Former Provost Daniel DeNicola to Retire
By Gauri Mangala, Co-Features Editor
Daniel R. DeNicola, Chairperson and Professor of Philosophy, will be retiring from Gettysburg College this May. DeNicola, who has also served as the Collaege’s Provost (1996-2006) and Vice President of Program Development at Gettysburg College, has experienced the development of Gettysburg College into one of the highest ranked Liberal Arts colleges in the country with his own eyes.
DeNicola, an advocate for lifelong scholarship, found philosophy “because I had many, many academic interests when I got to college I realized I could not pursue them all.” DeNicola realized that what he really enjoyed about these different subjects were the “philosophical dimensions” surrounding them. DeNicola has never regretted his decision to study philosophy, “It’s an amazing field, it’s a good field to take you into many different things.”
As Provost of Gettysburg College, DeNicola worked with the administration to carry through many changes to the college.
“I was very fortunate in being Provost when I was because we had a president who was oriented towards growth and development,” DeNicola said.
These changes included building the Science Center, renovating the Majestic Theatre, renovating the Musselman Library, starting the Johnson Center, starting CNAV, starting the Eisenhower Institute, adding 45 faculty positions, introducing the First-Year Seminar program, and many more. Along with these changes, many majors and minors were added, including: Theatre Arts, Environmental Studies, Anthropology, Arabic, Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, Health Sciences, Latin American Studies, East Asian Studies, etc.
“I think couldn’t have found a better situation to work as a Provost,” DeNicola posited. However, “I always imagined I would end my career teaching.” DeNicola felt as though his scholarship had lessened during his time in the administration, and knew that, as a fulltime faculty member, that that would be something he could pursue again wholeheartedly.
DeNicola has since become the Chairperson of the Philosophy Department and has taught higher-level philosophy courses including ‘The Philosophy of Color’ and ‘Philosophy of Place.’ He has gone on to publish two books: “Learning to Flourish: A Philosophical Exploration of Liberal Education” and “Understanding Ignorance: The Surprising Impact of What We Don’t Know,” which won an 2018 Association of American Publisher’s PROSE Award in the Philosophy category.
As DeNicola ends his time at Gettysburg College, he wishes to continue his scholarship and his traveling. He currently is working on a book of ethics that is set to come out in 2019. In terms of the college, DeNicola plans to maintain Gettysburg as a base for a while. “I don’t want to lose contact with the college community.”
DeNicola remains thankful for the time he has had here, noting that “being paid to teach philosophy is a privilege.” While his time at Gettysburg College may end, the journey shall continue. He maintained, “There’s never been a better time in the history of the world to be a scholar.”