Inspired By Nobility

It’s odd in this day and age to say that someone is “noble.” We usually say they’re trustworthy or respectable, but we reserve noble as a synonym for rich or snobby. Dr. Scott Dalrymple is someone that epitomizes nobility.

I first met him while attending one of his classes at a Junior at Southwestern College of Kansas. He showed up 15 minutes late to class, holding a jambox and a Rush CD. Within minutes he passed out song lyrics and pressed play. It was Rush’s “The Trees,” and from then on, he called the students in the class Oaks. Oak trees grow higher and bolder than any other tree in the forest, and that is exactly what he expected of his students.

As a class we read Atlas Shrugged, a 1,200-page book. It was not an easy undertaking, but we knew that slacking on the work was not an option. After completing my first “Dr. D” class, I eagerly took another as a Senior. The class was called “Responsibilities for the Future,” focusing on how we, as liberal arts students, can make a positive mark on society. One element for the class was to do a community service project. Most people in the class were already working and didn’t want to put in a lot of time towards a project. We stayed after class one day and discussed how we could do the project without too much work.

Later, we presented the ideas to Dr. D, and he was not the least bit pleased. Until that day I had never seen him yell, and certainly never seen him so disappointed. He stormed from the classroom — over an hour before class was to be let out. We sat there with jaws dropped, knowing we couldn’t disappoint him.

The last hour of class we sat there brainstorming ideas, and eventually deciding on a week of Halloween Safety for our town. We worked with the police department to go to elementary schools and inform the younger kids on how to stay safe on Halloween. We walked with the kids during the Halloween parade, making sure no kid strayed from the group. On Halloween night, we passed out glow-in-the-dark bracelets for the kids to wear.

It wasn’t till I drove home that night that I really saw the impact our class made on the community. I saw the streets literally glowing from all the bracelets. Dr. Dalrymple challenged us to go above and beyond his expectations. I don’t know how he did it, but he somehow shared his nobility with us. He made such a positive change on not only my attitude, but how I approach life in general.

Erin Rankin, Texas

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