From the Executive Director

As I was searching for the right message for this final e-newsletter of the year, I got to thinking about the two great articles in this April issue. First, Parent Council member Celia Howen wrote about how students determine their vocation and calling. Secondly, our alumni director, Robby Larson, wrote about some of the fascinating things our young alumni are doing out in the world. These two articles inspired me to write about the importance of young adults doing “cool stuff.” You probably think I’m off my rocker advocating for your student to do “cool stuff,” but hear me out. I’ve been around George Fox University long enough to observe that this pastime can often lead a young person right into his or her vocation and calling!

When the pressure of making a living is not the main driver in one’s life, the opportunity exists to dream and “try on” some passions or experiences. Young adulthood is this brief window of time, and rarely does the opportunity present itself again. It’s natural for us as parents to prompt our kids toward making a living so they can pay off their school loans. It makes a lot of sense! However, could we be pushing them right past a period of time when exploring is still important, and being unencumbered by career and family makes it possible?

Here are some examples of what I mean by “cool stuff”: traveling for the purpose of becoming acquainted with new people and cultures, writing a book, working or ministering overseas for a while, taking an internship in Washington D.C., shadowing a surgeon, or joining a magazine as a photography intern. I have watched George Fox students do all of these things during college or following graduation. The lives of our young adults are shaped by these experiences. Through them, they discover passion and purpose. They find creative ways to take the professions they’ve been preparing for – nursing, engineering, teaching, accounting, or (you fill in the blank) – and merge them with their interests.

Whether your student is graduating this year or will be returning to college in the fall, the question “What are you going to do with your life?” lurks in the corner of their minds continuously. It is frequently verbalized by well-meaning family and friends as well. These days, more than ever, I think it is important to young adults that they live in a way that makes a difference in the world. They want their contributions to count, and they want for them to be personally meaningful. The people who are graduating from George Fox University are precisely these people.

Have a great summer!

Sheri Philips
Executive Director of University Relations