by Tony Moore
David Tretter '14 has been pretty busy during his four years at Dickinson. The political-science major has a minor in French and has already earned a security-studies certificate. He's on the golf team, works as a student interviewer in the admissions office and has been a tour guide all four years. He's also been a part-time EMT with a Carlisle ambulance company since the summer after his first year.
And he can't say enough about the scholarship that got him here and the people who funded it.
"What they do is an amazing thing," he says. "It's great to know that there are people out there who are so passionate about the school that they want to help other people go here." Tretter himself is pretty passionate about Dickinson now too, and as you'll often hear from Dickinsonians, he knew right away that Dickinson was where he belonged.
"I walked around the campus, and I just had a gut feeling that this was the place for me," he says. "I'll have students I meet through my work in admissions who say the same thing: They have a gut feeling that Dickinson is right for them. You just know; you just get that feeling." Without the help of scholarship donors, though, that gut feeling would not have been enough to get Tretter on campus after that first visit.
"About half of my tuition comes from aid," he says. "The way it worked out, I would have paid more to go to a state school than I paid to go here, because of the financial aid. And this is the kind of school I wanted to go to. I didn't want to go to a big state school."
What Tretter was looking for in a Dickinson education, and what he has found, was an experience—not just an education.
"The overall Dickinson experience is just different from anywhere else," he says. "I hear this from my friends at different schools, from families visiting admissions—there's such a strong sense of community here, and you're exposed to so many different things. I love talking to prospective students and telling them my story.
After graduation, Tretter hopes to get involved with law enforcement, eventually on the federal level, but for now he's preparing for postgrad life in the Alumni Leadership Training Program. "I want to stay involved with Dickinson, because I've had such a great experience," he says. "There's an overwhelming sense of community and belonging here: You're not just a Dickinson student; you're a Dickinsonian."
Published November 14, 2013