Message from the President
It Takes a Family
Four years ago, our then-women’s basketball coach introduced me to a new student named Ari Mohsenian. Ari was a great three-point shooter and fierce defender who dreamed of becoming a teacher.
President Baker and Ari Mohsenian at spring commencement
Our coach asked me if I would serve as a mentor for Ari, who had come to know Jesus personally in high school. That transforming experience gave her a desire to attend college in a Christ-centered community. I asked Ari to take a personal assessment test, and we spent time during the semester talking about her strengths. We interacted many times over the next four years, and I saw Ari grow in wisdom and in her passion to work with others. She became one of the finest basketball players ever to play at George Fox, and perhaps more importantly, one of our best leaders.
This summer, my wife Ruth and I had the privilege of attending Ari’s wedding in her hometown of Yakima, Wash. The wedding was in a beautiful garden shaded by large trees. We arrived early, and it was impressive to count the number of George Fox people who made the three-hour drive to celebrate Ari and Garrett’s special day. They came from every area of the university: her coach Michael Meek; athletic director Craig Taylor; athletic department administrative assistant Patty Findley; residence hall staff; education professors; students from the residence hall where Ari served as a resident assistant; and teammates. Even one of our basketball alumni who continues to host weekly player gatherings at her family’s home was in attendance. All played a role in Ari’s life and development at George Fox, and all were glad to have known her and shared her love for Christ.
As I reflected on the wedding, I thought about how it represented the best of George Fox University. When a student comes to us, it is our desire to adopt them into our family. We want them to receive the excellent education we are known for, but we want so much more. We want them to mature as people, to gain a vision for life and to come to know Jesus Christ more personally. This is happening on our undergraduate campus, our regional sites and – as you can read in this issue – throughout the world through our hybrid online programs.
It is our purpose here at this institution to send more Aris out into the world. Christ has called us to this task, and we embrace it willingly.
To read more from President Baker visit his blog at