These several studies, undertaken by beginning history majors in the Department of History, seek to probe the past for the manner and extent that this determination has a history at Dickinson. The study explores the way that the College's international place has changed from its founding to the genesis of its modern presence as a leader in international education. The pieces claim no status as the comprehensive story of "global connections" at the College but reflect "snapshots" of this past, using the primary materials available in the Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections, from which some conclusions may be drawn. No attempt is made at comparison with other institutions, so these conclusions largely address, through two hundred years of Dickinson history, a varying yet growing awareness of the value of this engagement with the world about us.
Evidence indicates an active Dickinson from the very beginning, though the results were varied and largely dispersed into personal motivations of particular faculty and students, particularly those students from elsewhere who sought out the College. The greatest active arm of the College engaging the world, however, was, of course, its sense of religious mission, drawn from Presbyterian, and later, Methodist roots. From the mid nineteenth century on, evidence of missionary outreach is unmistakable, and is represented here in the examination of Dickinson's part in the great Christian and Western crusade to bring salvation to Asia. Thus began, through associations and directly, the long College relationship with China that continues, in very different ways, up to today.
From this active century of missionary enthusiasm, the College slowly evolved, as did many other institutions, from the "active" to the "inter-active." A more secular, political, and international world, with the United States increasingly at its center, saw the broadening of the curriculum, the emergence of ideas - not always popular with College governors - which would exchange ideas and awareness of one with the other, rather than impose the ideas of the one. Elements of the enthusiasm of the past remained, though, playing off the same curiosity which Dickinson students have always exhibited, and helping to provide the sense of commitment to engagement that distinguishes the present.
As noted, the pages you will see are all the product of a group of
novice history majors taking the Dickinson History Department's introductory
methodology course during the autumn of 1997. Their work here was
a part of the requirements for completion of the term. The instructor
in this course retained the right to make editorial changes for presentation's
sake, and in some cases this has been done. But, in the main,
the quality of the pages are as you see it, and you may find varying success
which may well have related to the student's final mark in the course.
Growth of the International Curriculum
Students at Dickinson
Clemens - Soldier, Missionary, and Scientist