High school teachers paint a vivid picture of the likeness of college professors.
Somehow, they are all elderly men no taller than 5-foot-3 and wear the same bow tie and
sweater-vest ensemble as they mumble about the necessity of calculus while assigning a 30-page
paper that they want turned in by the end of the night. Of course, this is a bold exaggeration, but
as a high school student, I remember thinking that college professors sounded more like goblins
than human beings. 

And perhaps that would have made for an interesting narrative if it was not the furthest
thing from the truth. 

The professors at George Fox are as human as it gets. They come from all types of backgrounds and have various interests that are fascinating and challenging. All of them are passionate about their subjects, eager to pass on what they know and to hear the thoughts of young, innovative minds. 


I remember the terror I felt the first day of school my freshman year attending my Intro to Literature class. The first thing I did upon entering the classroom was to plop myself in the back row and wait for the professor to arrive. She carried a leather briefcase and dressed in all blue, complementing her fiery hair and oversized glasses. 

This professor, now retired, and I became very close – all due to a “bad” grade I received on the first paper. The paper was 10 pages long and assigned a month in advance. I got a C. Yes a C, which my 19-year-old heart could not bear. I had to muster up the courage to trek to the third floor of Minthorn Hall and knock on her office door in an attempt to save my grade.

Upon entering her room, it was not the thousands upon thousands of books crammed into a 1,000-square-foot room that surprised me but the six-foot-tall cardboard cutout of Jack Sparrow that greeted me nearly face-to-face. Apparently, Jack Sparrow was her favorite character, and we had a long conversation about the literary qualities of Pirates of the Caribbean. I left her office feeling better and more confident in myself, despite getting a C on the paper. She encouraged me to try again and pointed out where I had struggled in the first paper, while telling me to not let it deter me. I ended up submitting the paper again and received a much better score. 

I think this experience is very common at George Fox, especially during freshman year. Professors are challenging, but they are also very understanding and realize that students have a lot going on in their lives. They facilitate conversations with students, interested in both their personal and academic lives. My English professor challenged me in a way that made me want to learn, not to just submit an assignment and forget about it an hour later. 

However, the professors care about much more beyond students’ academic performance. They take a deep interest in their personal lives. 


In my sophomore year, my grandma passed away early one morning. After one of my classes, my professor came up to me and asked if anything was wrong because I seemed unusually quiet in class. I told him about my grandmother passing, and he asked if I was busy right then.

After that, he took me out to lunch and we talked for a long while about the grief I was feeling. He listened, giving advice when I asked for it, but mainly he was just there to listen to me processing her death. This interaction really meant a lot to me, because being in a separate state than my family when tragedy occurs can feel really isolating. It was nice to know that I had people here who would support me. 

The professors at George Fox are in fact not goblins, they are some of the kindest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They deliberately care about making students into the best versions of themselves they can be, and through their own passions, light a fire for a passion of education in each student who passes through their classes.

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