Reverend Charles Nisbet, the first president of Dickinson College.


Oil on canvas of Nisbet facing left, head and shoulders, wearing academic dress.
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A Scots Presbyterian who epitomized the enlightened educator of the late eighteenth century, Nisbet could speak nine languages fluently. Nisbet was a strict Calvinist who revered moral philosophy and scientific inquiry as the bulwarks of the fledgling college's mission. With Rush and other trustees" support guided the fledgling institution through a series of early controversies that threatened Dickinson's survival.