Dickinson's John M. Paz '78 Alumni & Family Center Comes to Life

alumni and family center


video by Joe O'Neill

'It’s going to be a rallying place on campus,' says President Jones of the new space, which will be dedicated to making connections across the Dickinson community

by Tony Moore

As part of Dickinson Forward, and a visual embodiment of how President John E. Jones III ’77, P’11, strives to ensure that the college is always evolving, Dickinson is transforming the Historic President’s House into the new John M. Paz '78 Alumni & Family Center.

“When you come down High Street and you get to the corner and you see the John M. Paz '78 Alumni & Family Center, you're going to know that you're at a first-class world-class institution,” says Jones, noting that the facility will serve as an events space where alumni, students and parents can connect. “[It’s] going to be a rallying place on campus for alums, for folks on campus, for families visiting campus.”

The idea to transform the Historic President's House into an alumni center came to life as a group of donors and leaders stepped forward and dedicated time, effort and financial gifts to make it happen. And it wouldn’t be possible without the abundant generosity of John Paz ’78, the lead donor on the effort and the center’s namesake.

“I just thought it sounded like a fantastic idea, [and] I’m ecstatic about it,” says Paz, an entrepreneur and former economics major. “I just think it’s a different idea for Dickinson. I’ve been fortunate enough in my life that it’s time to give back, and that’s really what it’s all about.”

Serving as a gateway to the entire campus as visitors approach from the downtown square, the Historic President’s House was once home to Dickinson presidents but has been vacant for years—a great space with historic significance in need of some attention. And with the help of members of the community like Paz, it’s becoming a reality that will be a self-sustaining showcase for what it means to be a Dickinsonian.

“The donors who enabled this project felt very passionately that they wanted to fund it 100%, that it would not be a drain on the college's resources,” says Jones. “And not only that, but they wanted to endow the maintenance and the upkeep of this in perpetuity.”

Paz says he hopes his gift, and the inspiring new center born of it, will help reinvigorate the campus community and inspire others to give back to the place that means so much to him.

“I would say to a lot of my friends at Dickinson that are fortunate, it's time to give back a little bit to some place that can make a difference,” says Paz. “It made a difference for us, and I’d like to see it continue to make a difference. We’ve got a good leader. Let’s join together.”


Published September 27, 2022