same kind of appreciation and support I’ve received. I’m just so thankful that all of you in this room have chosen to live in the same generous way.”
Published May 7, 2018