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D-Book

Dickinson College p.o. box 1773 carlisle, pennsylvania 17013 Revised May 2010


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Old West


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Contents Authors’ Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Timeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Our People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Our Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Our Landmarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84 Our Symbols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96 Our Engagements . . . . . . . . . . . .106 Our Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . .118


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Authors’ Note The stories of Dickinson College and the stories of those herein span more than 200 years. Every year, our college welcomes a new group of students as we continue the proud legacy of useful education in the tradition of Dr. Benjamin Rush’s vision. The D-Book, a small, selective depiction of our community, was last printed on a regular basis in 1961-62. Its purpose was to orient students to numerous organizations and regulations. Because we are conscious of our proud heritage and take inspiration from past Dickinsonians we, as students, undertook a revival of the D-Book. Today, when we embark on adventures on campus or abroad, our surroundings are filled with the spirits of Dickinsonians who came before. Taking each step into the world that awaits us, we must look to our predecessors for insight and solace, as our successors will look to us, knowing always that our way through college and through life may be unique but, in the end, all is lost without remembrance. Student Writers: Elizabeth Glynn ’06 Tim Kuppler ’07 Peter Lake ’06 Daniel Makosky ’06 Gregory Moyer ’06 Michael Sauerwald ’06

Contributors: William G. Durden ’71 Andrew Ferguson ’06 Jim Gerencser ’93 The Office of Communications


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Old Class Rule



Freshmen shall keep their hands out of their pockets and, when wearing a coat in public, shall have at least one button buttoned.

Please note: The D-Book is an incomplete history of Dickinson College. It does not contain every person, event or organization that has shaped the college. Rather, the authors sought to include a broad representation, in random order, of activities and influences. The college plans to continue publishing the D-Book for future classes. If you have suggestions for additional content, please e-mail communications@dickinson.edu.


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dickinson college d-book Important Dates in Dickinson College History

1751 Carlisle was established as the Cumberland County seat. 1773 Thomas and John Penn donated land to establish a grammar school in Carlisle, thus founding what later would become Dickinson College. 1782 During an evening on William Bingham’s porch in Philadelphia, Benjamin Rush and John Montgomery decided to start a college in place of a grammar school. 1783 Dickinson College was granted its charter by the Pennsylvania state legislature. 1785 Charles Nisbet became the first president of Dickinson College. 1786 The Belles Lettres Society was founded. 1787 The first Commencement ceremony was held with nine graduates. 1789 The Union Philosophical Society was founded. 1795 Future U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney graduated as valedictorian. 1796 Students were first divided into classes (freshman, junior and senior). 1803 The first college building burned down, and the cornerstone was laid for the building that would become Old West.


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Charles Nisbet

1805 Old West was completed. 1809 James Buchanan, future 15th president of the United States, graduated. 1833 A law school was authorized at the request of Judge John Reed. 1836 East College was built. 1837 Enrollment was more than 100 students, and the first senior class under Methodist leadership graduated. 1840 Spencer Fullerton Baird, future professor of natural history at Dickinson and future secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, graduated. 1847 Professor John McClintock was tried and acquitted for instigating a slave riot in Carlisle. 1863 Confederate forces occupied Carlisle.


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1872 The first issue of The Dickinsonian was published by the Belles Lettres and Union Philosophical societies. 1885 Jacob Tome Scientific Building, now known as the Stern Center, was completed. 1887 Zatae Longsdorff was the first woman to graduate from Dickinson. 1890 Microcosm began annual publication. 1892 Dickinson acquired Allison Memorial Church for $40,000. 1896 Denny Hall was constructed. 1904 Denny Hall burned down. 1905 Rebuilt Denny Memorial Hall was dedicated.

Fire in Denny Hall

1909 Judge Edward William Biddle, class of 1870, donated land in the open lots between High and Louther streets for use as athletics fields. 1921 The college dedicated a plaque in Old West’s Memorial Hall in recognition of the 15 Dickinsonians who gave their lives during


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1923 1924 1926

1929

1931 1943

1951 1952 1952 1954 1956

1962 1963

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World War I. The first alumni magazine, the Dickinson Alumnus, was printed. The first Homecoming celebration was held Oct. 31-Nov. 1. Dickinson, Gettysburg, Franklin & Marshall, Muhlenberg and Ursinus colleges formed the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Alumni Gymnasium, which later was renovated into the Emil R. Weiss Center for the Arts, was dedicated. The Dickinson football team defeated Penn State, 10-6. The first midyear graduation in college history was held through the acceleratedgraduation program, which helped make men available for service in World War II. The U.S. Army War College opened at the Carlisle Barracks. Drayer Hall was completed and dedicated. The ROTC program started on campus. Mary Sharp Foucht became the first female trustee. C. Scott Althouse donated $300,000 for the construction of a new chemistry building, then the largest gift in college history from a living individual. WDCV-FM began broadcasting. Old West became a registered National Historical Landmark.


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1964 The college announced its affiliation with The Johns Hopkins Center for International Studies in Bologna, Italy, which led to the launch of Dickinson’s first study-abroad program. 1966 The Holland Union Building (HUB) was dedicated. 1967 The college community moved the library’s entire collection from Bosler Hall to the new Boyd Lee Spahr Library in a one-day book walk, and the new library was dedicated in November. 1968 The faculty approved the five-day class schedule, which replaced the six-day schedule. 1969 Dickinson announced the foundation of a Sports Hall of Fame and inducted its first honorees. 1969 The first Declare Day was held. 1969 Newly built Kinser-Woodward was used for summer-school housing with women in one wing and men in the other. This coed housing is carried over into the normal school year. 1970 Dickinson responded to the Kent State shooting with a strike and a peaceful march on the U.S. Army War College. 1972 The Dickinsonian celebrated its 100th anniversary. 1979 Identification cards became required to eat in the dining hall.


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1979 The Three Mile Island accident caused the college to cancel classes for a week. 1980 The Kline Life/Sports Learning Center opened. 1981 The first freshman seminars began. 1984 The college secured a $1,000,000 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for study-abroad and foreignlanguage programs. 1984 Dickinson purchased Rainbow Micro Computers for public use, and students began to have computer accounts. 1987 As a gift to Dickinson, the owners of a 2.68acre limestone quarry in West Pennsboro Township sold it to the college at 10 percent of its true value. 1990 Common Hour was instituted. 1992 Admissions received applications from all 50 states for the first time. 1992 The Devil’s Den opened. 1993 The Centennial Conference, founded in 1983 as a football conference, began competition in all sports. 1995 The new student social space, The Depot, opened. It replaced The Lumberyard, which collapsed the previous year due to heavy snow. 1996 Internet access became available in residence halls. 1999 The board of trustees announced William G.


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dickinson college d-book Durden ’71 as its choice for the college’s next president. Dickinson librarian Yongyi Song and wife Helen Yao were detained by authorities in China. Yao soon was released, but a sixmonth campaign was necessary to secure Song’s release. Carlisle and the college organized a Unity Rally in response to a Ku Klux Klan rally in town. Dickinson announced the receipt of the largest restricted gift in the college’s history from the estate of the late Robert A. Waidner ’32. As part of an increasingly global community on campus, the college hosted scholars from 18 countries for the U.S. Department of State Fulbright American Studies Institute. The Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholars and Writers Program was established when Jean Louise Stellfox ’60 bequeathed more than $1 million to the college. The first recipient of the award was British novelist Ian McEwan. The college formed the High I Partnership to assist in the revitalization of downtown Carlisle. Dickinson’s Office of College and Community Development was the first college office to be located downtown.


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2006 On May 5 Dickinson began construction on the keystone phase of the Rector Science Campus with a groundbreaking ceremony at North College and West Louther streets. The complex, designed to match the college’s innovative, nationally recognized science program, will be the most “ambitious and potentially ‘useful’ building project in our long history,” said President William G. Durden ’71 at the ceremony. 2006 Pi Beta Phi received the Balfour Cup as the best chapter in the nation. 2006 The public phase of First in America: Fulfilling Our Destiny capital campaign kicked off Oct. 7 in Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center on Independence Mall. The campaign’s $150 million goal is the largest in the college’s history. 2006 The second recipient of the Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholars and Writers Program was Rita Dove, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and two-term poet laureate of the United States. 2007 U.S. Senator Bob Dole was the college’s 2007 Poitras-Gleim Lecturer during the Public Affairs Symposium (PAS). Dole’s keynote speech, “Laughing (Almost) All the Way to the White House,” was part of the five-day symposium titled No Laughing Matter: Humor in a Complex World.


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2008 The Center for Sustainable Living (Treehouse) was the first college residence in Pennsylvania to receive gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. 2008 An institutional Women’s Center was established focused on providing resources and support and creating a more inclusive community around issues of gender, race, class and sexual orientation. 2008 Thanks to a $1.4 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, Dickinson established the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. 2008 James and Stuart halls of the Rector Science Complex were dedicated and received gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. 2009 Dickinson established agreements with five leading community colleges to pilot the Community College Partnership, a program that prepares full-time, highly motivated honors students for transfer to Dickinson. The agreements are with two community colleges in Maryland—Howard Community College and Montgomery College—and three in Pennsylvania—Montgomery County Community College, Northampton Community College and Harrisburg Area Community College.


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2009 The college celebrated 125 Years of Women at Dickinson: A Legacy of Success. 2009 For the second year, Dickinson received an A- on the 2010 Green Report Card, the highest overall grade given by the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI). Dickinson also earned recognition as an Overall College Sustainability Leader and a Campus Sustainability Leader. 2009 A delegation of 15 students and two administrators attended the United Nations Framework on Climate Change 15th Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, as part of a yearlong intensive course on policy development, climate change, and public communication. 2010 Dickinson established a new certificate program in security studies, which includes opportunities for students through the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Peacekeeping Institute 2010 Students organized a relief concert at the Carlisle Theatre for the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti and raised more than $17,000.


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Our People Benjamin Rush Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the foremost American physician of the 18th century, is the founder of Dickinson College. The curriculum of the college was slated to be different from what Rush considered to be the “monkish” courses of study that remained unchanged for 250 years in England and used in colonial America by the likes of Harvard University, Yale University and King’s College (Columbia University). Rush intended Dickinson to advance the useful knowledge that was beginning to be introduced through the Scottish Enlightenment and his alma mater, Princeton University—Dickinson’s historical sister college. This useful education would permit graduates to join in building a just, compassionate and economically sustainable democracy. Rush called for a Dickinson education to be bold and “forward-looking” for a resourceful nation. He called Dickinson his “petulant brat” because of its boldness and spirited attitude toward changing times. For example, Rush argued against the study of Latin and Greek. He was fine with the reading of these languages for the life lessons that might be learned, but he believed that acquiring the ability to


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speak and write those languages would be a waste of time. Instead, Rush wanted the curriculum to stress the modern languages—German and French, even Native American languages—which would have more immediate applications. He also wanted the sciences to be a major feature of the Dickinson curriculum, especially chemistry. He argued that knowledge was interconnected and had to be approached in this way. He also argued that students should appreciate how their new representative government functioned and urged students to walk downtown after class to sit in the Carlisle courthouse and “watch America work.” Rush juxtaposed knowledge of America with the need for selected students to study overseas and bring home the best practices of others to improve their own country. Rush was known as temperamental, impatient and enthusiastic. He argued for American independence from Britain. He may have been the first U.S. military officer (he was a surgeon general in the Revolution) to speak out against a commander in chief (George Washington) during wartime. Rush criticized Washington for the deplorable health conditions of American troops. Even so, their friendship did not diminish. Rush’s impetuous personality was tempered by modesty. He would not name the college after him-


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Dr. Benjamin Rush

self. Rather, he chose to name the college after his good friend John Dickinson. Rush’s first choice for a name was John and Mary’s College, Mary being John Dickinson’s wife. But he decided the name was too reminiscent of The College of William and Mary, named for a British king and queen and far too “royal” for a distinctively American college. Rush then settled on Dickinson College. Rush refused to have anything at the college


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named in his honor. When he thought that his fellow trustees might name the current Old West after him, he wrote, “Should I hear of my unworthy name being stained upon any of your walls, I shall employ a person to deface it.” In his autobiography, Rush described extensively the character traits of his fellow signers of the Declaration of Independence. Of himself, he stated merely, “He aimed well.” Rush was passionately revolutionary and fought for important causes. He is considered the founder of battlefield medicine and dentistry in America. He argued for the humane treatment of the mentally challenged and established the first free mentalhealth clinic in America. Rush fought against slavery and secretly funded (and then attended) the first African-American church in America. He advocated for a U.S. navy, spoke ardently against capital punishment and advanced the substantive education of women and a national university system. Rush is considered the father of American psychiatry and was this country’s first professor of chemistry (at the University of Pennsylvania). He was physician and adviser to the Lewis and Clarke Expedition and introduced the infamous Dr. Rush’s Bilious Pills (laxatives), known to the explorers as “thunderclappers.” Some criticized Rush’s cure (bleeding) of those suffering from a 1793 yellow fever epidemic in


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Philadelphia. However, he was one of the few physicians who stayed in the city and treated the poor at no cost, while most of his colleagues fled. Others criticized his experiments in mental health, including the use of the tranquilizer chair, described as “the most complete restraint of a patient’s every move ever devised.” Rush founded three colleges including Dickinson—Franklin College (Franklin & Marshall today) and the Philadelphia College of Physicians were the other two. And lastly, he was perhaps America’s first major networker. He was responsible for the reconciliation of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in the latter phases of their lives. They were close friends during the Revolutionary years, but the presidential election of Jefferson and a differing of political perspectives caused the two founding fathers to sever their contact for decades. But Rush wished to have them correspond and leave for posterity a record of their dialogue about the founding of the country. Rush even predicted that they would die on the same day, which they did—July 4, 1826—50 years to the day from our declaration of independence from Britain. John Dickinson The college was named for John Dickinson, a lifelong friend of the founder, Dr. Benjamin Rush.


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John Dickinson

When the college was chartered in 1783, Dickinson was president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. Born in Maryland, Dickinson studied law in London and entered the British bar in 1757. He served in the colonial assemblies of Delaware and of Pennsylvania.


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He is the author of Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania 1767-1768, which was one of the first key documents arguing for colonial interests against Britain. Dickinson was a member of the Continental Congress, a brigadier general in the Continental Army, governor of Delaware in 1781, governor of Pennsylvania from 1782-1785 and a signer (in absentia) of the U.S. Constitution. Dickinson did not sign the Declaration of Independence, although he was present up until the moment of signing. Some suggest that his is the exiting leg in the doorway often depicted in paintings of the signing. Dickinson, in contrast to Rush, was a cautious and deliberate man, and he believed that the fledgling nation would not be in a position to win militarily against Britain, as war surely would come quickly upon the signing. Once the Declaration was signed, however, he enlisted in the Continental Army. Dickinson was the first chairman of the college’s board of trustees. His gifts to the college included 200 acres in York County, 500 acres in Cumberland County, $500 in cash and a highly valuable selection of books from the library of his father-in-law. This 18th-century collection is on display in the college archives today and is used frequently by students and scholars from around the world.


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John Montgomery Col. John Montgomery, born in 1727, was one of Dickinson’s three original founders and a U.S. congressman. He was a significant leader in the military, in government and in the community. Among the citizens of Cumberland County, Pa., Montgomery was known as a man of many talents. Over the years, he was a storekeeper, farmer, soldier, lawyer, judge and politician. Along with his friend, Dr. Benjamin Rush, Montgomery would prove to be the strongest advocate for Dickinson College, credited with the school’s early survival and with being the most active of its local trustees. He served the college tirelessly until his death in 1808. Moncure Conway, class of 1849 Moncure Conway was born in Virginia and graduated from Dickinson in 1849. An ordained Methodist minister, his abolitionist views caused him to move to Boston, where he met his lifelong mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and graduated from Harvard University in 1854. After leaving the Methodist church, Conway moved to Cincinnati and became a Unitarian minister. He became outspoken on free religion, voting rights and the Spanish-American War. He befriended Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Andrew Carnegie. It was Conway’s connection to Carnegie that


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Moncure Conway

caused the latter to donate $63,480 to Dickinson. Originally, Carnegie’s gift was meant to rebuild Denny Hall after it was destroyed by fire, but the gift was redirected, with Carnegie’s consent, to construct a new building that would be named for Conway. Conway Hall was completed in 1905 and was a preparatory school and, later, a residence hall until it was razed in 1966 to make way for the Boyd Lee Spahr Library.


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James Gordon Steese, class of 1902 Gen. James Gordon Steese was part of the Army Corps of Engineers and worked on the building of the Panama Canal and the Alaska Highway, part of which is named for him. By 1934, he had traveled more than 420,000 miles and had gone around the world in five weeks, at a pace that he described as leisurely. James Buchanan, class of 1809 As the 15th president of the United States, Buchanan was the only president in American history to be sworn into office by a fellow alumnus, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, class of 1795. Buchanan was encouraged to attend Dickinson by Dr. John King, a Presbyterian minister, family friend and member of Dickinson’s board of trustees. At Dickinson, Buchanan excelled in the classroom, gaining high marks from his professors. However, Buchanan also enjoyed having fun with his friends. He was—and always would be—a socialite, enjoying parties and dinners throughout his life, often becoming inebriated. Most likely, it was for this behavior as well as numerous pranks that he received a letter in the summer of 1808, requesting that he not return to Dickinson in the fall. But because of his family’s close relationship with King, still a trustee, Buchanan was reinstated for his fall semester.


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James Buchanan

Buchanan was slated to be a primary orator at his graduation, but because of his near expulsion, he was denied this prestigious opportunity. Though his disciplinary record at Dickinson was rocky at best,


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he managed to graduate with honors. Evidence shows that Dickinsonians considered him with great respect, even requesting his representation before the board of trustees, citing his high reputation. He also was honored by Dickinson when he was awarded an honorary doctorate of law. Buchanan’s relationship with his college would come to serve him well as he rose through the political ranks, eventually to the presidency of the United States. Zatae Longsdorff Straw, class of 1887 Raised by parents who surrounded their six children with books and emphasized the significance of learning, Longsdorff was instilled with an intellectual curiosity that would shape her remarkable life. Eschewing the traditional roles that society held for the women of her day, Longsdorff translated her passions for literature and French into an offer to join Wellesley College’s freshman class at the age of 17. Her stay there was short-lived, though, because she learned that her first-choice college, Dickinson, had completed the necessary preparations to welcome its first women to campus. Following in the footsteps of her father, uncle and brother, Longsdorff transferred to Dickinson, joining the sophomore class as the only woman in a class of 93 men. Though her transition into the Dickinson


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Zatae Longsdorff Straw

community was by no means seamless, she became the college’s first female graduate and garnered the college’s highly distinguished Pierson Oratorical Prize along the way. Longsdorff later continued her academic pursuits at the Women’s Medical College. With her medical degree in hand, she moved to Blackfoot, Idaho, where she became resident physician to a Native American reservation. Longsdorff married shortly thereafter and briefly held a seat in the New Hampshire legislature before


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leaving to become the state’s first female president of the Republican convention in 1926. She remained active in local and state politics for decades, holding prominent positions on the campaign staffs for U.S. House and Senate hopefuls. Professionally, she continued her medical practice with great success and eventually was named the American Medical Society’s first female president. In 1937, Dickinson awarded her an honorary doctorate of science. Reflecting on her achievements, Longsdorff cited Dickinson as having played a crucial role in her success. “I simply wanted an education, and that desire and [attending] Dickinson were one and inseparable,” she said. Spencer Fullerton Baird, class of 1840 Five years after his graduation from Dickinson, Baird returned to the college as a faculty member. Offering to serve his first year without compensation was one of many reasons that Baird became popular with students and staff. His efforts to advance his field led not only to his ascendance to the chairmanships of both the natural-history and chemistry departments but also to his greatest legacy: his leadership at the Smithsonian Institution. Recognizing the importance of hands-on experience in order to fully develop an understanding of


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Spencer Fullerton Baird

the natural world, Baird distinguished himself as an innovative instructor by leading his students into the field. Though common today, fieldwork was considered groundbreaking in his day. Baird was appointed as the Smithsonian’s assistant secretary in 1850 and secretary in 1878. He was recognized abroad, as well as at home, as among the


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very foremost scientific men. When he traveled from Carlisle to Washington, D.C., to begin work at the Smithsonian, it required two freight cars to transport his collection of birds, lizards, fish, skins and skeletons, weighing 89,000 pounds. This became the foundation of the Smithsonian’s natural-history collection. The U.S. National Museum, which later was organized into divisions such as the Museum of Natural History, opened through his encouragement and under his supervision. Jennie Taylor, class of 1889 Jennie Taylor, vice president of the class of 1889, was the first dental missionary to Africa. In 1893, Taylor sailed from New York to England to Africa. She spent a short time in Liberia then a few months in Congo Free State but most of her time in Angola. Her first dental patient there was her future husband, Charles Gordon, who had spent a decade with the African mission. They married in Angola and had a daughter, Florence, in October 1896. Taylor, known as “Dr. Jennie,” died of hematoric fever, which is related to malaria, 14 months later. Newspapers across the United States carried reports of her death in Africa at age 30 in December 1897. Gilbert Jones, class of 1906 Gilbert Jones, class of 1906, charted a first for an American of his race. In 1909, two years after he


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left Dickinson with an M.A. in hand, Jones became the first black American to earn a Ph.D. from a Germany university, according to Black Firsts. He earned his doctorate from the University of Jena. With his expertise in languages and multiple degrees (B.A. and B.S. from Wilberforce University, bachelor of philosophy and M.A. from Dickinson) he was known as one of the leading black scholars of the early 20th century, authoring books and articles on education theory and German literature. He was awarded honorary doctorates from Dickinson and Howard and Wilberforce universities before dying in 1966. Joseph Priestley The Priestley name may be most recognizable to Dickinsonians as the namesake for the college’s annual Priestley Award, given to prominent scientists. For Priestley’s name to be attached to such a celebrated prize is appropriate, for it was this Britishborn man who was responsible for the discovery of oxygen and eight other gasses. Priestley, primarily a theologian, had earned a reputation as a highly accomplished man and thus was received by prominent figures like Benjamin Franklin and Antoine Lavoisier. It was only in the waning years of his life that he emigrated from his native England to the United States. He settled first in Philadelphia but soon relocated to central Pennsylvania.


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Though not necessarily among his most renowned works, Priestley took note of the significance of a liberal-arts education in a book published in 1765. He spoke of the necessity of broad curricula designed to exceed the typical boundaries of exclusively professional educations. He felt that all those who could affect the course of public affairs should be exposed to diverse fields to avoid being “mere novices upon our entering the great world.” After Priestley’s death in 1804, Dr. Thomas Cooper, a professor at Dickinson College and friend of Priestley, arranged the purchase of a collection of his scientific apparatus for the college. Among the items purchased was the burning glass Priestley used in his gas experiments. Today, the Priestley collection is located in the college archives. Jesse Peck It was after the retirement of President John Durbin and the short tenure of President Robert Emory that, in 1848, Jesse Peck was selected to head the college. Peck was an intimidating preacher, but he lacked a college education, a fact that would fill his term with unfortunate embarrassments. Peck was a man of considerable Methodist and academic presence and was a member of a long line of mid-19th century Methodist thinkers. It was the hope of a newly formed board of trustees that Peck would revive the college after its shutdown in 1832.


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In becoming the college’s next leader, Peck had defeated the overwhelming choice of the students, the beloved Professor John McClintock, for whom McClintock Hall is named. Persecution by the people of Carlisle for his role in the riots of 1847 had forced McClintock to resign in the late summer of 1848. When Peck became president, Moncure Conway, class of 1849, was a junior. Conway and Peck clashed over matters of academia, and, on one occasion, Conway was chided by the president for repeating the phrase “high moral tone” in an address to the chapel. Conway was humiliated when Peck proclaimed, “We will dispense with the rest of Mr. Conway’s address.” Conway considered leaving the college after the incident but was buoyed by faculty members, who beseeched him to complete the oration. At the next chapel declamation, he resumed with the words, “As I was saying …” Jim Thorpe and Frank Mount Pleasant Out of the Carlisle Indian School emerged one of the nation’s most acclaimed football teams, which often clashed with the Dickinson Red Devils. The Indian School graduated luminary athletes like Jim Thorpe, whose captaincy of the 1912 squad resulted in a near-perfect 12-1 season. Thorpe’s team trounced Dickinson 34-0 that year. Thorpe became one of the United States’ finest


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Olympians, winning the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon by an impressive margin. Frank Mount Pleasant was the first Native American from the Carlisle Indian School to graduate with a Dickinson degree in 1910. His prowess on the football field was legendary. Mount Pleasant was chosen captain of the 1909 football team, and the editors of the 1911 Microcosm saw fit to give him the title of “greatest and headiest football star to ever play for the Red and White.” Some say Mount Pleasant paved the way for Thorpe’s domination of the 1912 Olympic Games with his own success at the Fourth Olympiad in London in 1908. Mount Pleasant served in World War I as a second lieutenant, winning decoration for bravery in Europe. Mount Pleasant was inducted posthumously into the Dickinson College Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. Roger Brooke Taney, class of 1795 Born March 17, 1777, Roger Brooke Taney grew up on a plantation in Calvert County, Md. His family originally came to America as indentured servants in the 17th century. But they became prosperous tobacco farmers, and Taney had a privileged childhood. At Dickinson, Charles Nisbet, the first president of the college and one of the most prestigious edu-


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Roger Brooke Taney

cators of his day, recognized Taney’s intellectual gifts, and Taney flourished under Nisbet’s fatherly attention. Taney was prominent in the Belles Lettres literary society and won the then-elected position of valedictorian at graduation. Taney began his legal career in Frederick, where he met his wife, Phoebe Charlton Key—the sister


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of Francis Scott Key. In 1833, Taney became involved in what would be his first national controversy. Taney was nominated as secretary of the treasury during a controversy surrounding the role of the Bank of the United States. He served temporarily in this capacity, but the Senate refused to confirm his nomination. The Senate also refused to confirm his nomination to the Supreme Court. However, persistent pressure from Andrew Jackson ensured his nomination to replace the legendary (but deceased) John Marshall in 1836. Taney’s downfall began in 1856, when he wrote the majority opinion in the case, Dred Scott v. Sanford. The decision confirmed slaves as property and went much further by declaring the shaky 1820 Missouri Compromise as unconstitutional, since slaves as property were constitutionally protected from being disallowed in territories. This case was a landmark in the downward spiral toward the Civil War. Taney became the target of bitter Republican ridicule, even though he already had released his own slaves and despite his leadership on opinions such as Ex Parte Merryman, concerning the rights of civilians in wartime. He died in October 1864. John Robert Paul Brock, class of 1901 Dickinson’s first known black graduate, John Robert Paul Brock, was an impressive student


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regardless of his role as a trailblazer. College President James Henry Morgan, class of 1878, a professor of Greek, librarian and dean of the sophomore class during Brock’s time at Dickinson, described him as “an efficient and inspiring leader.” He was active in the Union Philosophical Society and graduated as one of the nation’s first 10 African-American members of Phi Beta Kappa. After graduating, Brock taught in the Carlisle school system for several years, then relocated to New Jersey. There he continued his career in education, rising to become the supervising principal of “colored” schools in Atlantic City, N.J., before dying of heart failure in 1922. Marco Biagi In 2001, Marco Biagi, an adviser, teacher and longtime friend of Dickinson’s Bologna, Italy, program, was murdered by terrorists outside of his home near the Nilsson Center. The perpetrators were captured, and in 2005 they were sentenced to long prison terms. The tragic loss of Biagi still is felt by the program. James Henry Morgan, class of 1878 James Henry Morgan was an 1878 alumnus, professor, dean and later president and trustee of Dickinson. He played an integral role in the history of the college during his nearly 60-year association with Dickinson.


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James Henry Morgan

As a student, Morgan was recognized for his oratory and in 1878 gave the Latin Salutatory at Commencement. After teaching at several preparatory schools, Morgan returned to Dickinson in 1882 as the head of the Dickinson Preparatory School. He became an adjunct professor at the college in Greek. In 1890, he was promoted to full professor and married Mary Curran, class of 1888.


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From 1893 to 1900, he was the librarian, overseeing the consolidation of three college libraries into Bosler Hall. He also became dean during this period. After President Eugene Noble’s retirement in 1914, Morgan assumed the presidency. Retiring after 14 years, Morgan furthered his mark on the college by writing a history of Dickinson. He assumed the presidency twice more in temporary roles and also became a trustee. He died in 1939. Morgan Hall bears his name. Mary Curran Morgan, class of 1888 Success stories of Dickinson’s first female students abound, and the breakthrough to coeducation in the late 1880s signaled the college’s modern evolution. Mary Rebecca Curran came to Dickinson in 1886. She received the Pierson Medal for oratory in 1887 and graduated as valedictorian and Phi Beta Kappa in 1888. Like Zatae Longsdorff, Curran was issued a master’s from the college in 1891. In 1890, Mary Curran married James Henry Morgan, class of 1878, professor of Greek, librarian, dean and president of the college. The couple was active in the Methodist Church and YWCA of Carlisle, and Mary established the Carlisle chapter of the American Association of University Women. On April 22, 1927, during her husband’s tenure as president, Mary Curran Morgan died of a heart attack while traveling to a conference of the


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Mary Curran Morgan

Methodist Church. In remembrance, Dickinson ended classes at noon on the day of her funeral. Isaac Norris Isaac Norris was prominent in Philadelphia society. He became a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly and eventually its speaker. In 1751, Norris commissioned the manufacturing of a bell, which we know today as the Liberty Bell, from a company in London. With a passion for learning and as a scholar of the


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liberal arts, Norris amassed a huge collection of books from around the world. After his death, his estate passed to his only surviving daughter, Mary, who later married John Dickinson. In 1784, the Pennsylvania Gazette reported that “His Excellency the President of the state,” John Dickinson, had laid the foundation for Dickinson College’s library by donating a principal part of Isaac Norris’s personal library—about 2,000 volumes—to the college. These books are a centerpiece in the college’s rarebook collection in the Archives and Special Collections. The Isaac Norris Collection is now one of the few remaining private American libraries from the Revolutionary era. Marie Rossi-Cayton ’80 Maj. Marie T. Rossi-Cayton ’80 commanded the 159th Aviation Battalion’s Company B of the 24th Infantry Division during Operation Desert Storm. In this esteemed position, Rossi led one of the first units across enemy lines while providing crucial ammunition and fuel to front-line units. The day after the cease-fire, Rossi’s helicopter crashed as a result of poor flight conditions, killing her and three others aboard. The U.S. Army formally recognized her historic achievements when it renamed its Dover, N.J.-based small-arms research and development facility the Major Marie T. RossiCayton Building Armament Technology Facility.


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Josephine Brunyate Meredith

Though notable for being the only casualty sustained by the Dickinson community in the Gulf War, she also was the only female casualty of the conflict to be interred in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, where her inscription reads, “First Female Combat Commander to Fly into Battle.” Josephine Brunyate Meredith, class of 1901 After graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1901—and doing so in only three years—Josephine Brunyate Meredith returned to the college in 1920 as its first and longest-serving dean of women, earning a


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reputation for being “firm but sympathetic.” While dean, Meredith joined the English department as an associate professor in 1922. In 1943, she was the first woman to reach the status of full professor and, upon her retirement, she became the college’s first professor emerita. She was awarded an honorary doctor of letters in 1952 as part of the celebrations surrounding the dedication of Drayer Hall. Esther Popel Shaw, class of 1919 Dickinson’s first black female graduate, Esther Popel Shaw ’19, illuminated injustice through her powerful poems. Shaw was born in Harrisburg in 1896. At Dickinson she studied French, German, Latin and Spanish and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She was a modern-languages teacher in Washington, D.C., middle schools. She is best known for the poems she published in important African-American journals that were sparked by the Harlem Renaissance. Race and racism were central themes in her poetry. “Flag Salute” is one of her most acclaimed poems. Neil Santoriello ’02 On Aug. 13, 2004, 1st Lt. Neil Santoriello was killed in Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated near his mounted reconnaissance patrol vehicle. He is among the Dickinsonians honored in Old West’s Memorial Hall.


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Esther Popel Shaw

Zachary Abendong ’60 Few have engaged the world to a greater extent than the college’s first African student, Zachary Abendong ’60. Immediately after his time at Dickinson, Abendong left the United States to become an integral player in the reunification of Cameroon, West Africa. No longer under British rule and striving to come into its own as a country, Cameroon was in dire need of stability. Abendong used his education in political science and international relations in the negotiations to join the two former Cameroonian colonies.


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His efforts garnered him popularity throughout West Cameroon, facilitating his launch to the secretary generalship of the Kamerun National Democratic Party (KNDP), making him the youngest elected deputy in the country. Abendong’s life came to a premature end, however. In 1963, while riding with West Cameroon Prime Minister John Ngu Foncha, members of the Union of the Population of Cameroon intercepted the motorcade and opened fire, killing Abendong. He was 24. George Yuda ’47 George Yuda ’47, whose father was Montreville Yuda, an Oneida Indian, is the last remaining link to the Carlisle Industrial Indian School. George Yuda is sought out by scholars, journalists and documentary filmmakers to talk about his father, the last Indian School graduate to live in Carlisle. Yuda recalls Indian School graduates who visited the family home, including Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe. His album of photos featuring his father and other Indians at the school is now in the Yuda Collection at the Cumberland County Historical Society.


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Our Times Founding Dates Dickinson College traces its roots back to a Carlisle grammar school, land for which was granted by Thomas and Richard Penn on March 3, 1773. In 1783, the trustees of the grammar school considered expanding it into an academy. When Philadelphia native and signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Rush

Old Class Rule



Every freshman shall wear, during the first six weeks of the college session or until after the close of the interfraternity rushing season, a tag on which his name is legibly printed.


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learned of these plans, he proposed to Col. John Montgomery the idea of establishing a college. After gaining support from prominent figures like John Dickinson and James Wilson, Rush and the other trustees successfully petitioned the Pennsylvania Assembly for the establishment of Dickinson College. On Sept. 9, 1783, six days after the signing of the Treaty of Paris and the international recognition of the United States, Dickinson College’s charter was granted and signed by the trustees, making Dickinson the first college chartered in the new nation. Thus, Dickinson College was founded in 1773 and chartered in 1783. Convocation Each year, new Dickinsonians gather in front of Old West’s venerable stone steps. Literally etched with history and scuffed by centuries of students, these steps have been part of Dickinson’s most important traditions. Some of the college’s oldest traditions were revived by President William G. Durden ’71. During Convocation, new students walk through the Academic Quad, process up the old stone steps, enter through the open doors and sign into the college, a tradition that was practiced from the late 1800s until the early 1900s. The doors of Old West symbolize Dickinson’s


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Convocation

connection to its noble past and act as a virtual gateway to its future. Homecoming & Family Weekend The Homecoming celebration is a chance for the


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Football game at Homecoming & Family Weekend

college community to assemble on campus and rejoice in the college’s past and present. Homecoming also is a time for the current student body to boast its latest advancements in academia and athletics. Festivities often are centered around the Red Devils football game. Many athletic teams schedule games for Homecoming, and organizations like ROTC hold special demonstrations of their talents. The most common sights are groups of once and forever Dickinsonians rediscovering the campus. Commencement Dickinson’s first Commencement ceremony took place in 1787. The trustees, professors and students proceeded from the college to the nearby Presbyterian Church for the ceremony where


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bachelor of arts degrees were awarded to nine students by President Charles Nisbet. Centuries of students have received their degrees since then, and traditions have come and gone. Since 1962, the college community has gathered before the stone steps of Old West. During Convocation, students walk up the steps and into Memorial Hall to sign into the college. At Commencement, students process out of Old West and down the steps, symbolically exiting the college and entering the world of alumni. Another Commencement tradition is the ringing

Commencement


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of the Denny Hall bell. What started as a prank in 1975 as a farewell to outgoing President Howard Rubendall was then choreographed into the ceremony under President Samuel Banks and has continued for more than 25 years. Dickinson and World War I Kenneth Steck withdrew from Dickinson in 1917 and enlisted in the army. The corporal was the first Dickinsonian to die in World War I. He died of pneumonia on April 24, 1918, at an army camp in Alabama. In total, 810 Dickinsonians served and 15 gave their lives. After the war, the room now known as Memorial Hall was dedicated in memory of Dickinsonians who served their country. A plaque in their recognition was installed June 4, 1921. Duel of 1815 John Taylor Corbin, class of 1816, died on Dec. 8, 1815, from wounds suffered during a duel with classmate Dabney Carr Terrell. Few details about the duel exist. Both men belonged to prominent Virginia families. In fact, Terrell was a nephew of Thomas Jefferson. After the duel, Terrell received a letter from Edward Govan, class of 1815. It warned Terrell of a pending murder charge and suggested that he never return to Dickinson. Terrell fled to Europe under the guidance of the U.S. Minister to France Albert


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Gallatin and finished his college education in Switzerland. He later practiced law in New Orleans and died in 1827. Hero of the Boxer Rebellion The Rev. Dr. Frank D. Gamewell, class of 1881, was a professor of physics at Peking University when the Boxer Rebellion broke out in 1900. He was placed in charge of the fortifications of the Methodist mission where Americans were instructed to seek shelter. These “refugees” were transferred to the British Legation in Peking, where Gamewell took on the same responsibilities. According to the British secretary of state for foreign affairs, it was due to Gamewell’s efforts that 3,500 people were saved. As a result, Dickinson conferred upon Gamewell an honorary doctor of philosophy degree in 1901. Civil War Remembered At the 150th Commencement ceremony in 1933, Capt. James Patterson, class of 1859, told of the outbreak of war and how his “classmates simply shook hands with each other, bidding farewell without emotion, but fully understanding each was going to support the views he had espoused.” Patterson told how strange it was to encounter fellow classmates on both sides in the war. He claimed, during the Battle of Spotsylvania, to have captured his own roommate, Pvt. David Stone, a


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member of the 46th Virginia Regiment. Patterson later was wounded at the Battle of Petersburg and was relocated, after recovering, to the Carlisle Barracks, which was a mobilization center. Microcosm Dickinson’s annual yearbook, the Microcosm, is a student-run publication. It reflects the values and perspectives of the students from each period of the college’s history. The Microcosm looks very different today from when it first was published. The first Microcosm was published by the fraternities in 1868 and contained only text about each fraternity at Dickinson. In 1890, the junior class published the Microcosm. Thereafter it became an annual, rather than occasional, publication. It contained mainly text and a few photographs. Students included the college history, lyrics to class songs, student poems and stories. There were no class photos or individual senior portraits, only photos of athletic teams and other student organizations. As Dickinson evolved as an institution, the Microcosm grew and changed. Photographs of faculty, classes, student activities and campus buildings soon emerged, and the amount of text decreased. Unlike today’s yearbooks, the Microcosm of the early-20th century featured portraits of the junior class rather than the senior class because the junior class published the Microcosm.


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It was not until the yearbook of 1946-47 that juniors and seniors had individual student portraits. From that year forward the seniors took over the role of publishing. The last Microcosm that listed the students from every class was published in 1954. In subsequent years, only the students of the senior class were listed. During the next decades, photographs became the dominant element of the yearbook. Dickinson Goes to War By 1943, the Dickinson Alumnus reported that there were at least 896 Dickinsonians serving in World War II. That year, Edward M. Griffith became the first student to re-enroll after serving in the war. He had been wounded at Guadalcanal. Military Training in WWII In 1943, the 32nd Air Training Detachment began classes at Dickinson. The college provided a five-month course that included academic preparation, military education and physical training. In addition, Dickinson held its first midyear graduation in 1943 to allow more men to enlist early. Bingham’s Porch In 1782, Col. John Montgomery, a Carlisle resident and member of the Continental Congress, and Benjamin Rush, Dickinson’s founder, enjoyed postdinner conversation on the porch of a grand Philadelphia home belonging to William and Ann


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Bingham. Montgomery offered for discussion a letter detailing a request from the Carlisle Grammar School for the necessary financial support to convert it into an academy. Following a spirited discussion, Rush interjected an even greater challenge: to found a college. In the years that followed, Rush and Montgomery worked tirelessly on the endeavor. “Bingham’s Porch” was a phrase they shared in correspondence—a knowing aside between our two principal founders. The Charter It was with a relatively brief text, titled “An Act for the Establishment of a College at the Borough of Carlisle, in the County of Cumberland, in the

The College Charter


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State of Pennsylvania,” that in 1783 the newly independent United States of America recognized the first new college established on its soil, transforming what was once the Carlisle Grammar School into Dickinson College. Within the 2,500 words comprising the college’s charter—written by James Wilson, future U.S. Supreme Court justice, signer of the Declaration of Independence and original Dickinson College trustee—the foundation was set for what would become one of the nation’s oldest liberal-arts colleges. The Shutdown of 1832 In 1832, Samuel How was two years into his tumultuous presidency at the college. Upon arrival, How was confronted by a nearly nonexistent student body and an almost exhausted endowment. Two previous presidents had appealed in vain to religious organizations for the inclusion of Dickinson as a seminary. Dickinson’s struggle with enrollment plagued How’s presidency. In 1829, 14 students were enrolled. By late 1831, after fruitless appeals to alumni for contributions, dissension among faculty members and little improvement in enrollment, How and the trustees agreed that the college should close its doors.


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The College Reopens In September 1834, the dormant halls of Old West again were filled with students, under the auspices of President John Durbin, because Methodist Church organizations wanted to become involved in education. The Baltimore and Philadelphia conferences of the church assumed responsibility for Dickinson. Lauded as a courteous, cautious and prudent man, Durbin’s teaching style inspired students and faculty. His legacy does much to illuminate the course of the college during the mid-19th century. As a preacher, he was given to startling his congregation with loud, unexpected outbursts, but his allegiance to Christian principles won him the respect of the college community. During the next 10 years, Durbin swelled the college’s endowment, providing for the continuing operation of a new Dickinson, which welcomed more students each year than at any time in the college’s short history. The Carlisle Indian School In the last quarter of the 19th and early-20th centuries, federal railroad subsidies pushed expansion to a fever pace and, as Americans moved West, American Indian tribes felt increasing pressure on their settlements. Clashes such as those between the U.S. Army and the Comanche and Cheyenne pushed American


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Indians to relocate. During these campaigns for government supremacy over the tribes, a young cavalry lieutenant named Richard Henry Pratt took charge of 72 American Indian prisoners at Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Fla. After three years in government care, the prisoners were given a choice to either continue their education in the East or return to the West. Daunted by the prospect of returning to tribes resettled on reservations and thinned by conflict, many chose to remain. Pratt set to work bringing his idea of an Indian school into reality. He obtained authorization to utilize the cavalry barracks at Carlisle, which had been torched by J.E.B. Stewart before the Gettysburg campaign and were largely abandoned. And, in October 1879, the first class of 82 students arrived to a warm welcome by the citizenry of Carlisle. Pratt left little doubt in his vision for the school, saying, “In Indian civilization I am a Baptist, because I believe in immersing the Indians in our civilization and, when we get them under, holding them there until they are thoroughly soaked.� As the students completed their new educations, many excelled and sought additional training in the arts and sciences at the Dickinson Preparatory School. Of these students, at least 10 went on to study at Dickinson College.


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In 1896, one such student, Joseph Adams, studied the regular curriculum but grew ill and died. A remembrance by his classmates read, “He was true to every trust, and greatly beloved by all who knew him. He died in the noble attempt to free his people from their bondage.” Student Pranks In the mid-19th century, the student population was relatively small, so the students all knew one another well. The editors of The Dickinsonian published facts, anecdotes and embarrassing stories about their classmates and professors. There also were many memorable planks played on peers, professors and administrators. President Prank: In an 1849 joke that was regarded as the very essence of college mischief, President Jesse Peck was a victim of a well-devised plan created by Moncure Conway, class of 1849. Peck was planning to attend a Methodist conference in Staunton, Va., and U.S. President Zachary Taylor’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. Before his trip, Conway forged a letter from Peck to the superintendent of the insane asylum in Staunton. The letter said that a man described as having a “temporary aberration of the mind” and the same physical characteristics as Peck would be traveling to Staunton on the same train as Peck. The letter asked the superintendent to take this man to the asylum and keep him there until his friends arrived.


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When Peck stepped off the train, the superintendent recognized him as the described man, asked him to step into his carriage and took him to the asylum. First interpreting the carriage ride as special treatment, Peck finally realized where he was going and demanded to be let out. After Peck’s friends from the conference identified him, the superintendent apologized profusely, since “Dr. Peck felt very much hurt over the cruel joke … ” Cow Prank: Horatio Collins King, class of 1858, and his classmates corralled two calves into Professor Wilson’s classroom in South College. After attending morning prayer, they returned to find Wilson “making ineffectual, not to say frantic, endeavors to get them down the steps.” The calves knocked over the benches while the students “roared” in laughter. After finally driving the calves down the stairs and out of the building, Wilson said, “Gentlemen, your class is large enough already.” War in Carlisle A 1932 article in The Dickinsonian says that General Fitzhugh Lee led a detachment of Confederate troops toward Carlisle in 1863 and demanded the surrender of the occupying Union troops. After the commanding Union officer refused to give up, the Confederate artillery, commanded by


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Major Waters, fired on the town. Most of the fire landed on the town square, but some rounds did strike the campus. One went through the roof of South College; one exploded in front of Old West; and another hit President Herman Johnson’s lecture room in East College. Class Rivalries Class pride was prevalent at Dickinson in the 19th and early-20th centuries. Many sporting events and school functions were organized around class years. To be a first-year college student was truly an initiation process at some points in the college’s history. One of the freshman rules that was passed in 1932 read, “Except between Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 8 p.m., freshmen shall not accompany or call upon any coed or lady of the town unless they win the spring baseball game from the sophomores.” S.S. Dickinson Victory The Victory ship-building program began in 1944 as an extension of the Liberty program, which had begun a few years earlier. The S.S. Dickinson Victory, named for Dickinson College, was the second ship of that series to be named after a college. It was launched from Terminal Island, Calif., on Feb. 9, 1945. It weighed 11,000 tons and was 455 feet long.


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S.S. Dickinson Victory

It was deactivated from reserve-fleet status in 1961 and, after being used in a 1995 study on the effects of fire on a shipment of nuclear materiel, the ship was sold for scrap in 1999.


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Class Lectures: Then and Now In December 1876, The Dickinsonian published an excerpt from the memoir of Roger Brooke Taney, class of 1795, giving an account of his years at Dickinson: “Dr. Nisbet’s share of the college duties was Ethics, Logic, Metaphysics and Criticism. His mode of instruction was by lectures written out and read to the class slowly, so that we might write it down; yet it required a pretty good penman and fixed attention to keep up with him.” Students in the 18th century were required to write down every word, and transcriptions of Nisbet’s lectures compiled by students are held in the college archives. Today, technology has transformed the way students learn course material. In addition to a

Old Class Rule



No underclassmen shall be permitted to carry a cane.


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pen and paper and the oral word of professors, students at Dickinson have Moodle as a study aide. Using the Internet and the Dickinson network, Moodle allows professors to post announcements, lectures and study guides online for students to access. The Study of Chinese The editors of The Dickinsonian remarked in 1875 that “perhaps the greatest benefit of a liberal education … [is that] it gives us the power of seeing things as they are, and in their true relation to each other, and to the whole.” In a review of a Chinese grammar book, the editors said that knowing the Chinese language will prove to be of great “practical worth” and that the importance of learning it is “daily increasing.” They “who consider the great problems of nations or are interested in liberal studies” should begin to learn Chinese. Dickinson and the Military The Carlisle Barracks is the second-oldest military installation in the United States. As an ordnance factory during the Revolutionary War, it supplied troops with weaponry and other combat equipment. Where Denny Hall now stands, George Washington reviewed local Pennsylvania troops who gathered to quell the Whiskey Rebellion.


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Before the Civil War, Dickinson’s student body represented the sectional tension that permeated the entire country. The class of 1857, for example, had 19 members. Nine came from Northern states and 10 from Southern states. During the war, three graduates of that class served in the Union army, while four served in the Confederate army. Horatio Collins King, class of 1858, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service during the Civil War. Tropical Storm Agnes In June 1972, Agnes struck Carlisle, flooding much of the area near the Susquehanna River. Geology professor Noel Potter recalled that “much of the area got 12-16 inches of rain in two or three days,” causing the highways in and around Carlisle to flood, stranding many travelers. Despite being in the middle of its summer session, the college staff and students worked with the Cumberland County Red Cross to provide free lodging and meals to the evacuees and volunteers. Dickinson students helped sandbag the roads and organized a locator service for those stranded. Fifty-four students and recent graduates helped the relief effort during a four-day period, while 158 people stayed overnight in Drayer Hall, and 550 meals were served, not including the hundreds of sandwiches and drinks handed out to workers. Potter and physics professor Ken Laws flew in


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Laws’ small airplane to get an aerial view of the flood, taking photographs. Potter now possesses one of the most extensive pictorial documentations of the flood. McClintock Slave Riots The riots of June 2, 1847, stemmed from the capture of three escaped slaves, including the wife of a freeman living in Carlisle. The slave owners, James Kennedy and Howard Hollingsworth, both of Maryland, broke into a house harboring the fugitives near Chambersburg, Pa. The two men were imprisoned for breaking and entering, but they received the help of a sympathetic sheriff who allowed their “property” to be held within the jail. Blacks attending the hearings in Carlisle attempted a rescue, which failed. The courtroom was emptied, and deliberations continued. When Kennedy and Hollingsworth posted bail, the slaves were returned to their custody to the indignation of a large and well-informed black community in Carlisle. John McClintock, a professor of mathematics, Greek and Latin, rushed to the courthouse when he heard this. He proclaimed to all present that the sheriff had acted illegally. A new Pennsylvania law passed just eight weeks earlier stated that though they could not obstruct slave chasers from other states in a search, commonwealth officers could not


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John McClintock

assist slave owners by taking fugitives out of Pennsylvania. Apparently, McClintock was the only one who knew about this law, and the sheriff demanded to have a copy of it. McClintock returned to the college to retrieve his copy, but during the intervening minutes the presiding judge, Samuel Hepburn, gave


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custody of the slaves back to their owners. As Kennedy, Hollingsworth and their slaves were leaving the courthouse, a brawl ensued. During the chaos, Kennedy fell while chasing the slaves and several free blacks down an alley. He was trampled by the crowd and died a week later from his injuries. McClintock was charged with inciting the riot. Two months later, he and 26 black freemen stood trial. Despite a multitude of fallacious testimonies produced against the “abolitionist,” McClintock and all others eventually won acquittal. George Washington and the Whiskey Rebellion In 1791, Congress passed a tax on whiskey and other distilled liquors of two cents a quart. This tax angered the Scotch-Irish farmers of western Pennsylvania, resulting in unrest in Allegheny, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties. In 1794, 100 men attacked a tax collector and federal marshal in western Pennsylvania. To President George Washington, such a revolt was a threat to the legitimacy of the new nation. He called up the militias of Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and, after dusting off his own war jacket, saddled up and rode westward. Meanwhile, in Carlisle on the night of Sept. 8, the “Whiskey Boys” ran into the square and erected a pole bearing the words “Liberty and No Excise.”


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When Carlisle residents loyal to the government chopped down this pole, 200 armed, angry men returned on Sept. 11, erected a larger pole and took possession of the town. Washington arrived in Carlisle on Oct. 4 at the head of an untrained and unruly column of militia. Washington stayed at Ephraim Blaine’s house at 5 S. Hanover St., while the militia men camped on what would later become part of Dickinson’s campus. Washington eloquently informed the townspeople who were concerned by the military presence that “reason will speedily regain her empire and the laws their just authority.” On Oct. 5, Robert Davidson, a Dickinson professor and future president, and current college president Charles Nisbet delivered politically minded sermons before Washington. Both extolled the merits of good order and good government, but Nisbet branched off to the “evils of rebellion” to the almost dangerous displeasure of the unruly militiamen outside. Washington insisted on drilling and training his raw recruits before proceeding to Pittsburgh—the site of the rebellion. Then, after a hasty march westward, Washington returned to Philadelphia, having successfully defended the rights of the federal government and the rule of law. The Bologna Program Founded in 1965 by Professor of Political Science


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K. Robert Nilsson, the Bologna, Italy, study-abroad program was modeled after The Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze Center for Advanced International Studies in Bologna, established in 1955. This was the first Dickinson study-abroad center and has set the tone for future programs. The first 15 students in the Bologna program sailed to Italy aboard the Castel Felice in 1965. Today, the Nilsson Center hosts 20-30 Dickinson students annually, along with a few students from other institutions. The program focuses on political science, history and international relations. In the early years, students lived with Italian families. Today, they live in apartments with other students. The yearlong program allows students to become integrated into Italian society, learn the language and travel throughout Italy and Europe. Bologna has never drawn an extensive tourist trade. For this reason, students experience a truly Italian life. Civil War Students At the start of the Civil War in 1861, many students left Carlisle to join the army, but few actually joined and many returned to school to complete their degrees. All but four of the Southern students left Dickinson. One student wrote to his friend before leaving, “If I wear the Phi Kap badge, don’t shoot me, Frank. Yours, fraternally, H. Kennedy Weber,


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Baltimore, Maryland.� Another student flew a homemade Confederate flag in the square, headed to Hagerstown, Md., changed his mind on the way, and joined the Union Army. In 1863, final exams occurred just as the threat of Confederate invasion came close. The school carried on, but diplomas were given privately that year. Shortly after graduation, the Confederate army occupied Carlisle. World War II Life On Dec. 7, 1941, the United States became involved in World War II as a reaction to the Pearl

World War II Mural


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Harbor bombing. There was fear that Carlisle would be a target for air-strike attacks because of its status as a “defense town.” The Dickinsonian printed instructions on campus procedures in the event of an air strike. Much of the college’s male population joined the military, while women organized several homelandaid efforts. According to The Dickinsonian, “If it is any consolation to the men of Dickinson, most of the women have already whipped out their knitting needles. The answer to the question of Pearl Harbor will be, for the co-eds anyway, to purl harder.” There also was a drastic increase in the number of women wearing men’s fraternity pins. Flight Training In February 1941, Dickinson applied to the U.S. government to offer flight training to its students under the Civil Aeronautics Authority. Safe Haven On Nov. 1, 1945, The Dickinsonian printed an article about Dickinson students who had found a safe haven at Dickinson after experiencing crises during the war. Elsbeth Walch was born in Manila, the Philippines, of Swiss parents. Her home was bombed, but her family managed to escape. They landed in San Francisco, where they lived next to


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the family of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Through these neighbors, Elsbeth attended Dickinson with hopes of becoming a doctor. Richard Gwiazdowski was born in Warsaw, Poland. In 1941, he was suspected of belonging to an underground organization and was forced into political prison in East Prussia. After six months, he was released, but was still in danger from the Gestapo. He befriended the Gaither Warfield ’17 family, who hid him in their home until they were captured and sent to a German camp. Gwiazdowski was captured shortly thereafter and returned to prison for two and a half years. When he finally was released, he realized he could no longer receive a good education in Poland because the Germans had killed most of the educators. He had heard about Dickinson from Warfield, and Gwiazdowski entered Dickinson in 1945. Dickinson Rocks In 1952, the city of Carlisle, England, gave Dickinson two building stones. The first was from Roman times, and the second was from the reign of William Rufus, 1087-1100. Science Technology In 1955, Dickinson became one of the first schools in the country to have an electron microscope.


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Censure In 1956, Assistant Professor of Economics Laurent Raymond LaVallee was called to a U.S. House of Representatives committee hearing and was accused of un-American activities. LaVallee invoked the Fifth Amendment when accused of communist activity and returned to Carlisle. While LaVallee would neither confirm nor deny the allegations, he was suspended and later fired. Students and faculty members fought for him, but the termination stood. In 1958, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) censured Dickinson for attempting to restrict academic freedom. The association maintained the censure for several years because Dickinson’s policy stated that faculty members must “respect the values inherent in the Christian tradition,” which the AAUP said could be seen as restrictive. The censure finally was removed in 1963 when the AAUP decided that the college had shown sufficient progress toward academic freedom. England Program In 1984, the faculty approved a study-abroad program in Norwich, England. Almost 20 years after the creation of the Bologna, Italy, program, it was another step toward Dickinson’s status as one of the premier colleges for international study. Today, Norwich boasts both a science program


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and a humanities program. Washington Redskins In 1995, the NFL’s Washington Redskins announced that they would no longer hold their summer-training camp at Dickinson College, ending a 32-year tradition. They returned for training in 2000 before ending the partnership again in 2002. Three Mile Island Unit Two of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant opened as an electrical generator on Dec. 31, 1978. At the time it was known that there were flaws in the plant’s design, but it was deemed suitable to run. At 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979, there was a partialcore meltdown of the reactor due to equipment and operator failure. Because of the nature of the failure, the extent of the danger was not immediately known. Within 24 hours, spokesmen for the plant claimed that “the danger was over,” even though the plant was not stabilized. At the same time, however, they recommended that all residents within a 10-mile radius remain indoors and that children and pregnant women within a five-mile radius be evacuated. The contradicting messages confused and frightened people, and thousands of residents fled.


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The event came under some control within a few days. President Jimmy Carter visited the plant’s control room in an effort to build confidence among the citizens. After the meltdown, Dickinson cancelled classes for a week. More than 75 percent of students and

Three Mile Island


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faculty members left Carlisle. Those who stayed attempted to assist frightened people in the area. WDCV-FM, the campus radio station, kept the campus community updated. When students returned, Robert Cavenagh, associate professor of art and education, held a T-shirtdesign contest in an attempt to lighten the mood on campus. The winning designs were printed and sold. For months after the crisis, students were seen in shirts with slogans such as: “I’m Radiant—Carlisle, April 1979;” “Hell No, We Won’t Glow;” “I Survived Three Mile Island … I Think;” and “Visit Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Have 2.6 Children.” Today, the college archives are home to an extensive collection of TMI-related records. The Big Game Dickinson and The Pennsylvania State University had competed annually in football from 18961907, but then went 24 years without a match. On Oct. 17, 1931, Dickinson’s football team defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions 10-6. More than 6,000 fans filled New Beaver Field at The Pennsylvania State University. Dickinson coach Joseph McCormick led his team, referred to as “the 11,” against the football powerhouse in a very close game. Right halfback Joe Lipinski ’33 caught a 15-yard pass from fullback Eddie Dick ’35 and then ran


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another 40 yards to score the first touchdown of the game. Later in the half, Dick kicked a 20-yard field goal, increasing Dickinson’s lead to 10-0. The Nittany Lions had many drives down the field but only scored twice, giving credence to Dickinson’s stellar defense. Edward Johnson ’32, Milt Davidson ’33 and Benjamin James ’34 reminisced about the game in the fall 2004 issue of Dickinson Magazine. James, a linebacker in the game, former professor, coach, dean of admissions and dean of students, recalled, “We were aware that we would have a hard time, but we weren’t afraid.” September 11, 2001 The 9/11 terrorist attacks had a profound effect on the Dickinson community. The campus is located near all three crash sites, and many Dickinsonians live in the New York City and Washington, D.C., areas. The Sept. 21 edition of The Dickinsonian described the campus as “one huge mass of emotions.” The campus response was unified and patriotic as students displayed flags on residence halls and participated in a candlelight vigil on Britton Plaza. There was a community meeting that night in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium led by the Rev. John Miyahara, and members of the student life staff set up a crisis center in the HUB. Melissa Harrington Hughes ’92, a resident of San


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Francisco, was attending a meeting on the 101st floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center and was killed when the attacks occurred. Alan Merdinger, father of Melissa Merdinger ’03, also died. He worked on the 102nd floor of the North Tower.

Robert Frost on the steps of Old West

Robert Frost and the Stellfox Award In 1959, Robert Frost visited the college as the first recipient of the Dickinson Arts Award. While on campus, Frost spent a great deal of time interacting with students, making a profound impression on many of them. Jean Louise Stellfox ’60 was inspired by her time


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with Frost and her experience at Dickinson. She went on to teach English in Shamokin, Pa., for 39 years and, according to personal testimonies of her students, inspired generations of young people. Stellfox died suddenly in 2003 after being struck in a hit-and-run accident. It was discovered that she had bequeathed more than $1 million to the college to start the Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholars and Writers Program. To honor Stellfox and offer current students the benefits she gained from Frost’s visit, the college invited British novelist Ian McEwan to be the first writer-in-residence and recipient of the Stellfox award in 2005. Subsequent Stellfox recipients include Rita Dove (2006), Edward Albee (2007), Mario Vargas Llosa (2008) and Maxine Kumin (2009). Early History of Carlisle up to the Civil War The first settlement in the area that became Carlisle most likely occurred around 1720 when James LeTort settled near the creek that now bears his name. Separated from the settlements to the east and the Susquehanna River by many miles, the area remained relatively unsettled until Thomas and Richard Penn created Cumberland County and sought a site for its seat. Carlisle was chosen for its freshwater supply and proximity to the Allegheny Trail.


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Carlisle resembles all of the other towns designed by the Penns—an orderly square with roads only running parallel and at right angles to one another. In the center was to be a square for government buildings and churches. The roads on the edges of this grid were named for the cardinal directions. The Allegheny Path, which passed through the center of the town, became High Street, and the other main road was named Hanover, after the English dynasty. Carlisle served as an outpost for settlement, as a fort during the French and Indian War and as a new home to late-18th century settlers. This period also was marked by visits from some famous Americans, including Benjamin Franklin and other dignitaries meeting Indian tribes in 1757. George Washington gathered his troops here before heading west to quell the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. Carlisle’s growth continued through the 19th century. No longer seen as the “frontier,” Carlisle began the shift from a provincial town to a more culturally rich community. While Carlisle was not the focus of westward immigration, mainly a stop on the way to more important centers further west, it continued to grow, and by the early-19th century the population was approximately 1,500. Architecturally, the wooden houses and granite mansions of the 18th century were replaced with red-brick two-story homes in the federal style. In


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1837, the railroad came to Carlisle and ran through the center of town on High Street. During the second quarter of the 19th century, the Underground Railroad picked up steam, and Cumberland County was an important way station. Free and escaped slaves settled in Carlisle and founded their own church in 1829. This community would continue to grow and in 1847 would be prominent in the McClintock Riots.

Old Class Rule



Every freshman shall wear a regulation red dink with a white button, which in no way shall be mutilated or disfigured; also a red bow tie, white socks, supported by garters, except on Sundays or college holidays.


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Our Landmarks Memorial Hall Memorial Hall once served as the college chapel. It was remodeled and rededicated in 1919 as a memorial to Dickinsonians who died in World War I. There are now plaques commemorating those Dickinsonians who have died in subsequent events. Denny Hall The Denny family promised a piece of land to the college for $100 with the provision that any building erected on it would be a memorial to the family. Eliza Smith also gave money in honor of her brother Abraham, class of 1840, to provide meeting halls for Dickinson’s oldest literary societies, Union Philosophical and Belles Lettres. This first building was completed June 8, 1896, but burned to the ground March 3, 1904. Construction on Denny II began after an intense fund-raising campaign, and Denny was rebuilt in a grander style because of donations like the one from trustee William Clare Allison in memory of Lenore Allison. The townspeople of Carlisle also contributed to the building’s reconstruction. Denny Memorial Hall was dedicated June 6, 1905, and the bell from the cupola of Old West was transferred to Denny’s Lenore Allison Bell Tower. Denny was renovated in the 1980s and


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Denny Hall

again in the 2000s. Metzger Institute George Metzger, class of 1798, left $25,000, his home, library and land “for a Female College wherein to have taught useful and ornamental branches of education.” Thus, Metzger Institute opened on Sept. 28, 1881. However, it was not authorized to be a women’s college until 1884. The


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enrolled women occasionally took classes at Dickinson College with the men. In 1913, funds proved insufficient to keep the school running, the college was closed, and the building was leased to Dickinson College. Lovers’ Lane This vestige of Dickinson romantic lore ran from the entrance of the campus at the corner of High and West streets to East College. In 1929, during the renovation of the academic quad, many of the trees were removed along the path, which essentially erased Lovers’ Lane from the landscape over time. Potato Chips and the CIA The building once known as the Potato Chip Factory and now an annex of South College has a mysterious past. The edifice was built in 1949 by Edison Nickel. It was purchased by the college in 1957 to be used as a rifle range, but instead it was leased out to several different government agencies. Student concerns were aroused when it was rumored to be a carefully guarded government building, supposedly housing agents of the Central Intelligence Agency. These rumors have never been confirmed. In 1986, the college again put it to use for academic purposes. Old West In 1803, the structure on the site of what is now


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West College

Old West was a new building that had taken three years to build and many more years to fund. But in February of that year, it caught fire and burned down. With the support of community members and donors from across the country, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John Marshall, the college trustees authorized the rebuilding. Benjamin Latrobe, the architect for the U.S. Capitol, was commissioned to provide a plan for the new building. As a bonus for the young and often financially shaky new college, his services were rendered free of charge. Six months after the first building burned, the cornerstone of the new structure was laid. The building was completed and ready for use in


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November 1805. The building became known as West College after the completion of East College in 1836. The structure was threatened twice by fire. In May 1832, a fire accidentally started by two students was controlled without great damage. In 1844, a fire threatened the building, but a bucket brigade of students and citizens saved the building. West College’s appearance and uses have evolved through the years. Its use as a residence for faculty ended in 1890, and with the growing fraternity movement it became the main location for student housing early in the 20th century. Eventually, the building was used primarily for classes and offices. With the building of Bosler Hall, chapel services were moved from West College, and the gallery that had surrounded the main hall was removed. The college bell was moved to Denny Hall in 1905. In 1919, West College’s main hall was renamed Memorial Hall to honor Dickinsonians who had lost their lives in World War I. Today, West College is known as Old West. Its main functions for the student body involve Convocation and Commencement. Incoming firstyear students walk up the old stone steps and into Memorial Hall to sign into the college. At Commencement, they proceed out of the hall and down the steps as graduates. These are among the only times when the main double-door entrance of


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Old West is used. Women’s Residences On Feb. 16, 1962, construction began on Adams Hall. It was intended to be the second residence hall for women on campus, the first being Drayer Hall, built in the 1950s. Holland Union Building (HUB) In 1964, the Student Union Building opened. The campus community had worked toward the building—today known as the Holland Union Building—for several years, because students wanted

Holland Union Building (HUB)


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a more universal gathering place on campus. Then as now, the building included a dining room, a snack bar, the campus bookstore, a social hall and meeting rooms. Although students no longer had to eat in their dormitories, the dining room retained a dress code for several years. East College East College was completed in 1836 shortly after Dickinson was reopened by the Methodist Church in 1834 after a brief shutdown. Through the mid19th century, the building housed students and

East College


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college presidents, with some space for academics. Originally, East College was entered via four wooden staircases, which adjoined sections separated by three fireproof walls. Students often relaxed on the wooden porch, which overlooked West Street and Noah Pinkney’s snack stand. In 1924, the porch and staircases were removed and replaced with the four doors that opened onto the ground floor, creating a contemporary appearance. In August 1969, during further renovation, the exterior collapsed, and East College had to be reconstructed at 100 times its original cost of $10,000. It is home today to the humanities. The Trout Gallery Located on the first floor of the Emil R. Weiss Center for the Arts, The Trout Gallery houses the college’s vast collection of fine art, and its two-floor exhibit hall showcases several exhibitions each year. It houses more than 5,000 pieces of art. Named for Brook and Mary Trout, parents of Helen and Ruth Trout ’36, The Trout Gallery was dedicated on Oct. 14, 1983. Visitors to The Trout Gallery tour exhibits such as selections from Francisco Goya’s Los Caprichos series, a large assortment of ancient Roman and Greek objects or student works from senior seminars in art history and studio art. Before the completion of the Kline Center in


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1980, the Weiss Center was the Alumni Gymnasium, operational since 1929.

The Quarry

The Quarry Completed in 1899, what today serves as The Quarry, a campus café and small-events center, originally was built to house members of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. The college purchased the building in 1931 and Phi Delta Theta constructed a new house, today’s Stuart House. After housing academics, the campus media center and fraternity members again for a short time, The Quarry, which now occupies this two-story limestone edifice, opened in 2000. The Quarry provides an alternative to traditional campus dining, a nice place to relax or a comfortable venue to meet President William G. Durden ’71 for a chat during his café office hours.


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Rector Science Complex The Rector Science Complex’s new Stuart and James halls were dedicated Oct. 24, 2008. The state-of-the-art facility features “areas of inquiry” in place of the traditional department structure, bringing together the biology, chemistry and psychology departments plus interdisciplinary programs in biochemistry & molecular biology and neuroscience. The halls received gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, which signifies a green building. The new facility expends about two-thirds the energy normally used by a science building of similar size.

Stuart and James halls


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Mooreland At the end of the 19th century, the original campus quadrangle with Old West at the center, bordered by College and West streets, became packed on all sides with buildings. By the end of the prohibition era, Metzger Hall, housing women, and Conway Hall, the primary dormitory for male students, had become cramped due to increased enrollment. Johnston Moore studied for two years at Dickinson, withdrawing in 1827 without completing his degree. He was a successful land owner in Cumberland County. His family owned several thousand acres along the Yellow Breeches Creek. Moore died in 1901 and the property went to his family. In 1932, after the death of Moore’s last surviving daughter, Dickinson acquired part of his estate known as Mooreland Park. Now known as the Benjamin Rush Campus, the forests of the Mooreland Estate were known as Deer Park because the 15-acre grounds were home to 100 white-tailed deer. The Mooreland mansion became the Baird Biology Building and then was demolished in 1966 and replaced with Witwer Hall. School of Law The fifth-oldest law school in the United States, the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, was established by John Reed in 1834.


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Reed left Dickinson College before receiving his degree with the class of 1806, then studied law in Gettysburg with local attorney William Maxwell. By July 1820, Reed was appointed president judge for Adams, Perry, Cumberland and Franklin counties. Living in Carlisle in a house on the corner of West and High streets, which now serves as the president’s house, Judge Reed fervently pursued the establishment of a law curriculum at Dickinson. After initial reluctance, the trustees relented and, in April 1834, classes taught by Reed convened in his parlor. Following Reed’s death in 1850, law classes were taught sporadically by other local judges until 1890, when formal articles of incorporation were adopted. The law school was thus established as an independent institution and operated as such until 1997, when it was absorbed by The Pennsylvania State University.

Old Class Rule



No underclassmen while on campus shall be permitted to throw snowballs, stones or other missiles.


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Our Symbols The Mace The college mace was introduced by President William Edel. Its first bearer was Professor David Gleim in a 1951 ceremony. The design of the mace incorporates portraits of

The College Mace


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Benjamin Rush, John Dickinson and Charles Nisbet; seals from the Belles Lettres and Union Philosophical societies and Phi Beta Kappa; the names of past presidents of the college; and the mermaid. The mace is carved of American cherry and of black walnut from a tree that stood where Denny Hall is now. It is said that George Washington stood under that tree to survey his troops before the Whiskey Rebellion. It still is carried in ceremonies today by the longest-serving professor. The Denny Bell Crafted in 1809, the bell resided for nearly a century in the cupola atop Old West. Upon Denny Hall’s completion in 1905, the bell was moved to its present location in Denny Hall’s Lenore Allison Tower. For decades, the bell’s chime ushered in each new hour, but it had fallen silent by the 1970s. In 2000, President William G. Durden ’71 announced that the bell would be restored and returned to service to “help us recall the rhythm of the day and to remember important elements of college life and tradition.” The Seal In the summer of 1784, as the college’s founders discussed the formation of the college, Benjamin Rush and John Dickinson were asked to create a


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suitable seal for the institution. The resulting seal consists of an open bible, a telescope and a cap surrounded by the inscription “Pietate et Doctrina Tuta Libertas,” a Latin phrase loosely translated as “Freedom is made safe through character and learning.” The open bible represents freedom of access to religion. Similarly, the cap, modeled after the liberty cap of the Sons of Liberty, symbolizes independence of political activity. The telescope indicates earnestness in intellectual endeavor. Alma Mater Horatio Collins King, class of 1858, wrote the words to Dickinson’s alma mater, “Noble Dickinsonia,” along with numerous other college songs, including “The Old College Bell,” “Dickinson for Aye!,” “Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity


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Song” and “Those Lovely Carlisle Girls.” King, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner for service during the Civil War, served on the board of trustees from 1896 until 1918. The lyrics to the first verse of “Noble Dickinsonia,” which most often is sung at major college events, are: Alma Mater, tried and true, Noble Dickinsonia, Oft our hearts shall turn to you, Noble Dickinsonia. How each ancient classic hall, Fondest mem’ries will recall, Sacred is each gray old wall, Noble Dickinsonia. Red Devils Despite Dickinson’s long history, no mascot was adopted until the 1930s. An article by a Washington, D.C., journalist who attended the George Washington University vs. Dickinson College football game on Oct. 25, 1930, provided inspiration for the mascot. Dickinson, wearing the college colors of red and white, held its own in a 7-6 first half versus a superior team. In recognition of Dickinson’s spirited play, the journalist dubbed the team the “Red Devils.” Evidently, the name was popular with Dickinson students. In an article covering the following week-


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end’s game, The Dickinsonian headline read “Red Devils Outplay Cadets, but Game Ends in 7-7 Score.” After 148 years, Dickinson had found its mascot. The Mermaid As Benjamin Latrobe designed Old West, he was instructed to include a cupola for a bell. After consulting his text on Greek architecture, Latrobe decided to model the cupola loosely on the Athenian Tower of the Winds. To further this association, Latrobe ordered a likeness of a triton, an aquatic figure of ancient mythology, to be placed atop the cupola as a weathervane. But the ensuing confusion of the local coppersmith over this order provided Dickinson its most famous icon. The coppersmith crafted instead the only fishtailed human with which he was familiar—a mermaid. The mermaid quickly captured the hearts of Dickinson students and inspired several legendary student pranks. For instance, in 1915, a group of students stole the bike of Chaplain Springer, a not-too-popular eccentric on campus, and decided the mermaid should go for a ride. The students sneaked the bike up to the cupola around 1 a.m., dismantled and then reassembled the bike on the mermaid’s tail by the time the sun


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The mermaid on the cupola of West College

rose. Professional steeplejacks were required to retrieve the bicycle. Later in the 20th century, the tradition of mermaid-napping emerged. In 1967, a student attempted to steal the mermaid and sell it to art dealers in Paris. The plot was discovered, and the mermaid was returned from the New York apartment where it was held. The college president at the time decided that, in order to preserve this battered but priceless relic, it must be removed from the cupola. The original


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mermaid is now on display in Dickinson’s library, while a replica has taken its place atop Old West. College Colors Dickinson’s official colors—red and white— originated with its literary societies. The Union Philosophical Society had as its symbol a white rose. The Belles Lettres Society’s symbol began as a pink rose, but they changed it to red in the mid1860s. Benjamin Rush Statue Benjamin Rush once wrote, “If I thought my bones could receive pleasure after my death from being near the object of my affection, I should give orders to have them deposited under the College of Carlisle.” Rush is not buried in Carlisle, but a bronze statue painstakingly was cast from an original located at the Department of the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, D.C. The new 568pound Rush statue was placed near Old West in 2004 so he could be a visible presence on campus. Bosler Cartouche The building that is now Bosler Hall was once the college library and had a dramatically different appearance, with a large portico, a turret and a red sandstone exterior. The Bosler Cartouche, a stone, scroll-like inscription used as an architectural feature, was carved in


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Statue of Benjamin Rush

1885 and appeared above a portico at the entrance to Bosler Library. It depicts two “putti,� or naked cherubs, holding a scroll that shows the name of the building. In 1940, Bosler was renovated and lost all of these


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features and its cartouche. The cartouche lay forgotten in a barn for 25 years until the class of 1913, preparing for its 55th reunion, rescued the almost four-ton stone slab and placed it between Witwer and Adams halls. It often fell prey to a running prank that involved red paint and a certain part of the putti’s anatomy. For another 30 years, the cartouche remained there. A group of alumni, faculty and staff formed the Committee to Restore Our Cartouche (CROC). Throughout several successive administrations, this group lobbied to have the stone moved again. In early 2000, under President William G. Durden ’71, the group succeeded and the stone was moved to its current resting place outside Bosler Hall. John Dickinson’s Lion Several classes of Dickinsonians have had the honor of graduating under the watchful eye of John Dickinson’s lion. John Dickinson shed his family’s old English aristocratic airs by choosing not to have a coat of arms in America. Instead, he extracted only one of its icons—a lion. A priceless piece of the college’s history, the lion, in the form of a marble sculpture, traveled everywhere with Dickinson and serves as a constant reminder of our Revolutionary past. The lion probably was present while Dickinson


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drafted the Articles of Confederation and Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania. It links current Dickinsonians to a distinctive past and Revolutionary tradition, always reminding them “to be, rather than to seem.”

John Dickinson’s Lion


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Our Engagements Tug of War In 1925, the annual Tug of War took place at LeTort Spring. The stakes were significant: “If the freshmen had won, they could have removed their dink hats for the remainder of the year.” But the freshmen lost, had to wear their hats, and two of them were thrown into the spring. The GE College Bowl Vying against other prestigious institutions such as Loyola University and Saint Francis College, a group of Dickinson students found themselves in the national spotlight in 1965 on the General Electric College Bowl. The team assembled an undefeated record en route to claiming the top prize at the televised main event. Debates From the 1780s to today, students of the Belles Lettres and Union Philosophical societies have engaged in debate and discussion about contemporary or controversial issues in order to exchange ideas and share opinions. In 1875 the editor of The Dickinsonian remarked that “The ‘cross-firing’ which takes place among the members is exciting and amusing. Blows are given and received, which … often vex and cause dissatisfaction.” Today, the debates are at times very serious and


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passionate, yet also lighthearted and amusing. In 2005 during the week of Halloween, Union Philosophical members engaged in a debate titled “In the Event of a Zombie Attack, Who Would Be Better Suited to Defend the Republic: Pirates or Ninjas?” Ray Charles In 1961, the Ray Charles Orchestra performed in the Alumni Gymnasium, which is now the Emil R. Weiss Center for the Arts. Martin Luther King On April 11, 1961, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke at Allison United Methodist Church on Dickinson’s campus. Athletics Dickinson has a long and successful athletic history. In the 1890s, the college acquired its first athletic field on the corner of Louther and Cherry streets. After selecting the official red and white colors in 1887 and establishing the Red Devil mascot in 1930, the sports teams became part of Dickinson culture. In 1904, the Dickinson football team was ranked 12th nationally but lacked a large enough venue to host big games. Edward Biddle, class of 1870, donated six acres to the college to build the Herman Bosler Biddle Memorial Field in 1909. Looking back over past Dickinson victories, no


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single athletic event stands out as much as one fateful day in October 1931, when the Dickinson Red Devils defeated the Nittany Lions of The Pennsylvania State University. The teams had competed annually from 1896 to 1907, but this was their first match in 24 years. After 1931, Dickinson sports gained momentum. By 1934, there were nine male sports: baseball, basketball, freshman basketball, cross country, football, freshman football, soccer, tennis and track. Women’s sports also became more popular, although they were limited to intramural competition, including archery, basketball, hockey, swimming and an equestrian team. Adding to the athletic spirit, in 1962, the Washington Redskins, who for years used Dickinson’s campus as their summer-training location, paid to add a weight room and locker room to

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Biddle Field. With the advent of Title IX in 1982, gender-equity requirements helped to advance women’s athletics. Today, Dickinson College supports 12 women’s teams and 11 men’s teams, and about 65 percent of Dickinson students participate in intramural sports. Peter, Paul and Mary On Nov. 30, 1962, the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary performed. Bruce Springsteen Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed in the dining hall in 1974. Although attendance was respectable, the college lost $3,000 on the performance. Jimmy Buffet In 1975, Jimmy Buffet, known for songs like “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” performed on campus. Women in Campus Media: The Early Days Shortly after the first women arrived on campus, they lent their enterprising spirit to the campus media. Jessica Longsdorff, class of 1891, a sister of the trailblazing Zatae, class of 1887, was listed on the board of editors of the Microcosm yearbook, along with Elizabeth Anna Low, class of 1891. Both women also are noted in the 1890 Microcosm as members of the earliest referenced women’s literary


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society, the Browning Literary Society. The Harman Literary Society, established in 1896, showed that more than a century ago, women knew how to have a good laugh. It was named for the professor who tried to block the admission of women. The society, which appears in college records until the 1940s, published a journal, Salmagundi. In later years, when men were away at war, women began to claim the top media leadership roles. Kathleen Briner Meals ’44 was the first female editor-in-chief of The Dickinsonian (194344 school year), and Barbara Mulford Jones ’46 became the first female editor-in-chief of the Microcosm (1944-45 school year). Sustainability Sustainability has become a defining characteristic of the Dickinson experience. It is a mindset that permeates the curriculum, extracurricular activities, the residential experience, facilities, campus operations and more. And Dickinson has been recognized as a national leader among liberal-arts institutions for this commitment. In 2007, President William G. Durden ’71 signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. In 2008, the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education was established on campus. Dickinson is one of only five colleges in the country to achieve three national


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designations: It was recognized as an Overall College Sustainability Leader in the 2010 Green Report Card, earning an A- for the second year in a row; was designated as a “Cool School” by Sierra magazine and as one of America's greenest colleges in Sierra’s Comprehensive Guide to the Most EcoEnlightened U.S. Colleges; and was given the highest possible score (99) on The Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll. Global Education Instilled with an international spirit by Dickinson’s founder Benjamin Rush, the college was destined from the beginning to be a leader in global education. Rush advocated the teaching of modern languages and the integration of an international perspective in the curriculum. By the mid-1960s, Dickinson had alumni living all over the world. With a vast, global network, Dickinson created a truly internationalized campus. In 1965, the college, in an effort to prepare students to be leaders internationally, founded its first study-abroad center in Bologna, Italy. Today, the college’s largest program is at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and its newest are in Egypt and India. The other sites are: Brisbane, Australia; Yaoundé, Cameroon; Beijing, China; Toulouse, France; Bremen, Germany; Nagoya, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; Querétaro, Mexico; Moscow, Russia; Málaga,


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Bologna, Italy

Spain; and New York City. Throughout its history, the college’s globaleducation program has garnered respect and recognition from both the national and international communities. The college has been repeatedly cited by the Institute of International Education’s Open


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Doors Report as one of the best schools in the country for international study. More than 60 percent of Dickinson students study abroad. The integration of an international curriculum on the Carlisle campus also has gained notice. This includes international scholar programs like the Partnerships for Learning Undergraduate Studies (PLUS) and the U.S. Studies Institute for South Asian Undergraduate Student Leaders. Today, Dickinson has more than 40 programs on six continents in 24 countries, making it one of the largest and most successful global-education programs in the country. A Flock of Seagulls In 1986, A Flock of Seagulls, a leading New Wave group known for its floppy hair and synthesizers, performed on campus. Jewish Services Carlisle’s first Jewish religious services were held in Dickinson’s Memorial Hall in 1967 during Rosh Hashanah. Boycott In 1969, there was an outburst of police action against black students in Carlisle. After holding a meeting in the dining hall, Dickinson students decided to hold a one-week boycott of all Carlisle businesses to protest the police actions. The boycott was upheld by most of the campus.


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Peaceful Protest On Oct. 15, 1969—Dickinson’s Vietnam Moratorium Day—about 1,300 students, faculty members and citizens marched on the U.S. Army War College in peaceful protest of the Vietnam War. David Oden of the Young Socialists Alliance made a speech. The crowd sang songs such as “Alice’s Restaurant” and the national anthem, then marched back toward the Dickinson campus by candlelight. Celebrating Women Dickinsonians celebrated the 125th anniversary of women’s admission to Dickinson during the 200910 academic year with 125 Years of Women at Dickinson: A Legacy of Success. The celebration began Sept. 25, with an exhibit and reception at the Waidner-Spahr Library. Highlights from the celebration included two panel discussions featuring distinguished alumnae leaders, the unveiling of the Zatae Longsdorff (class of 1887) historical panel in the Rector Science Complex and a student-curated exhibit in the Archives & Special Collections. Unity Rally On Sept. 23, 2000, about 3,000 people congregated on Biddle Field for a Unity Rally to display community spirit in opposition to hate crimes and injustice.


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President William G. Durden ’71 had volunteered the use of Dickinson’s facilities to celebrate diversity and unity after the Carlisle Borough Council Social Justice Committee learned of a Ku Klux Klan rally to be held in town that day. Gov. Tom Ridge and the president of the Harrisburg chapter of the NAACP made appearances at the rally. The celebration consisted of music, inspirational speeches, arts and crafts and other activities celebrating ethnic diversity, as well as a Unity Pledge table. Earth Day The first worldwide Earth Day was April 22, 1970. One way Dickinson participated was through a Public Affairs Symposium titled Science and Public Policy: Environmental Pollution. During the four-day event, many leading biologists, conservationists, scientists, doctors and politicians participated in roundtable discussions. Biologist Barry Commoner was the keynote speaker, and Sen. Gaylord Nelson, one of the leading political proponents of Earth Day, gave the closing address. In other campus efforts that spring, Dean Gerald Hawkins and college faculty members addressed 60 high-school students at an environmental seminar. Hawkins also celebrated Earth Day by planting a 9-foot red maple tree near his house. Also, several members of the faculty took an environmental


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survey of LeTort Spring Run. Finally, the college encouraged students to become educated in the sciences as one of the best ways to help the environment and improve awareness. Public Affairs Symposium The Public Affairs Symposium (PAS), Dickinson’s annual conference on topics of contemporary relevance, began in the mid-20th century as a religious symposium with guest preachers and religious leaders. In 1964, it became the more secular symposium we have today. When the Committee on the Symposium of Public Affairs planned the first PAS, its goal was to “stimulate thought and discussion on contemporary issues of a broad public nature … [and to] stimulate smaller groups on campus which are interested in similar ideas.” Topics have included: The American Purpose in World Revolution (1964), Television: The Eye that Never Blinks (1968), U.S. Foreign Policy: The Times they are A-Changin’ (1979), and Sport: Its Place in Society (1987). During the 42-year history of the PAS, speakers have included Peter Jennings, Ralph Nader, Ted Koppel, Howard Cosell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Vincent “Bo” Jackson and numerous politicians, scientists and scholars.


our engagements

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at Dickinson

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Our Organizations Raven’s Claw Founded in 1896, Raven’s Claw is Dickinson’s male senior honor society. They are known as the White Hats. Skull and Key Founded in 1909, Skull and Key was a local honorary society for junior men. They were known as the Black Hats and remained at Dickinson until 1983. Scroll and Key Known as the Gray Hats, Scroll and Key is a local honor society for senior men. Members are elected in the spring of their junior year on the basis of participation in campus activities, service to Dickinson College, leadership and personal character. Phi Beta Kappa Dickinson’s PBK chapter began April 13, 1887, only two days before Lafayette College’s chapter was chartered, making Dickinson the alpha of Pennsylvania. Student Army Training Corps Between 1918 and 1919, 252 Dickinson students enrolled in the SATC (a predecessor of ROTC) and trained at the college. During World War I, 810 Dickinsonians served, and 15 gave their lives.


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Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Army ROTC was established at Dickinson in 1952 at the height of the Korean War. In the early 1960s, more than 20 percent of the student body was enrolled in ROTC. During this period, the military ball was the first major social event of the school year, complete with saber arches and ball queens crowned by the college president. In 1972, more than two dozen officers were commissioned through Dickinson’s ROTC program. In 2003, the Dickinson program, named the Blue Mountain Battalion, was ranked eighth out of 272 ROTC programs nationally. President William G. Durden ’71 and trustees Woody Goldberg ’63, John Curley ’60 and David Meade ’62 are all ROTC graduates. Union Philosophical and Belles Lettres For much of the early history of Dickinson College no extracurricular activities existed on campus aside from two literary societies, Belles Lettres and Union Philosophical. Belles Lettres was founded Feb. 22, 1786, to supplement the curriculum with practice in writing and public speaking. Union Philosophical was founded in 1789 for “mutual improvement in science and literature” and quickly assumed a role as rival to Belles Lettres. At this point in Dickinson’s history the library was a fraction of its current size, containing only a


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few thousand volumes. In 1791, both societies began to collect books for their own intrasociety libraries housed in Old West. Both book drives depended mainly upon donations and limited purchases. By the time the libraries were merged with the school collection in Bosler Hall in 1886, each contained about 10,000 volumes. The societies also served as forums for political debate. Student life in the 19th century revolved around public debates and exhibitions that were hosted by both societies. In addition, the societies regularly challenged each other to debate. One society would choose the topic; the other society would choose a side, and debate would commence. Both societies had secretive tendencies based on their origins. This secrecy and the society debates helped to spawn a deep rivalry between the two organizations. They became a precursor to the fraternal societies of the mid- to late-19th century. More traditions evolved to the point that elaborate processions and society-identifying badges were introduced. The official red and white colors of Dickinson College emerged from the societies’ symbols. Belles Lettres adopted a pink rose, which they changed to red in the mid-1860s, while Union Philosophical chose a white rose. Both societies exist on campus today.


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Literary Society Hall located in Denny Hall

Women’s Center The Zatae Longsdorff Center for Women, a student-led center, was created in 1984 as a support and resource center for women. In 2008, the Office of Student Life established a new Women’s Center and appointed Susannah Bartlow as its first director. Now located in Landis House along with the Office of Diversity Initiatives, the Women’s Center worked to bring a rape advocate to campus, founded the Assault and Sexuality Coalition and is working with regional partners to further enhance the resources for women on campus.


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The Sisterhood The Sisterhood, founded in 2002, was a women’s organization on campus that supported diversity and united the women of the Dickinson and Carlisle communities. Two Parties In 1958, the Student Senate elections ran in a two-party system. The United Party and the Students’ Party each nominated students to run for various positions. The two-party system continued for several years. Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education Dickinson’s Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education (CESE) was established in 2008 with a $1.4 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and matching funds from the college. The center works to integrate environmental and sustainability education across the college curriculum. It also links classroom learning with co-curricular programs, the greening of campus operations and civic engagement. The Treehouse The Center for Sustainable Living, also known as the Treehouse, was founded in 1990. It is a student-directed environmental learning community dedicated to sustainable living and


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responsible environmental actions at the local level. In 2008 it became the first college residence in Pennsylvania to earn gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) On April 9, 1965, CORE staged a peaceful protest outside of the Carlisle Municipal Building to draw awareness to the state of some poorer areas of Carlisle. CORE, comprised mainly of Dickinson students and faculty members, attempted to have the housing codes enforced and reduce racial segregation. Asbell Center for Jewish Life The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life brings together Jewish students. The center collaborates with the local congregation, Beth Tikvah, to co-sponsor events, including High Holiday services, Passover Seders and other religious events. The Asbell Center is a place for students to gather for religious, social and cultural events. Each year Hillel members organize a host of exciting activities including parties, dances, concerts, bowling nights and informal coffeehouses with guest speakers. In addition to supporting Jewish life on campus, the Asbell Center facilities are available to Dickinson’s academic program in Judaic studies, which has an unusually strong curriculum for a liberal-arts college.


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Student Senate Founded in April 1908, Senate was a male-only organization until 1936. It is the main tool for communication between students and administrators as it attempts to create an open campus dialogue. This body of elected officials discusses campus issues and enacts legislation. Senate is responsible for the approval, organization and funding of student organizations. Senate representatives sit on the all-college committees, allowing the student body to have an active role in college affairs. Keystones Founded in 2003, the Keystones are an all-male group dedicated to fostering community relations through active participation in service projects. Wheel and Chain Founded in 1924 by nine senior women, Wheel and Chain is the college’s senior women’s honorary society. Also known as the Blue Hats, the group elects 10 juniors each year based on their leadership skills, participation in campus activities, service to the school and community and personal character. Alpha Phi Omega Established in 1989, Alpha Phi Omega is a


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Student Senate meeting

national coed service fraternity that follows the principles of leadership, friendship and service. The organization sponsors service projects in the Carlisle community in partnership with The Salvation Army, Project SHARE, Hope Station, the Carlisle Theatre and Habitat for Humanity. Mohler Scientific Club Founded in 1867 as the Dickinson Scientific Club, the Mohler Scientific Club was renamed for Professor of Physics John Mohler, class of 1887, at his retirement. The first-year physics prizes also are named in his honor. Interfraternity Council The Interfraternity Council (IFC) is the joint body for all fraternities at Dickinson. The purpose


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is to promote social, intellectual and fraternal relationships among the groups and to support communication between the fraternities and the school. Panhellenic Council The governing body for all sororities on campus, Panhel promotes relationships among the four sororities and between the groups and the school. The sororities included in the council are three national groups, Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta, and one local organization, Delta Nu. ALLARM The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) was founded in 1986 as an organization within the Department of Environmental Studies. The group assists Pennsylvania communities and individuals who strive to protect and restore watersheds. Multicultural Greek organizations In 2009, four new national organizations began transforming Greek life on campus. Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Sigma Lambda Gamma and Sigma Lambda Beta share an affinity for multicultural social advocacy, and their events often blur the line between learning and leisure. They also seek to change public perceptions of fraternity and sorority life. Although the groups are historically African American or Latino/Latina, members


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emphasize that everyone is welcome. They value service over philanthropy—though they do plenty of fundraising—and their recruitment process includes a formal application and interview. But like all Greek organizations, their focus is fellowship. Phoenix Founded in 2003, Phoenix is a women’s social and service organization that participates in a variety of community-service projects, like sending relief buckets to the victims of Hurricane Ivan in Florida and sending valentines to residents of the Thornwald Nursing Home in Carlisle. Phoenix also sponsors the Polar Bear Plunge. Cultural and Ethnic Clubs Dickinson is home to many cultural and ethnic clubs, including ABOLISH-Students for a Freer Sudan, African-American Society, Asian Social Interest Association, Club Afrique, Hillel, Latin American Club, Middle Eastern Club, Muslim Student Association and Spectrum.


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Printed on recycled paper containing 30% postconsumer waste.

D-Book  

Th D-Book is a selective depiction of the history and tradition of Dickinson College.

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