Read Q&As with Michael Bloom ’69 and Susan Miller ’81, two current members of Dickinson's board of trustees.
Years on the BOT: 17
Retired Partner and General Counsel, Morgan, Lewis
Legal Ethics and Risk Management Consultant
I was recruited to the board by then-President Bill Durden ’71 and then-VP for Enrollment Management Bob Massa. At that time, it was my hope to assist the college in significantly improving student diversity while helping to expand our endowment, which would create additional sorely needed funds for scholarships.
Shockingly for some, the board is not composed entirely of old white men. I’m the longtime chair of what is now the Committee on Governance, and we have worked hard to diversify the board in all respects: adding talented persons of color, working on gender balance, adding younger members, broadening the range of skill sets of trustees and expanding our demographics. We are incredibly pleased that two of our newer trustees were the Young Alumni Trustees in 2011 and 2012. Who knew when we established the Young Alumni Trustee program a decade ago as an experiment that it would have developed so successfully?
I was a history major with minors in French and political science. My thesis was on Pierre Laval, vice premier under Petain of Vichy France. As a student of the turbulent ’60s, I was on my way to Harvard Graduate School of History in May of 1969. With the draft in place during the Vietnam War and graduate deferments eliminated, in June 1969, I found myself in Parris Island, South Carolina, in the Marine Corps. I became a lawyer with the goal of protecting the rights of others. While there are many differences between then and now, there are so many parallels.
Years on the BOT: 2
President & CEO, ATIS
Becoming a member of the board of trustees was an alignment of the stars. I attended Dickinson’s first Women’s Leadership Summit, and I had the opportunity to sit next to former board chair Jennifer Ward Reynolds ’77 at the luncheon. Jennifer did this wonderful thing—she slipped out to go to the College Farm’s market stand and returned with a bag of beautiful garlic cloves, and she gave one to me! Not long after, I was formally invited to join, and I was ready to jump in and take the next step of engagement with the college. Never underestimate the value of who you sit next to at an event!
I was privileged to join the board during a transformational moment spurred by the challenges of COVID and the pressures being brought to bear on higher education. I’m chair of the board’s IT Ad Hoc Committee, which is facilitating Dickinson’s digital transformation. I hope to help shepherd a new age at Dickinson—building on its great strengths while launching it into a bright, modern and innovative future.
The BOT is passionate about the college and its ability to be successful in a changing higher-education environment. The trustees have all received the great gifts of a Dickinson education and now want to give back in a way that delivers an exciting future for Dickinson. It’s one of the most engaged boards I have ever been part of. And the diversity of the experiences and talent on the board ensures that opportunities and challenges are looked at from many angles.
I own a boutique wine, beer and craft spirits business, where the products are organic, biodynamic or made from sustainably grown ingredients. It’s one store in a community of stores that are all focused on being kind to the planet and offering clean products. We brought a group of students working on the College Farm to visit these businesses and experience the entrepreneurial ideas and spirit of these planet-friendly businesses. I spent eight years helping a young architectural student from Honduras gain asylum in the U.S., after he was the victim of gang violence and arrived here as an undocumented immigrant. It was a long and difficult lesson in the U.S. immigration process. And it was a thrilling moment when we made it through the court system to receive his green card. It’s one of the most satisfying give-back experiences I have ever had.
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Published March 2, 2022