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Dickinson Forward Tour Energizes Florida Alumni and Parents

President John E. Jones III ’77, P’11, addresses guests during the Dickinson Forward Tour stop in Naples, Florida, which was hosted by George Hager '78.

President John E. Jones III ’77, P’11, addresses guests during the Dickinson Forward Tour stop in Naples, Florida, which was hosted by George Hager '78.

President Jones Highlights Dickinson’s Momentum at Events in Naples and Miami

by Matt Getty

The Dickinson Forward Tour rolled into Florida last week, bringing President John E. Jones III ’77, P’11, to Naples and Miami to meet with alumni and parents in the region and highlight Dickinson’s recent accomplishments as well as the college’s plans for the future.

“I think the word of the day in terms of what we’ve done at Dickinson over the last 18 months is ‘momentum,’ ” President Jones told attendees at the Naples event, which was hosted by George Hager '78, the retired CEO of Genesis Healthcare and a member of Dickinson’s Board of Trustees. “And we’re getting the word out on that more and more, because I don't want Dickinson to be one of the best-kept secrets in higher ed. I want us to be the college of first choice.”

George Hager '78 and John E. Jones III ’77, P’11, welcome guests to the Naples, Florida, Dickinson Forward Tour stop.

George Hager and President Jones welcome guests to the Dickinson Forward Tour stop in Naples.

To illustrate the college’s momentum, Jones highlighted some recent progress on the multifaceted Dickinson Forward initiative he launched when he became president, which includes:

These initiatives and other recent accomplishments, such as Dickinson being once again named one of the country’s top producers of Fulbright students, have alumni like Hager excited about Jones’ leadership. “John has done such a spectacular job meeting the challenges higher education is facing right now,” he said. “With his stewardship and leadership, I think we have an amazing future in front of us.”

John Paz ’78 urges attendees to support Dickinson during the Naples, Florida, event.

John Paz ’78 urges attendees to support Dickinson during the Naples tour stop.

John Paz ’78, who attended the Naples event and recently made the lead gift to begin renovations to turn Dickinson’s Historic President’s House into the John M. Paz '78 Alumni & Family Center, agreed.

“This college is really in a place where supporting Dickinson is a way for you to make a difference in the world, because John's got it right,” said Paz, an entrepreneur, leadership consultant and recipient of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award. “When I see the way John has stepped forward, I think it’s inspiring, and it makes me want to support him and the college. So I think right now, for all of us, if you have a chance to support Dickinson, you definitely should.”

Mark Burgess '81 welcomes guests to the Miami event, including Jennifer Ward Reynolds '77 and her husband, George (left) and Tom Logue '77 (right).

Mark Burgess '81 welcomes guests to the Miami Dickinson Forward Tour stop, including Jennifer Ward Reynolds '77 and her husband, George (left) and Tom Logue '77 (right). Photo by Dan Loh.

The Miami tour stop was held at PM Buenos Aires Restaurant and hosted by Mark Burgess '81, CEO of Mauser Packaging Solutions and a Dickinson trustee, along with his wife, Lisa. Like Paz and Hager, Burgess noted that President Jones’s leadership has Dickinson well positioned for the future.

“John is someone who really has all the attributes that a great president should have,” said Burgess when he introduced Jones at the event. “He’s a guy who is incredibly patient, a guy who is obviously super smart, a guy who has really taken what he’s learned in life and applied it in the right way to get where he is. He’s passionate about what he does, and he brings great energy and leadership every day to Dickinson. We’re very, very lucky to have him.”

Mark Burgess '81 (right) introduces President John E. Jones III ’77, P’11, before he addresses the guests at the Miami Dickinson Forward Tour stop.

Mark Burgess introduces President Jones before he addresses the guests at the Miami tour stop. Photo by Dan Loh.

At both events, Jones also encouraged all attendees to join in the college’s momentum, stressing that his commitment to Dickinson is unwavering. “If you think that I'm enthusiastic, you got that right,” he said. “And I’m all in. Our best days as a college are ahead of us.”

The Dickinson Forward Tour continues throughout the spring with locations in Madison, Richmond, Paris, London, Bremen and Denver. To learn more about the tour, visit https://www.dickinson.edu/forwardtour.

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Published February 23, 2023