Raven's Claw Society

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The Raven's Claw emblem (current)

The Raven's Claw is an all male senior honorary society at Dickinson College. It was founded in 1896, making it the first society unique to Dickinson College and one of the oldest in the country. Membership is limited to seven senior men who are selected by the seven previous members. The new members are chosen based on a variety of factors, these include: campus leadership, a solid academic record, and athletic participation.[1] New members are inducted in a "Tapping Ceremony" which is held on the "Old Stone Steps of Old West." The ceremony is traditionally conducted during commencement weekend. They are called "claws" or "white hats", denoting the white caps they wear around campus to signify unity and loyalty.[2]


1965 Raven's Claw Tappings Ceremony on the steps of Old West

The Raven's Claw Society is very loyal and has been a part of Dickinson's history for over 100 years. While the members of the group are known, the majority of their actions and traditions are concealed. The group prides itself in serving the Dickinson College and Carlisle, Pennsylvania communities through discreet service activities.[3] The group's alumni organization is also responsible for founding one of the college's largest scholarship funds and the McAndrews Fund for athletics. Additionally, Dickinson College has named several buildings on campus after Raven's Claw members in recognition of their generous service and/or financial contributions to the school.



  • Merkel Landis, President of Carlisle Trust Company, responsible for establishing the first Christmas club savings fund.[4]
  • Robert M. Waidner, President of Standard Fusee Corporation.[5][6]
  • George V. Hager, Chairman and CEO of Genesis HealthCare Corporation.[7]
  • John R. Stafford, CEO of American Home Products International Inc.[8][9]
  • Gary A. Poliner, CFO and Executive Vice President of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.[10]
  • Doug Pauls, BankUnited Chief Financial Officer.[11]
  • Abram Bosler, President of Carlisle Deposit Bank and Carlisle Shoe Company; President of the Carlisle City Council; Co-founder of Carlisle Country Club [12]
  • David S. Freysinger, Executive Vice President of Reliant Energy, Inc.[13]
  • Kyle Miller, President and CEO of Hudson Castle Group, Inc.[2][14]
  • Richard W. Schey, Partner, Management Committee, Regional Coordinator, New England Offices of Jackson Lewis LLP; Author of 'The New Jersey Wage and Hour Handbook.' [15]
  • Daniel J. Sheridan, President and Chief Operating Officer, Extensis Group LLC.[16]

Arts and entertainment[edit]

Politics and public service[edit]



  • Boyd Lee Spahr, President of Dickinson College Board of Trustees.[47][48]
  • Don W. Llewellyn, Dean of Graduate Legal Studies, Villanova University School of Law [49]
  • John "Milt" Davidson, member emeritus of the college’s board of trustees; most senior living Raven's Claw member [50]
  • Edward A. Polloway, Dean of Graduate Studies and Distinguished Professor of Education, Lynchburg College.[51]
  • Gilbert "Red" Malcolm, 23rd President of Dickinson College.[52]
  • Stephen A. Saltzburg, Distinguished University Professor, The George Washington University Law School.[53]
  • Benjamin James, educator, dean, coach, honorary president, and beloved Dickinsonian.[54][55]
  • Former/current members of the Dickinson College Board of Trustees, among others.


  1. ^ Raven's Claw
  2. ^ History of Raven's Claw
  3. ^ Dickinson College - The Dickinsonian
  4. ^ Merkel Landis from NY Times
  5. ^ Waidner Recognized as one of America's Most Generous Donors
  6. ^ Dickinson Named Beneficiary in Waidner Trust
  7. ^ George Hager, Genesis Healthcare
  8. ^ Stafford recognized as a Great American Business Leader of the 20th Century
  9. ^ Dickinson Receives Multi-Million Dollar Gift From Raven's Claw Member
  10. ^ Gary A. Poliner Executive Profile
  11. ^ The opening bell at the NYSE signals the start of a good day for Doug Pauls ’80
  12. ^ Abram Bosler
  13. ^ Dave Freysinger, Reliant Energy
  14. ^ Kyle Miller: Executive Profile & Biography - BusinessWeek
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ http://www.extensisgroup.com
  17. ^ Remembering a Former Trustee and Television Pioneer
  18. ^ Cavs.com’s Exclusive Interview with LeBron James, Agent Leon Rose, and Cavs’ GM Danny Ferry
  19. ^ John Griesemer Author Profile
  20. ^ Griesemer from IMDB
  21. ^ Henry Boye Named Publisher of Harvard Business Review
  22. ^ Byron Quann-Whitaker CEO
  23. ^ Hugh B. Woodward Biography
  24. ^ Witwer Hall, Dickinson College
  25. ^ Quest for a Constitution: A Man Who Wouldn't Quit : A Political Biography of Samuel Witwer of Illinois
  26. ^ National Lime Association
  27. ^ Robert Elmer Woodside, 1904-1998
  28. ^ John D. Hopper - Dickinson Chronicles
  29. ^ The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Legislative Journal, June 26, 1996 (Page 8)
  30. ^ Henri Rauschenbach of Massachusetts
  31. ^ Dallas Winslow
  32. ^ Gerlach For PA
  33. ^ Exhibit of Governors' Portraits in the Governor's Reception Room, Maryland State House
  34. ^ Politics Magazine Names Bernstein ‘Rising Star'
  35. ^ Law Offices of Dennis J. Crawford
  36. ^ JAMES A. KENNEY III, Judge, Court of Special Appeals
  37. ^ Dickinson College - Commencement
  38. ^ Noteworthy Opinions
  39. ^ Gobrecht Receives Distinguished Dickinson Alumnus Award
  40. ^ "Goby" Recognized for Service
  41. ^ Dave Webster, Claw of 1988
  42. ^ Bernie Driscoll
  43. ^ Jim Engles, NJIT
  44. ^ Obituary for Peter J. Sivess
  45. ^ Steve Hoffman, Kansas City Chiefs
  46. ^ Steve Hoffman, Miami Dolphins
  47. ^ Boyd Lee Spahr, Class of 1900
  48. ^ Boyd Lee Spahr Library
  49. ^ Don W. Llewellyn, Dean of Legal Studies
  51. ^ Dr. Edward Polloway
  52. ^ President Gilbert Malcolm
  53. ^ Stephen A. Saltzburg
  54. ^ Benjamin D. James
  55. ^ Benjamin James - Honorary President

External links[edit]