Joseph Clair joined the university this fall as director of the new William Penn Honors Program, set to launch in the fall of 2014. Previously, Clair spent four years at Princeton earning his PhD in religion, ethics and politics. He also worked as an assistant instructor in the school’s religion department, earning the Department of Religion Teaching Award in 2012.
Modeled on the Socratic method and Oxbridge tutorial style, the honors program will hone students’ critical thinking skills by exposing them to classical texts and using discussion as the primary mode of instruction. “These works and authors harbor ideas with the power to transform and enrich your life – that’s what makes them great!” says Clair. “Learning in this way in a community of robust Christian faith is an adventure that will mark our students for the rest of their lives.”
Clair’s goal is that graduates of the program will be prepared to engage with culture and social life with both meaning and depth – and do so with the humility and grace characteristic of the Christian perspective. Visit georgefox.edu/HonorsProgram to learn more.
When a C-SPAN camera crew came to campus in October to record a lecture by history professor Kerry Irish, it gave a national TV audience the chance to experience what George Fox students have enjoyed for the past 20 years. Known for his engaging lectures and vivid storytelling – sometimes while in full costume – Irish brings American history to life in a way that makes a lasting impact on students.
Irish chose to lecture on the presidency of George Washington for the C-SPAN visit, focusing on the accomplishments of the first U.S. president and exploring the theme that many historians have underappreciated his presidency.
The lecture aired Nov. 30 as part of the network’s “Lectures in History” program. It marked the first time Irish has performed in front of a TV camera. “It’s kind of like an athletic event,” he told The Newberg Graphic. “After the first few minutes of play the butterflies are gone and then you just play.”
With 3,712 students – including 771 new traditional undergraduates – George Fox set an enrollment record this fall, easily eclipsing its previous high of 3,519, established in 2011. It marked a 6.3-percent increase over the school’s 2012 figure (3,491) and made the university the second-largest private institution in Oregon.
The bulk of the growth is attributed to a 33.6-percent increase in the university’s new undergraduate population. Among them are a record 605 first-year freshmen and 127 transfer students. The school also enjoyed strong retention numbers, with a freshman-to-sophomore retention rate that exceeded 80 percent, and continued a trend of enrolling more students from diverse racial and economic backgrounds. In fact, of the 600-plus freshmen who enrolled, 25.7 percent identified themselves as ethnic minorities.
Overall, the university welcomed 2,115 undergraduates (an 11 percent increase over a year ago), and another 269 to its adult degree programs. At the graduate level, George Fox enrolled 1,328 students.
When George Fox first made U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” list back in 1988, Ronald Reagan was president and a gallon of gas cost about $1. A lot has changed in the 25 years since, but the university has never lost its place in the publication’s annual college rankings issue. In addition to being named one of “America’s Best Colleges” for the 25th straight time in 2013, George Fox was also listed among the “Best Regional Universities” and “Best Colleges for Veterans” in the West.
Another milestone came this year when the university was honored for the 10th straight time by The Princeton Review as a “Best in the West” school in its “2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region” rankings.
Finally, in what may become a new tradition, George Fox was named one of the nation’s “20 Healthiest Colleges” by The Daily Beast website, thanks to strict drug and alcohol policies and healthy on-campus dining options.
Work continues to progress on Stoffer Family Stadium and the Duke Athletic Center in advance of the spring track season and the launch of football next fall.
Crews have spent the last several months transforming the area around the track into a venue that includes a newly constructed grandstand with seating for 1,200 and the 14,000-square-foot Duke facility that will include a locker room, offices, an athletic training room and classrooms. Still to be installed is the synthetic-turf Lemmons Family Field.
Favorable weather conditions in October and early November allowed the construction crew to mount the bleachers and install three press boxes while also doing extensive roof, floor, mechanical, electrical and plumbing work in the Duke Athletic Center. Most recently, sidewalks were poured around the facility in late November.
Stoffer Family Stadium is expected to be completed by the start of track season in the spring.
Students, faculty, alumni and members of the local art community gathered on campus Friday, Nov. 15, to support art professor Doug Campbell the best way they knew how – by throwing bowls. In all, 2,200 clay bowls were created as dozens of potters worked late into the night on rotating shifts, took a short break and then returned Saturday afternoon to finish the job.
The “throw-a-thon” was in preparation for an Empty Bowls fundraiser scheduled for March 7. Funds from the event will go toward specialized speech therapy for Campbell, who suffered a massive stroke in November 2012 and has since lost the ability to speak in full sentences. Campbell’s condition requires a specialized in-patient speech therapy program which is not normally covered by insurance.
The last time the university held an Empty Bowls fundraiser, in which people purchase the hand-made bowls and are served dinner in them, more than $18,000 was raised for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.