Community Impact

David Carlson

Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

by David Carlson '99, Alumni Council President

Periodically, events on campus spark debate and dialogue among students, faculty, alumni and those around us. This can show up in myriad forms: a polarizing public speaker, faculty activities, opinions expressed in campus publications, or items that make their way onto various forms of online media. As president of the Alumni Council, I certainly receive my fair share of feedback from our community (and from all sides of an issue!) when noteworthy activities spur people to voice their opinion. It strikes me that this creative tension and discourse is a beautiful feature of being part of a community. On some level, there is an ownership mentality that runs deep within this Dickinson community of ours and a connection to “self.” To varying degrees, many of us derive some of our identity from the people, passions and events emanating from and involving our Dickinson. In short, we care ... and so we speak.

Along these lines, the Alumni Council has made some structural changes over the past year in the form of working groups to unpack issues and events that the college or council believes warrant meaningful discussion. This allows the council to be nimble in the forms of dialogue we employ and groups that we can serve. This is the first year of implementing this new model of conversation and, in my view, it reflects the evolving need to remain a relevant bridge between the college and its base of passionate alumni.

On a personal note, this year marks my 20th reunion. Whenever I return to campus, I reflect on the impact this institution has had on my life. Many of my oldest friends are alumni, and my first job came from on-site interviews, which led to a career, two businesses, a marriage and two amazing sons. If you get the chance, take some time this spring to do the same and you might be surprised at the impact this great community has had on your life.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Hopefully I’ll see you on campus or at an event near you.

Read more from the spring 2019 issue of Dickinson Magazine.


Published May 10, 2019