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Former English major Kevin Nathan ’90 credits Dickinson’s liberal-arts approach for giving him the tools necessary to succeed as a journalist. Whether covering the Olympics, the Super Bowl, breaking news or the inspiring people in his community, Nathan uses the critical-thinking and writing skills he gained at Dickinson to keep people informed as a news anchor and feature reporter at NBC Connecticut.
Can you speak to how Dickinson’s useful liberal-arts education helped you along your career path?
Dickinson didn’t teach me what to think. But I did learn how to think, and also how to write. Critical thinking and writing are two of the most important parts of my job as a journalist.
What was your favorite activity/organization at Dickinson?
While I loved the Sigma Chi fraternity, the WDCV school radio station, writing for The Dickinsonian and playing baseball, being a part of the Dickinson football team was life-changing. Lessons I learned from Head Coach Ed Sweeney, my position coach, Joel Quattrone, and my teammates still impact me every single day.
What jumps out as a great memory from your time at Dickinson?
My greatest memory was finishing our senior year of football undefeated in 1989 with a record of 9-0-1. We had made going unbeaten our goal as freshmen, and to achieve it was truly a dream come true.
How do you stay involved with Dickinson? Why do you think it’s important?
I mentor and talk to any prospective students I come across in Connecticut. I also have gotten involved with trying to find ways to help the football program. It is important because Dickinson gave me so much, and I want to share my wonderful experience in any way that I can.
How did you get interested in your work, and what about it excites you most?
I wanted to be a sportscaster from the age of 9 or 10. I chose Dickinson because I wanted to be well-rounded, with a background in writing, and an athlete. I was always passionate about sports, and it was a natural career path. So many wonderful experiences have excited me about my career: covering seven World Series, seven Final Fours, five Super Bowls and five Olympics and telling a countless number of human-interest stories about local athletes, coaches and teams. Currently, I am a news anchor and feature reporter. This was a transition I chose to make a couple of years ago. It excites me now to take the storytelling concepts I learned in sports and apply them to human-interest pieces in news. There are so many positive stories that often go untold in the general news cycle. I am trying to shine a light on the people in our community who inspire us.
What does your current work entail?
I am the 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. news anchor at NBC Connecticut. I work on news stories of the day and feature pieces before I tackle the breaking news and general news of the day for our late-afternoon and early-evening newscasts.
What is the most challenging part of your work?
The most challenging parts of my job are staying on top of the latest breaking news, adjusting to it as it happens fluidly while we are on the air, and keeping my energy up day after day. When the camera lights go on, you must be prepared, ready and alert.
What comes to mind as something unforgettable that you’ve done since you graduated?
Marrying my best friend, Kristine—who happened to go to Gettysburg—25 years ago, and raising three kids with her stands out as life’s number-one highlight. Professionally, nothing tops covering the Olympics. All five have been special: 2002 in Salt Lake City; 2012 in London; 2014 in Sochi, Russia; 2016 in Rio and 2018 in South Korea.
If you could have dinner with anyone famous, living or dead, who would it be?
Any one of my core group of friends from Dickinson. They are like brothers. We always laugh and learn from each other. And they keep me grounded. I couldn’t imagine life without them.
You just built a time machine: Where and when do you go?
I’d love to go back to our first year of football camp in 1986 to hear some of Coach Ed Sweeney’s messages again and see the reaction of my teammates—knowing the amazing fathers, husbands, business successes and community leaders they would become. We learned a little about football back then and so much more about life: lessons about setting goals, teamwork, persistence and patience that we carry with us today.
If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
It would be selfish for me to say I would change anything about my life. I have been very blessed. I went to the best possible school for me and made lifelong friendships. I married my best friend and we have three healthy kids, and I am working at my dream job in Connecticut—a place that has become home.
Published January 21, 2019