Looking Back, Moving Forward

Dickinson graduation23 052123 co 123 700x467 dsonmag summer23

Photo by Caroline O'Connor.

by President John E. Jones III '77, P'11

I’m writing this column just after the midpoint of the year, in the quietude of the summer. It’s a perfect time to reflect on the immediate past and look forward to the future.

The 2022-23 academic year was filled with milestones. Our Campaign for Scholarships exceeded the $50 million mark and continues to rise. We completed our strategic plan after extensive work by the all-college committee assembled to formulate it. These accomplishments are two aspects of my Dickinson Forward initiative, announced during my first year as president.

Last fall brought our first chief diversity officer, Vice President Tony Boston, to my senior leadership team. Tony has taken this new position in directions that are truly impactful. I am delighted to say that he has even bigger plans ahead.

Commencement weekend in May featured glorious weather, and the day was both poignant and memorable. When asked what I love most about this job, without question it is interacting with our terrific students. Excited as I am for their careers as they depart the limestone walls, it’s terribly difficult to see them leave campus. The personal relationships that I enjoy with so many of them have been inspiring. These students give me great hope for the future.

The turnout for Alumni Weekend in June was record-breaking, as over 1,600 alums descended on campus in celebration. One of the highlights was marking the 100th anniversary of the Alumni Council. I cannot imagine a more engaged and active college council. These dedicated alums continue to do remarkable work on behalf of our college.

June also saw the end of Provost Neil Weissman’s unprecedented quarter-century tenure. Earlier in the spring we honored Neil with several events, and the outpouring of congratulations from every college constituency was incredible. Happily, Neil will continue to serve Dickinson as a faculty member, and I expect he’ll be engaged in other projects as well.

But enough reminiscing, and on to 2023-24! The new academic year brings a sense of renewal, as members of the class of ’27 arrive to begin their Dickinson experiences. It’s a diverse and superbly qualified group, and I’m excited to get to know them.

Later this fall we will dedicate the John M. Paz ’78 Alumni & Family Center. I’ve had the opportunity to tour it several times, and it’s going to be magnificent and of great value to our college. It’s a tribute to those dedicated alums who possessed the vision and generosity necessary to make this project a reality.

Renée Cramer is now fully onboard as our provost. From the first time I met her, I felt that she was a perfect fit for Dickinson. She is energetic, exceedingly bright and brimming with ideas. Renée traveled to campus for Alumni Weekend, and it was wonderful to watch her interact with our alumni community. Stay tuned for more news on the academic front as Renée keeps our college arcing toward even greater excellence and prestige.

At every stop on my now completed Dickinson Forward tour, I asked: What will your Dickinson experience be? This applies to both our incoming class of ’27 as well as our robust alumni network. Join us so that your Dickinson experiences will continue to grow, as we together move our college forward.

Read more from the summer 2023 issue of Dickinson Magazine.


Published August 21, 2023