Connections - Spring 2012

Why I Give
Judy Curchin Vandever '62

The new Class of 1962 Gettysburg Fund Scholarship has special meaning for Judy Curchin Vandever ‘62, who honored the memory of her husband through a gift funded by a charitable IRA rollover. “Jack looked upon his Gettysburg College education as part of the foundation of the good life that followed,” she said, “and I think he looked at his annual gift as a payback of sorts.”

For more than 50 years, Gettysburg College played an integral role in their lives. The college sweethearts married soon after graduation and lived the U.S. Army life, moving around until Jack’s military work brought him to Maryland, close to Gettysburg, where they resided for 33 years. Jack served on the College’s Commission on the Future and Alumni Board prior to his death in 2011.

Judy VandeverAlumni Board members, including Jack, shared a strong interest in student diversity. “Jack knew that there were potential students out there — bright, enthusiastic, focused kids  — who would look at the cost of a year at Gettysburg and not even bother to apply,” Judy said. She recalls how happy Jack was during his last campus visit, when he saw the great strides the College has made in bringing together a more diverse student body.

Both Judy and Jack understood the hardship involved in paying for any college education. Judy empathizes with today’s students and parents. She hopes to lighten their burden through her gift. “Although we lived frugally, it was a priority to send a generous gift to the school each year,” she said.

Even while fighting his lengthy illness, Jack discussed a planned gift to the College. Time was not on his side, so Judy is realizing his desire to “do something special” for Gettysburg. Now, as she plans for her 50th class reunion, she is excited about the newly created Class of 1962 Gettysburg Fund Scholarship. To celebrate their milestone reunion, class members are contributing to scholarships to be awarded to students entering this fall — the Class of 2016. Financial aid remains one of the College’s top priorities; many members of the Class of 1962 agree that their graduation might not have been possible without scholarships.


Club of the yearSmith Award honors Club of the Year

The Boston/New England Alumni Club is the reigning holder of the Bob Smith Alumni Club of the Year award, thanks to its organization and execution of a wide range of programming for alumni and parents in the region. With the trophy are, from left: Matt Heiser ’09, Sira Grant ’11, Melissa Arsenie ’10; standing, club co-chairs Sarah Anderson ’09 and Kate Banks ’05. The 2011 winner will be announced at Reunion Weekend on June 2.



Legacy Admissions Experience provides insider’s perspective

Alumni and their college-bound kids in 11th and 12th grades are welcome to the Legacy Admissions Experience on Friday, Sept. 28. Held in conjunction with

Homecoming Weekend, the program provides an insider’s perspective on the college search and selection process.

Info and registration materials are on the College website. Highlights of the day include:

• The Value of a Liberal Arts Education in the 21st Century session

• Admissions and financial aid sessions

• Mock application review (for students)

• Faculty panels

• Lunch in the Campus Dining Center

• Campus tour


Alumni web pages get a makeover

The Alumni & Friends section of the College website is new and improved, with more news, photos, and interactive elements, thanks in part to alumni volunteers who participated in focus group interviews and testing sessions. The Explore tab will take you to alumni and College news and photo galleries. The Connect tab will help you get in touch with classmates, network with alumni in your area or in your profession, find volunteer opportunities or events, and keep in touch through the College’s social media network.

Creating connections from campus to Congress


Soon to be a member of Gettysburg’s extensive alumni network, Gianina Galatro ‘12 connected with Board of Trustees Chair Bob Duelks ’77 during a networking reception that brought students together with the Alumni Association Board of Directors. The campus event preceded Feb. 3’s annual Senior Class Dinner, hosted by the trustees.

Galatro is the Center for Public Service’s (CPS) program coordinator for the Adams County Office for Aging. “I think it’s extremely important for students to be involved with the local community,” she told the Gettysburgian in January. “Students are able to not only help build a stronger community, but also gain valuable experiences applicable to their studies and professional lives.”

Galatro’s independent major has allowed her to explore her interests in both biomolecular science and theatre. Her resume also reflects a rich array of service and international experience. Through the CPS’s Immersion Projects, she travelled to the Dominican Republic to help develop a better community for Haitian immigrants there. Her 2012 winter immersion project, “Voices of Resistance,” took her to Washington, D.C. to collect stories from the Occupy Congress movement and learn how to lobby members of Congress. She said her experiences have shifted her perspective on education from “product to process,” and that she “would not be the person I am today without CPS.”


Helen Hohman ’75 earns Silent Leader Award

Alumni Board Vice President Helen Hohman ’75 is the 2012 recipient of the Phyllis Hicks Utterback Silent Leader Award. At the February meeting, Charlie Scott ’77, P’09, P’12, president of the Alumni Association and trustee, presented the award in recognition of Hohman’s dedication, enthusiasm, and outreach on behalf of the College. Hohman will leave the Board this spring after more than a decade of service.


What inspires you to be Gettysburg Great?

For Doug Stuart ’04, it’s “the level of confidence I developed by being constantly reminded by faculty, staff, and other students that I could do anything. That inspires me still today.” Doug chairs the ‘Burgians of the Last Decade (BOLD) Council and is a loyal contributor to the Gettysburg Fund. What does Gettysburg Great mean to you? Let us know at

Atlas foundAbandoned atlas finds its way home

In 1958, during a renovation of Breidenbaugh Hall, a sophomore and self-described book lover spied a treasure in the construction debris. It was an atlas containing maps of America from the late 18th to early 19th centuries.

“It was discarded onto a pile of rubble,” recalls Lee A. Dallas ’61. “I retrieved it, and after closer examination, took it to the College library. I was, however, greeted by a librarian who informed me, ‘We don’t have room for old books in the library. Take it back to where you found it.’”

Thankfully, Dallas didn’t follow that brusque advice. Fifty-two years later, he presented it to another Gettysburg College librarian, Special Collections Director (now emerita) Karen Drickamer, and she happily accepted it.

Drickamer, with the assistance of Fortenbaugh Intern Thomas Lester ’11, unraveled the mystery of what turns out to be a cartographic treasure.

The atlas was originally donated to the College by Hiester H. Muhlenberg, a trustee of Pennsylvania College from 1853-1869, who, over the years, gave about a thousand books to the library.

“The atlas itself is made up of two separate atlases that the original owner (perhaps Muhlenberg) had bound together,” explains Drickamer. Ten of the maps were published by Christoph Daniel Ebeling (1741-1817), and 10 by Mathew Carey (1760-1839). Both are very important figures in early American cartography. Ebeling’s maps are from Erdbeschreibung und Geschichte von America (Geography and History of America). A German historian and professor, Ebeling is best known for this work which contained seven volumes and was first published in 1793 in Hamburg. These 10 maps are especially rare.

“Only a small number of American collections, among them the Library of Congress and Harvard University, have copies of all 10 published maps,” says Walter Ristow, author of American Maps and Mapmakers.

Lester, a history major, shares his findings: “Although the original version contained no maps, Ebeling realized that they were necessary for readers to understand details in the text. He secured the services of fellow countryman Daniel Friedrich Sotzmann to produce maps that were later included and published as Atlas von Nord-Amerika from 1796-1799. The American collection was meant to contain 18 maps, but only these 10 were ever produced.”

The 10 maps cover the northeastern states and are highly detailed, with symbols for courthouses, ironworks, churches, academies, and more.

The Carey maps cover more of the South. Carey, a native of Dublin, immigrated to Philadelphia in 1784 where he established a printing and publishing house. In 1795, he published his American Atlas, the earliest of the United States, which included 16 maps. Rather than employing draftsmen, engravers, map colorers, and mounters in his own workshop, Carey operated an urban cottage industry, sometimes hiring craftsmen in other cities.

He changed the publishing business model by organizing these self-employed artisans into an effective production line for his atlases.

“It is astonishing to me that someone would have discarded this volume to begin with,” said Robin Wagner, library director, “and even more disconcerting that, when presented to a librarian, it was rejected. All I can say is thank goodness for Lee Dallas! How lucky we are that he had the foresight to rescue this volume and to care for it all these years. We are so grateful to have this treasure safe in Special Collections and available for future generations.”

— Friends of Musselman Library newsletter, fall 2011, photo by Ed Cable

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Posted: Thu, 26 Apr 2012

Next on your reading list

In his words: Ben Pontz ’20 and the “essence of experiential learning”

The antidote for ignorance: A liberal arts education?

Econ majors to learn from Chris Matthaei ’01 gift, innovative software

Share this story: