From the desk of Robin Baker


We have been in school for just about a week now and it has been a very good start to the year. About 530 new students joined us this fall – a great number! This is the 11th time I have welcomed an incoming class to George Fox University and the third time as President of the university. I know that each student comes with visions and dreams for the future and we know that we are at least partial caretakers of those dreams. I hope you are aware by now that we take seriously our role in the spiritual, social and intellectual development of your son or daughter.

This fall has been a special one for me as I "welcomed" my son to George Fox University as part of the 2009 first year class. I have three children and my son, Jacob, is the oldest of my children. He is the first to leave our home and attend a university. Like you, I felt the pain of transition this fall and came to realize that my relationship to my son would begin to change with his "going" to college (even though it was only a short distance). His mother and I hope that we have prepared him well and we pray that God will consistently speak to his heart. During the orientation activities this year I tried to experience them as a parent, rather than just a president. I love George Fox University and believe that it is a special place for my own son. It is my hope that you find it to be a special place for your son or daughter as well.

I just finished reading an article that assessed the impact of college on the spiritual well being of students. I was encouraged to discover that many college students have experiences that result in a deepening of their faith during the university years. Dr. Jenny Lee discovered that students who spend significant time in religious activities (church attendance, chapel, Bible studies, mission trips) have a much greater likelihood of strengthening their faith. Dr. Lee’s analysis supports my own anecdotal observations – whether in the academic or spiritual realm, growth occurs when students participate actively. As you think of how you might continue to engage with your son or daughter over the next few years I would suggest that you, of course, continue to pray for them but also encourage them to be active in academic and spiritual activities. They need to hear from you in positive ways.

May the Lord richly bless you this fall,

Robin Baker