Pitzer Spotlights

2006-2007 Spotlight Archives

A Great Role Model in the Classroom
David Sawhill '01

A wise Pitzer president once said that the College's mandate was to "Change the Universe." This is my motto! --David Sawhill

David Sawhill '01"We talk about life-long learning to the children but David's a role model of it," Pioneer Junior High School Principal Brett O'Connor said. David Sawhill '01, a Pitzer College graduate in economics, spent two years in business before returning to the classroom as a junior high math teacher. Once in the classroom, he noticed that his students were not listening to the morning announcements that he believed were vital to creating a close-knit community. Hearing about other schools employment of a closed circuit system for news broadcasting, Sawhill used his business acumen and experience to raise $60,000 for the communication equipment.

Jim Lehman, one of Sawhill's economic professors at Pitzer said, "It would be difficult to name anyone who put more into or got more out of his college years than David. Pitzer College emphasizes community involvement, experiential learning, and intercultural understanding. David immersed himself in the community that is the College, working for the Admissions Office and as a Resident Assistant, and was prized in both roles. He sought practical applications of his studies in economics and finance with an internship at Salomon Smith Barney and in his capacity as one of the officers of the College’s Student Investment Committee, managing a modest portfolio designed to provide experience for current students and revenues for scholarships for future students. For most students, that would be enough. Not so for David—a fine musician, he played trombone in the Concert Orchestra, and was invited to participate in the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. To round out this portfolio of interests, he was also a leading athlete, an all-league baseball player named Best Defensive Player of the Year for two years running. He also took advantage of the College’s opportunities for study abroad to spend a semester in Ireland, studying the "Irish economic miracle" and European Union politics and economic relations."

"David Sawhill truly expanded his horizons while he was a student at Pitzer. It changed him forever. He was also one of the best student workers I have ever had. He is just a great young man," Donna Zinser, the Admission's Office operation manager said.

--Susan Andrews