King’s Graduates Reflect on their Experience During 2010 Commencement
Pioneering Spirit, Pleasure of Contemplation Cited as Distinguishing Features of The King’s College
NEW YORK, May 19, 2010—“Friends, we are the last pioneers. As a class and as a college, we stand at the edge of the wilderness, ready to move into the Promised Land—into God’s will for our futures.” With these words, Valedictorian Jacqueline Smith (Politics, Philosophy, & Economics, ‘10) exhorted her fellow graduates to remember God’s faithfulness as they concluded their time at The King’s College.
On May 8, sixty-four young men and women graduated from The King’s College during the institution’s 62nd Annual Commencement Exercises, held at New York City’s famed Lincoln Center.
Alluding to the Old Testament story of Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, Smith encouraged the graduates to remember that “the pile of stones on the far side of the river Jordan stands as a solid, unwavering testimony to God’s faithfulness.” She challenged everyone in the auditorium to build such a monument as they move from the classroom to the workforce.
The Commencement Exercises of The King’s College are always a chance for students, faculty, staff, and friends to reflect on the mission of the college, which states, “Through its commitment to the truths of Christianity and a biblical worldview, The King’s College seeks to transform society by preparing students for careers in which they help to shape and eventually to lead strategic public and private institutions, and by supporting faculty members as they directly engage culture through writing and speaking publicly on critical issues.”
Similarly, student speakers frequently take the opportunity to reflect on the education they receive at King’s. Selected by a vote of his fellow graduates, Richard Grote (Politics, Philosophy, & Economics, ‘10) praised the intrinsic value of the King’s education, during which, he said, for the “last four years, we have had the pleasure of contemplating and discussing the great ideas.”
Though a degree requires hours of lectures, hundreds of pages of writing, and years of dedicated study, Grote pointed to Philippians 4:8 and its “exhortation to pursue excellent and praiseworthy thought,” as the stimulus for inspiring the graduates to climb this mountain of difficulty.
Grote also quoted Micah 6:8, a verse his father had him memorize before he could even read. The verse reads, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
He encouraged the graduating class that if they follow this verse, honoring God in all they do, then “this college will be a success.”
“If we can learn what justice is,” he said, “…and if we can learn what mercy truly is, and if … we can love God and love others, then we’ll have found what is truly—to speak in the language of philosophy—the ‘good.’”
The King’s College is located in the Empire State Building in New York City.
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