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Dickinson College Alumni Come Together for Class of 2020

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Alumni offer help, congratulations to seniors graduating amidst global pandemic

With Dickinson's class of 2020 graduating at a challenging time amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the alumni community is coming together to show their support. More than 100 have already shared congratulatory messages to the class, and earlier this week many more responded to an email from Dickinson President Margee Ensign asking alumni to help graduates as they enter a difficult job market.

In the message Ensign let Dickinsonians know of three ways they can help this year's graduates:

  1. Posting job and internship opportunities through the college's career development team.
  2. Submitting remote short-term projects through Dickinson's partnership with Parker Dewey.
  3. Offering informational interviews or career advice through Alumnifire and/or Dickinson's LinkedIn Career Community.

Though the college still plans to hold a Commencement for the class of 2020 once large gatherings are permitted on campus, Dickinson will celebrate the class of 2020 with a Facebook Premiere video on the college's Facebook page on Sunday, May 17, at 1 p.m. The college has also created a Facebook profile frame that graduates and their families can use to join in the celebration from home. 

Additionally, senior celebration packages that include diplomas and a few gifts are currently being assembled and will be mailed next week. 

In the meantime, the alumni community is already celebrating and welcoming its newest members with messages like this from Joshua Swarz '08:

"While we find ourselves in this very challenging time, as a Dickinson graduate, you are uniquely prepared to face whatever comes your way. Enjoy this special moment in your lives, and celebrate it with friends and family (with 6 ft. of distance between you)! Remember that while you will no doubt face obstacles as you start your careers, you are able to conquer a lot more than you think. Congrats to the class of 2020!"

Below is the full text of the message President Ensign sent to alumni detailing how they can help this year's graduates:

Dear Dickinsonians:

As you know, our students and recent graduates have always relied on the strength of the Dickinson network to chart successful careers. This year, perhaps more than ever, our network will be vital in helping members of the class of 2020 launch successfully into a challenging job market.

Accordingly, I’m writing to make three requests from you to help our graduating seniors:

  1. If you know of job or internship opportunities, please post them through our career development team so they can help advertise and recruit.
  2. If you or your organization has remote, short-term (5-40 hours) projects, please post them through our “micro-internship” partnership with Parker Dewey, the world’s largest freelance and micro-internship platform for students and recent graduates. (Please indicate in the post if you will give preference to applicants from Dickinson.)
  3. Regardless of whether you’re hiring or know about open opportunities, please consider offering informational interviews or career advice to students and recent graduates by joining Alumnifire and/or Dickinson's LinkedIn Career Community.

If you have any questions about the resources or websites listed above or any questions about other ways you can provide career development support to other Dickinsonians, please don’t hesitate to contact Damon Yarnell, associate provost and executive director of the Center for Advising, Internships & Lifelong Career Development, at

Thank you for helping our students and recent graduates put their best foot forward during these challenging times. I hope that you and your loved ones are doing well and staying safe.


Margee M. Ensign
President, Dickinson College

Published May 13, 2020