The Foundation of a Lifelong Dickinson Experience

Eric fennel alumni council president 20230610 loh 021 700x467 dsonmag summer23

by Eric Fennel '92, Alumni Council President

The mission of the Alumni Council is to activate and sustain alumni engagement across classes and generations. We recognize, however, that while we can measure engagement (e.g., philanthropic giving, event participation, volunteerism), the reasons we individually choose to engage and the ways we do so are personal and evolving. As such, we’ve organized our work around the distinct relationships that are critical to helping all alumni enjoy a lifelong Dickinson experience. As I noted in my last column, these key relationships include:

  • The relationship between undergraduates and alumni
  • The relationship between alumni across classes and generations
  • The relationship between alumni and Dickinson as an institution

Today, I want to focus on the relationship between undergraduates and alumni, because we believe this relationship is the foundation for sustained alumni engagement. As an undergraduate, part of the value you seek in a Dickinson education—in addition to the academic and social experiences—is the ongoing support of our more than 25,000 very accomplished alumni, including executives, entrepreneurs and leaders in the creative arts and in their communities.

We believe this relationship should begin the day a student arrives at Dickinson and build over their four years, so that upon graduation they already are (and feel like) an active member of the alumni community. Those of us who’ve had the opportunity to build relationships with alumni as undergraduates have not only benefited from access to internships and job opportunities but have also built sustained personal relationships with mentors who became friends.

The same is true for those alumni who’ve found opportunities to support Dickinson students. We’ve shared our learnings and experiences and, in the process, found meaningful ways to expand our contribution to Dickinson by investing time in future alumni, colleagues and friends.

The Alumni Council will be working with the college to sponsor a number of activities to support the connection between alumni and students. In the meantime, we encourage you to join us and help make yourself accessible to Dickinson undergraduates, complete the Volunteer Interest Form, share internship and job opportunities through Alumni Fire and support student activities on campus or in your area. These opportunities and more are available at

Read more from the fall 2023 issue of Dickinson Magazine.


Published November 21, 2023