View from College Hill
Because Hamilton Changes Lives
February 1, 2019
Last spring, I taught a seminar on international law for 12 Hamilton seniors. It was a remarkable group, but I will mention just three. One ended up on stage with me at Commencement: Eleni Neyland, the 2018 class speaker. A second, Charles Dunst, was editor of The Spectator. A third, Audrey Nadler, was a teaching assistant, figure skater, and musician who performed a remarkable viola solo at the Hamilton Orchestra’s spring concert.
Since graduating, Eleni played a key role in Anthony Brindisi’s successful campaign for Congress before beginning a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Malaysia. Charles is working as a journalist in Phnom Penh and has already published major articles in The New York Times and The Atlantic. Audrey has returned to Spain, where she spent her junior year, this time on her own Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.
What these students are doing is amazing, but not surprising. From abolitionists to statesmen, and from educators to scientists, artists, and corporate leaders, Hamilton graduates have long used the skills they developed on College Hill to make the world better.
Notable examples include William M. Bristol, Class of 1882, who was an entrepreneur before the term was coined; Elihu Root, Class of 1864, and Sol Linowitz ’35, two of America’s most distinguished public servants; Bob Moses ’56 and Mary Bonauto ’83, leading civil rights pioneers; and Paul Greengard ’48, recipient of a Nobel Prize. What happens on College Hill matters because Hamilton prepares students not just to enter society, but to change it.
The Because Hamilton campaign represents our plan for continuing Hamilton’s extraordinary climb. Six priorities were identified after a yearlong process that gathered input from students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Some of these priorities will strengthen what we already do so well: providing access to talented and deserving students, regardless of their financial circumstances; increasing opportunities for students to obtain career-related experience through internships, independent research, and community service; and embracing the humanities by modernizing the spaces in which these disciplines are taught.
Other priorities respond to pressing needs in society. Top among these is establishing digital fluency as a foundational skill for all Hamilton students by fostering a College-wide culture of digital teaching, learning, and innovation. Leaders today must know how to write well and speak persuasively, but also how to find, evaluate, and use data and technology. Our plan is to produce liberally educated and ethically trained students who are prepared to be responsible adopters, innovators, and practitioners of digital learning and discovery.
Hamilton is already one of the best colleges in America, and I’m proud of the education and opportunities we provide. Achieving our campaign goals will ensure Hamilton continues to attract, educate, and graduate leaders like Eleni Neyland, Charles Dunst, and Audrey Nadler.