Literacy and Liberty

Benjamin Rush Statue
Posted by: , October 3, 2018, 3:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It was the fall of my senior year of high school, and this was to be my last college visit before I made my decision. I arrived on the Dickinson College campus with an open mind, but ready to be finished with the college process. For two years, where I was going to attend college had been discussed time and time again, not to mention the countless tests taken and questionnaires answered. As my mother and I began our tour of the campus after my interview in the admissions building, our first stop was by Old West. In front of the old building was the Benjamin Rush statue. The statue itself is larger than life, with Rush holding a quill in one hand and a piece of parchment in the other, watching over those students as they walk from classroom to classroom. Before even reading the dedication plaque below the statue, I understood how it displayed the intellect and ambition I could tell the College embodied. The Benjamin Rush statue served as a symbol of the culture I knew I could expect in my time here. Today, after having chosen Dickinson as the place I want to spend my next four years; I see the Benjamin Rush statue differently. No longer is it just a symbol of education and intellect, but rather a standard expected of the students who walk the pathways across campus, to uphold the maverick spirit and sense of purpose Rush embodied.

4 Comments so far
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I love that you were able to have a connection to Benjamin Rush’s statue. He was such an important figure in the establishment of this college and we all have him to thank for it. For me, it wasn’t really something I noticed when I went on my visit here but now, as a student, I see the significance of this statue.

   Dan 10.05.18 @ 11:03 am

It is interesting to me that you chose this monument because I never really think about the Benjamin Rush statue. I knew it was there but never really thought about what it meant or the ideas that came from the man himself. I agree with you that it “displayed the intellect and ambition” that the college embodies. It is very different from what most people chose which is why I thought it to be interesting.

   Evan Rosenberg 10.05.18 @ 1:06 pm

I was at the Benjamin Rush statue the other day! I love the way you describe the metal figure and personify him. Like him watching over people while displaying the values that Dickinson stands for. Also, the purpose that these values instill in others. Not to speak for the man himself, but Benjamin Rush would probably high five you if he was still alive.

   natasha 10.07.18 @ 2:26 pm

Reed, thanks for this reflection on the BR statue, and what it’s meant to you since you were an applicant to the College. I’m so heartened that the intellectual ambition Rush symbolizes to Dickinson–and beyond–resonate with you.
Now, what *war* do you think the statue memorializes, per the blog prompt?

   Professor Seiler 10.08.18 @ 2:07 pm

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