Ten Years Creating Futures

Charles H. Salisbury Jr. ā€™63, Pā€™94, L.H.D.ā€™08

by Andrew Wickenden ā€™09

Princeton Review’s newly released book, Colleges That Create Futures: 50 Schools That Launch Careers by Going Beyond the Classroom, recognizes Hobart and William Smith alongside schools like Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Middlebury College and Swarthmore College as one of the nation’s 50 best colleges and universities for providing students with outstanding outcomes.

The Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education is cited by students as one of the Colleges’ defining strengths for its vital preparation toward those outcomes – from the Pathways Program, to the recently established Guaranteed Internship Program, to the Charles H. Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend.

Indeed, over the past several decades the validation of such programs and their remarkable outcomes can be traced to the vision of Honorary Trustee and former Chair of the Board of Trustees Charles H. Salisbury Jr. ’63, P’94, L.H.D.’08, who “has led the charge in ensuring our students explore their career options and fulfill the Colleges’ call of global citizenship,” says HWS President Mark D. Gearan. “The Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend stands out as the embodiment of the ambition and empowerment we strive to encourage in our students.”

Since the Salisbury International Internship program was established in 2005, the unique and groundbreaking award has supported 30 students with up to $20,000 each to pursue international internship experiences anywhere in the world.

“I really wanted to provide the vehicle or opportunity,” Salisbury says. “It’s up to students to go where they see opportunities to contribute or learn, which is unique, and is a tribute to the students themselves and to the Colleges that help prepare them to take on this challenge.”

“The goal at the end of the day is to enhance students’ abilities to compete at the highest levels,” says Bob Murphy, vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions, who also directs the Salisbury Center. “The Salisbury Internship program is the enabler to do that – to take away financial distractions and offer a direct line of sight to a number of very qualified students to pursue what they want to do when they graduate.”

Murphy, who consults with students during the early stages of the competitive application process, notes that applicants, “cultivate their ideas and wind up thinking bigger about their internships, from just one opportunity in one country, to two or three. It’s so nice to see someone go from a lower gear to a very high gear.”

Salisbury, former managing director and member of the board of directors of T. Rowe Price Associates, says his primary objective in establishing the program was to recognize “that a liberal arts education serves one extremely well in the long term.”

“I’m a graduate, if you will, of an international corporate environment, and I believe that a successful business has to have an international viewpoint,” he explains. “To grow a company, you have to grow the individuals, who have to be global citizens. In the short term, by enabling students to link up with a corporate sponsor, they have a chance to look at the business world and prove their mettle. What better opportunity for an individual early on in their career than to do that overseas? It takes a special person to want to do that and to be able to do that.”

In this sense, the Salisbury Stipend “places students in a larger global context,” says Scott MacPhail, associate director of Health Professions Counseling and Fellowship Advising, who works with students (including Salisbury Stipend recipients) as they apply to post-graduate awards and fellowships. “With the Salisbury award, there is a fair amount of independence for students to find their own opportunities, to explore the world and have a sense of where they stand in that larger world. A lot of students have this desire to have a larger role as a global citizen and make a large impact when they come back from their Salisbury experience, in that they know where they are and what they want to do in the world.”

Nan Crystal Arens, professor of geoscience, echoes MacPhail’s reflections: “One of the things I’ve noticed about students when they go on any intensive experience off campus is a quantum leap in maturity and professionalism. Students have a different perspective about themselves once they get into the field, into a work setting, and realize that everything they have been learning in class has seeped into their worldview.”

Today, having worked and studied in two-dozen countries on five continents, the recipients of the Salisbury International Internship Stipend are economists and public policy experts, scientists and communications specialists. They are medical doctors and business leaders, award-winning architects and educators shaping future generations at home and abroad. The program has produced two Fulbright Scholars and a Marshall Scholar. Two-thirds of the award’s recipients have earned graduate or professional degrees at the nation’s top universities. Others have transitioned directly into careers at renowned companies and innovative start-ups around the world.

“There are a lot of four-year liberal arts colleges scattered around the country. To attract students, the Colleges or any institution in this commodity-driven world have to differentiate themselves,” Salisbury says. “We have to be willing to take chances, to keep looking forward and be willing to do things others haven’t done to attract the kinds of students we want to have and be the institution we want to be.”

With the success of the outstanding Colleges’ alumni and alumnae, “the transformative experiences Hobart and William Smith offer continue to serve as a model of innovation among institutions of higher education,” Gearan says. “And under the stewardship and leadership of alums like Charlie Salisbury, their accomplishments and honors are only the beginning.”


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.