Our Favorite Hat
I don't sleep well the night before our first-year students and their families arrive. I toss and turn as I think about all of the faces and names to learn, and about the many messages of affirmation and assurance I'll give. And I'm eager for these students to experience all that this great university has to offer. You'd think that after seven Whitworth orientations I'd be used to it, but I'm not. It's new and fresh every year, and I love it that way.
I tossed and turned a little more this year. My excitement came from knowing that, after an extensive college search, Lauren — our older daughter and middle child — had decided to become a Pirate. Julie and I wear a lot of "hats" at the university, but I'm pretty sure that our favorite one will be that of Whitworth parents. I often remind our families that we share bonds of sacred trust and prayer. It's not easy to drop off at college the people we love most in the world. So when we welcome new students, we're entering into an important and deep partnership with the families who leave their children in our care.
Julie and I pray that Lauren will find true community at Whitworth among people who love her and see all of her promise and potential. We pray that she will grow intellectually as she engages in a challenging educational journey. We also pray that she will grow in her knowledge of Jesus Christ and of the work God is doing in the world, and that she will be called to participate in that work. We pray for her health, hoping that she meets the strains and pressures of being a college student with good habits and choices. And we pray that the opportunities she's being given to grow in independence and maturity will have an indelible impact on the woman she is becoming.
While Julie and I share these common hopes for our student, we know that we're privileged to have a different vantage point than most. We'll have a front-row seat as Lauren is shaped by and through this community. It's that perspective that allows us to speak confidently to other families about our students' incredible experiences. Our highest aspiration for Lauren and for all of our students is that their Whitworth experience will equip them to "honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity." What an incredible journey it will be!