Daniel J. Dykstra Jr. ’69 discusses the merits of a liberal arts education

J. Dykstra Jr. ’69 of Rohnert Park, Calif., who serves as Deputy District Counsel, San Francisco District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

He says the law establishes a basic set of governing principles upon which a civilized society operates.

“In a perfect world, law provides a process that assures fairness and equality of treatment,” he says. “Of course, because humanity has flaws, this articulates goals that we should strive for within the legal process.”

Dykstra was in ROTC at Ripon and became an Army JAG attorney after law school. After his service in the Army, he joined the Corps of Engineers and has been with them for 34 years.

“I principally handle issues related to the administration of government contracts under federal law,” he says. “Beside my regular duties, that has allowed me to assist the Corps of Engineers’ efforts to build facilities in Afghanistan twice.”

Dykstra reviews contracts, environmental impact statements and project decision documents, which often requires an appreciation for the political or historical context in which the project is proposed.

“Having had a liberal arts background/training has helped immeasurably in being able to thoroughly review the documents,” he says.

“Personally, I find law to be fulfilling on two levels. First, the intellectual challenge caused by finding a solution or developing an innovative legal argument to various legal issues is very satisfying. Second, there is satisfaction in giving something back to my country.”


Related Posts

Zachary Morris '02

Zachary Morris ’02 named chair of the UW Department of Human Oncology

Zachary Morris ’02 has been named chair of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Human Oncology. A leading expert […]

Rally Days 2024

Rally Days 2024 supports Forever Ripon campaign

Rally Days 2024 is LIVE! Our goal is to secure 1,000 gifts to support the Forever Ripon campaign between Wednesday, April 3, and Friday, April 5. Celebrate […]

James P. Danky '70

James P. Danky ’70 curates political cartoon exhibit to run in Milwaukee, Ripon

James P. Danky ’70 is the guest curator for the exhibit “Pow-litical Comics: From Ripon to the RNC,” to run April 12 to July 22 […]

Mark Franzen, Ripon College Class of 1983 and Chair of the Board of Trustees

Mark Franzen ’83 to begin term as chair of the Ripon College Board of Trustees

Mark Franzen ’83 of Paradise Valley, Arizona, and Green Lake, Wisconsin, will begin his term as the new chair of the Ripon College Board of […]