Christopher Rauscher (BA (Classics)’07)
Current Role: Assistant Director of Policy for Senator-Elect Angus King, during his successful campaign for the United States Senate.
Current City: Portland, Maine
Grad Year: 2007
Nickname: First year I was called Beer Boy for a while, because I took a year off after high school and I was 19 when I started at Dal. A lot of my friends weren’t, so I was the one to go buy beer for everyone. I got shut down from doing that, though! I was informed that it was illegal, even though I was just doing a good deed. Young and foolish, I suppose!
Dalhousie Alumni Association: What brought you to Dalhousie University and how did you end up in Classics?
Christopher Rauscher: Believe it or not it was surfing. Really. My family used to go to the south shore by Cherry Hill and Petite Rivière and then we started venturing into the Halifax Regional Municipality area and just loved it. I fell madly in love with Nova Scotia and I only applied to Dalhousie. I was pretty set on where I wanted to go. This is before I had any interest in classics – I took a first year survey course in classics and that grabbed a hold of me and never let go. I fortunately found out that the classics department is world class, so I pursued it and had a wonderful experience there. I ended up being the Classics Society president and I was the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences representative to the student union.
DAA: Where could you be found most often on campus while you were at Dalhousie?
CR: The Grad House in the old location, and I studied at the top of the Killam where the records and rare books are, and at a place at the top of the LSC where there’s a wonderful view. I didn’t do a ton of studying – I did very well in school, but with classics, reading the Odyssey didn’t seem like studying. Learning Greek and Latin was a bit of a struggle that took a lot of dedication, but all of the literature and philosophy was really a blast.
DAA: What was your biggest distraction while you were at Dal?
CR: My biggest distraction was definitely surfing, and Pizza Corner late night was another big one. Really just the city in general, I found it to be very stimulating – a European city in a Canadian setting. I always felt the pull to go down the hill to the water and to check out the different art and music shows. We did a bit of camping too.
DAA: What was your favourite cafeteria food on campus?
CR: Nothing. Not a very good answer, but it’s the truth.
DAA: What is your favourite Dalhousie memory?
CR: Hmmm, hard to pick one…the arts building did a film series and one winter they were showing Ingmar Bergman films. I remember walking in a huge snowstorm to go watch the 7th Seal. That was just incredible, surreal almost. Our classics parties were also pretty amazing. We often had fireside parties at King’s, and we had open access to our professors – there were no walls dividing us. Those parties formed the root of some of my favourite experiences.
DAA: How did your Dal experience prepare you for your current role?
CR: I entered a different, intellectual world, one of thought and deliberation. I now also have a law degree, and in law there are a lot of ideas and language that are derived from classics, whether it’s philosophy or the law itself. As of now, I don’t plan to practice law – I might be headed to Washington to work for the Senate. The Campaign I worked on was the biggest opportunity one could get in a lifetime! I would say that my classics degree certainly prepared me for the political world.
DAA: What do you see as the best thing about being a Dal alum?
CR: I guess the memories of Nova Scotia. I hope to return someday, maybe only in retirement, but one day I would like to live there again.
DAA: Do you have any words of wisdom for current Dal students?
CR: Get involved and engaged, whether that’s writing for the Gazette, student government, anything you can do downtown, generally make connections outside of the bars and outside of the humdrum of student life. Halifax has a lot to offer, as does the university, and you should enjoy it while you can. Additionally, and this was an aphorism that I had to translate in my first year Latin course and has stuck with me – Fortune Favors the Brave. Remember that while you are a student – there are many opportunities at Dal, don’t let them pass you by.