Dillon J. Davidson looked back on his time at Wilmington College from the vantage point of being 48 hours from his graduation in May. He realizes now that everything he did was connected and comprised the magical, mystical progression that was his WC experience.
From his first visit to Wilmington College to taking advantage of travel opportunities, cobbling his own major and giving his school a memorable parting gift this spring, everything — no matter how irregularly shaped — fit together in bringing him to this day.
“My time here was like a puzzle,” said the international agriculture major from Upper Sandusky who’s heading to graduate school at Oklahoma State University this summer. “Everything I’ve done was a piece of that puzzle. Everything just worked out — I don’t know how it did, but it did.”
Davidson knew he wanted to pursue agriculture when he enrolled in Wilmington College’s prominent program but it was a College trip to Kenya over Christmas break his freshman year that had a profound effect on his future plans.
“In Kenya, we volunteered at a school and farm — our experience had an agriculture and education focus,” he recalled. “That trip struck my interest in travel and helping others in agriculture across the world.”
It also caused him to refocus his major on international agriculture, which, technically, WC does not offer. However, Davidson was able to work with his agriculture faculty and the Academic Affairs staff in devising a specific curriculum that met all academic standards.
“I expressed an interest and they made it happen,” he said.
Just weeks after returning from Kenya, Davidson joined WC faculty, staff and students on a spring break excursion to Costa Rica, where they learned about sustainable agriculture. Now a confident traveler, he ventured on his own to Tanzania the summer after his freshman year. There he taught agriculture to secondary school students and gardening and farming techniques to adults.
“I was there by myself,” he recalled. “It was a truly amazing experience and something I never pictured myself doing. It showed me who I am and opened my eyes to a lot of things, things I took for granted.
“My everyday life changed. I matured by taking those international trips. I learned there’s so much more to the world outside of being here.”
The College encourages students to pursue travel opportunities by making money available from the Isaac Harvey Fund when the trip involves education, service and/or peace-based outreach.