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Gil Ludwig ’69

Gil Ludwig

Donor Profile

Tell us about your career. What does a typical workday look like for you?

After Dickinson, I moved to Pittsburgh to go to law school at the University of Pittsburgh. I had a grandfather who was a retired lawyer, and so there was a tradition of law in my family. About five or six years ago, I completely retired from the practice of law, and there are no regrets. I now have the chance to enjoy my hobbies, like writing, creating crossword puzzles and drawing.

Can you speak to how Dickinson’s useful liberal-arts education helped you in your life?

My liberal-arts education at Dickinson was broad and gave me many wonderful insights. I was an English major and got involved in the choir and the glee club. I was also involved with a fraternity, which was an interesting part of my social life at Dickinson.

I enjoyed that Dickinson exposed me to a variety of different courses that I wouldn’t have normally taken. These “foundation” courses helped me try something new, which I appreciated. For example, I got to take a year of geology to fill a science requirement—I wouldn’t normally have done that.
It took a little while, but as time went by with my Dickinson career, I gradually came out of my shell. As an English major, I had the chance to get to know my professors, and that was a special part of my Dickinson experience. I enjoyed the fact that Dickinson was a more personal school. I took three classes with Dr. Bowden, who was quietly brilliant. He was mild-mannered and almost self-effacing, but the more you listened to him, the more you realized just how smart he was and how much he had to offer.

When I was a senior, I had the chance to take an independent study with Bettie Ann Doebler, professor of English. There were three of us in the course, which was focused on writing poetry. I’m so glad I took that course. We spent hours studying poets and testing out different poetry writing styles. I even had an original poem printed in the literary magazine.

Why do you feel that it is important to give back to Dickinson?

Let me first say that I believe it is good to support education in general, and I naturally favor the great school—Dickinson—that broadened my thinking and helped me to grow intellectually, even though I maybe wasn't always as cooperative as I might have been.

What inspired your gift to Dickinson?

Proud as I am of my association with Dickinson, I’ve always thought it important to be one of the college champion’s through annual giving. When I read I could make a special gift to the college through a charitable gift annuity and augment my personal income at the same time, I called the college to learn more. I made the gift, and it’s been wonderful. As the saying goes, it was a real win-win situation.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Dickinson?

The best memories I have of Dickinson are all about the friends I made there. A few of those people I am still in touch with today—broad-minded, caring, intelligent people (and you know who you are!).

Can you tell us about what you do outside of work—hobbies, interests, etc.?

As to hobbies, other than making and solving puzzles, I enjoy various games—including Scrabble (no surprise there!), Rummikub and Cribbage. I occasionally come east to the Philly area and to the shore. Sometimes I stop at Dickinson and check out the interesting campus and the new developments there. A couple years ago I visited New England—my third time there. Very beautiful.

What advice would you give to today’s students?

My advice to today's students is simple: Find something constructive to do that you really love, and if at all possible, build your career around it—even if other people dismiss it as unimportant or not sufficiently lucrative. Follow your dream!

Look in the upcoming spring issue of Dickinson Magazine for a custom crossword puzzle created by Ludwig.

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Published April 23, 2019