Recently I’ve been developing this idea that Patrick Henry College is challenging the unacceptable status quo in higher education, and doing it successfully. I’ve never been more convinced of this, and each month seems to bring new blessings that renew my faith in this mission.
You may know that Dr. Michael Farris, the founder and first President of Patrick Henry College, and now the President, CEO, and General Counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, recently argued before the Supreme Court of the United States in NIFLA v. Becerra, a critical case dealing with freedom of speech in California.
What you may not know is that three days before his appearance, Dr. Farris opted to endure his final practice session at Patrick Henry College with nine Patrick Henry College graduates playing the part of the justices! He knew they would relish this opportunity to finally be on the other side of the table and give back to him what he so often gave to them as students.
After the intense practice round, he was moved, almost to tears, when he told them how proud he was of them, and how skillfully they had conducted the session.
To tell you the truth, I was in awe from start to finish, and more than a little entertained. They played their roles amazingly well and never let up; covering every aspect of the case from the contrarian point of view.It was a true iron-sharpening-iron moment, made especially poignant because the honing tool was, in part, formed by the object being sharpened.
The alumni represented Patrick Henry College classes from 2008 to 2014. All attended, excelled at, and graduated from top law schools, including Columbia, Emory, George Mason, Harvard, Regent, UVA, Washington and Lee, and Yale.
I wish all of you could have been there. You may not realize how much of a part you played in helping them get to where they are now. Without your generous gifts, there would have been no Patrick Henry College for them to attend. There would have been no place for them to receive the kind of undergraduate education that prepared them to perform at this elite level, while strengthening their faith in God and their commitment to the constitutional principles that make us a free nation.
These young people, along with all their classmates, give me so much hope for the future of our nation! They validate this endeavor we know as Patrick Henry College.
Consider what we see (all too often) on television, the internet, or other news sources. Those marching against free speech, against the right to bear arms, against the sanctity of life, and against the very system of freedom and capitalism that has blessed this nation and its people, are most often the products of the secular universities that represent the status quo.
As I’ve often said before, a nation is defined by its culture and its leadership, both of which are shaped by the nation’s education system.If the current system of education is forming our culture and our leadership, then I think you’ll agree that America is destined for decline.
This is unacceptable. America must be preserved as the bastion of hope and freedom that it has been for generations before us. And I truly believe that Patrick Henry College is a key component in that preservation.
However, you need to know that conservative principles alone will never be enough to stop the decline.
Although critically important, it isn’t enough to champion the free market and the Constitution or to know Plato, Aristotle, and Western Civ. If a significant portion of our nation and its leaders are not firmly rooted in the truth that Christ is Lord and that ALL freedom comes from God, not government, our conservative efforts, valiant though they may be, will fall short in the end.
At Patrick Henry College, we recognize that the Gospel of Christ is the ultimate salvation for mankind. We teach and encourage our students to love the Lord with all their heart, mind, and strength – so that they may boldly follow wherever He leads them.
So take heart! Although the current tide of young people may seem lost because of an educational system that has lost its way, there are young men and women out there who are being trained the right way, with excellence, humility, and love for God and country. I just saw nine of them, and they are only just beginning to make their mark on this world for Christ and for liberty. And that wouldn’t have been possible without you.
But we know that Godly leadership is needed in every sphere. Business and economics is in desperate need of talented, Christ-centered men and women who can lead us into the future. I’ve enclosed a brochure that fully explains our newest major, Economics and Business Analytics (EBA). This is a state of the art program, wholly unique in the undergraduate world. As one of the creators of the program said, “Patrick Henry College isn’t going to train you to be a middle manager. It will train you to be a CEO, an entrepreneur, and an innovator.”
If students don’t receive a liberal arts education and learn how to think, the next generation of automation and robotics is going to leave them behind. Having a specific skill or ability is important until something replaces you and does it better, faster, and cheaper. Knowing the how and why, and being able to ask the right questions, easily learn new skills, communicate, and solve problems, will be the answer for the next generation.
That’s what we do at Patrick Henry College. We’re challenging the unacceptable status quo and looking forward to the future by training the next generation of leaders who know the truth and can communicate that truth with winsomeness, excellence, and humility.
Patrick Henry College