King’s Hosts Two Weeks of Summer Academy, Highest Attendance Yet

On July 22-27 and July 29-August 3, The King’s College hosted Summer Academy for the fourth year running, drawing the highest attendance yet.

Summer Academy 2018 group photo
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On July 22-27 and July 29-August 3, The King’s College hosted Summer Academy for the fourth year running, drawing the highest attendance yet. This was the first year that Summer Academy ran as two week-long conferences. Each session of Summer Academy allowed academically motivated high-schoolers to study the ideas that shape the world through lectures from top-tier instructors and visits to New York’s cultural and historic landmarks.

This year, 22 students attended week one, enrolling either in the Political Economy track (headed by Dr. Paul Mueller, assistant professor of economics) or the Business track (headed by Dr. Kimberly Reeve, associate professor of business). In week two, 31 students attended tracks in Leadership (headed by Acting President Tim Gibson) or Media and Journalism (with the arts concentration led by Prof. Paul Glader, director of the John McCandlish Phillips Journalism Institute and the sports concentration led by Prof. Clemente Lisi, affiliate assistant professor of journalism). All students earned one academic credit for their week of study, and one student attended both weeks. Students enjoyed lectures from track leaders as well as additional faculty, including Prof. Terry Mattingly, Dr. Matt Parks, and Dr. Anne Hendershott. Student response to faculty lectures was overwhelming positive, with numerous students commenting on the informative, engaging, patient, and collegiate style of each presentation.

Throughout the week, students received both academic and spiritual formation from the professors of the College. With small class sizes and opportunities for one-on-one interactions with faculty and staff, Summer Academy invited students into personal transformation and growth in Christ. Faculty members and student ambassadors demonstrated to students that one can be faithful to Christian truth while rigorously pursuing the life of the mind.

On Monday of both weeks, students completed a tour of the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center Observatory. The day concluded with dinner in Chinatown, a highlight for many students. On Tuesday through Thursday, students continued with lectures, informal conversations, and site visits pertinent to their programs of study. Based on student surveys, favorite destinations included the Tenement Museum, Madison Square Garden, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Beyond the class-specific tours, students watched the musical The Play that Goes Wrong on Broadway, viewed the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty aboard the Staten Island ferry, and walked along Chelsea’s High Line park. On Friday, students completed final examinations and assignments, enjoyed a farewell brunch, and said goodbye to newfound friends. One student commented, “I met friends within five days that I will hopefully know for years to come.”

This year’s Summer Academy drew a total of 52 students, up from 43 students last year and a dramatic step forward from the inaugural 8-person class of 2015. Besides providing a rich learning experience within the duration of the week, Summer Academy enables prospective students to determine if they wish to pursue a degree at King’s. Amelia Underhill, of Silverton, Ore., said, “Summer Academy was a great way to get to know the King’s environment. I love the staff and the classes and feel like I learned so much.” Another student who attended week one’s political economy track echoed this sentiment. “I loved the experience of exploring NYC while learning about some of the city’s underlying issues with a great teacher, fantastic material, and an interesting topic.”

The dates of 2019 Summer Academy will be announced this fall. Since each track covers distinct material, the College anticipates welcoming returning students to Summer Academy next year. In the meantime, students are already feeling the impact of their week at Summer Academy. Melinda Huspen, of Austin, Colo., said, “It was a very immersive experience, and it significantly helped me decide several things about my career after high school.” Gretta Bartow, of Fort Johnson, N.Y., said, “I met so many interesting people and enjoyed how interesting my lectures were. The material was very engaging and I feel like I learned a lot about how to lead in my life.” Finally, David West of Atlanta, Ga., said, “Prof. Lisi fostered a desire and passion for sports journalism and I definitely want to start a sports blog or podcast and work on my future as a sports journalist.”

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